If You Don’t Know, Now You Know – The Story behind “Rap Snacks”

Have you ever wondered if there was a way to pay homage to some of the greatest rappers and hip-hop artists in history? EatNom discovered Rap Snacks — a black-owned company developed from the creative mind of James Lindsay.

The CEO of Rap Snacks, James Lindsay, was very passionate about food and music growing up in Philadelphia. According to the Rap Snacks website, Lindsay said, “As a kid, I considered myself a snack food connoisseur.” Lindsay would experiment with numerous flavors of chips by mixing them all in one bag in an attempt to find that next great flavor.

Years later, Lindsay received a marketing degree from Cheyney University, as stated by Blavity. After graduation, he still had the same idea in mind: finding the next great flavor. With the help of his friends and family, he raised $40,000. He officially launched Rap Snacks in 1994 with their first product highlighting Romeo Miller, commonly known as Lil Romeo, with a honey barbecue flavor named “Bar-B-Quin’ with my Honey.” On their website, it says that Lindsay sold out of 800 cases in a matter of two hours during his first meeting with a distributor. “I kinda knew then, hey, I might have something here,” Lindsay said on the Rap Snacks website.

Food has its own way of telling a story, one of Rap Snacks’ core values. Their packaging features a compelling design of varying hip-hop artists and rappers who have impacted the industry, such as Lil Yachty, Cardi B, Migos, and Lil Romeo. This was done as a way to honor the talent of these artists and increase the representation of people of color — a subject matter that EatNom is devoted to as well.

That idea he had as a child evolved into a five-million-dollar business, from selling through corner stores to selling products at Walmarts nationwide. They started selling potato chips but have now expanded to popcorn and noodles. Rap Snacks delivers a strong flavor and a story to tell, providing the best of both worlds into one product. 

And of course, each one-of-a-kind design is paired with a unique flavor of its own. Flavors are also available to vegans! As reported in this Blavity article, Rap Snacks has a partnership with Slutty Vegan, a restaurant and food truck based in Atlanta, to create vegan potato chips containing that same amazing flavor and honoring the package with the CEO, Pinky Cole.

I went on a little scavenger hunt of my own to find these historic yet tasty snacks. Once I realized they were sold in Walmart, I went to the nearest one. These were surprisingly hard to find, even in the designated snack aisle. They didn’t have any other flavors at one store, so I tried another location about 20 minutes down the highway. I thought finding them at the other location was hard, but this location was even harder. I recommend ordering online just because there are many more options, and you can buy products in bulk for a reduced price. I was only able to find two different flavored bags of potato chips. 

 The first bag I found featured Migos with its sour cream and ranch flavor. Migos is a hip-hop trio formed by rappers mainly known for their stage names Offset, Takeoff, and Quavo. They are famous for many reasons, but one of them is creating the dance move, the “dab.” This explains the quote on the top of the bag stating, “dabbing is a lifestyle,” as well as the flavor description of sour cream with a “dab” of ranch. The flavor was unlike any other chip I’ve tried before. Usually, sour cream is paired with onion in most potato chip brands. The onion very often overpowers the flavor of the sour cream, but in this case, I feel that the ranch enhances it. You can taste the creaminess of both condiments in one crispy chip. 

 The second bag highlights a portrait of The Notorious B.I.G, also known as Biggie Smalls, who is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time. The late American artist was murdered back in 1997. Rap Snacks used one of his most motivational quotes at the top of the bag stating, “we can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.” His flavor is the honey jalapeño. The chips have a bold flavor of honey barbecue with a little tickle of heat from the added jalapeño. 

 There is no doubt that Rap Snacks has seen tremendous growth over the past 25 years it has been in business. It will evolve even further, and we here at EatNom cannot wait to see what is in store for them.