Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)
If you’re a true foodie living in NYC, then you’ve probably already tried a pork-belly bun from Eddie Huang’s East Village restaurant BaoHaus. And if you haven’t, well, get on that. But Eddie’s expertise is not limited to Taiwanese cuisine. He’s a “food personality” in the truest sense of the term. Not only is he a restaurant owner/chef, but he’s the author of Fresh Off the Boat, a highly-entertaining memoir that details his Asian-American upbringing, which was recently turned into a pilot sitcom for ABC. And he also hosts a web series of the same name on Vice, the most recent episode which chronicled his trip to one of Detroit’s local burger joints with Danny Brown. Check for a new episode dropping every Monday.
Being that Eddie is a known hip-hop head and music lover in general, we caught up with him in the BaoHaus kitchen earlier this week to chop it up about the five songs he’s been listening to the most recently for our latest edition of Heavy Rotation. There aren’t any songs by his favorite rapper Cam’ron on the list, but he did tell us he’s always listening to his tracks, and reinforced that Crime Pays is his favorite Killa album. So to keep it honest, these are the five non-Cam’ron songs Eddie Huang has been banging on the reg this week.
1. Pusha T ft. Kendrick Lamar “Nosetalgia”
Eddie Huang: “I’ll go out and shoot hoops every morning. I have a basketball court right outside my apartment. So I’ve been just going to the court, putting my headphones on and shooting jumpers, listening to that whole Pusha T album. But I like that Kendrick joint. Everything Kendrick is on right now, he’s murdering. It’s kind of like Eminem in his prime. I don’t even know why you put him on your record, because he’s gonna eat your lunch. It don’t make no sense. It’s not like Pusha ever gets his lunch eaten, but [Kendrick’s] flow on ‘Nosestalgia’ is crazy. Pusha’s is crazy on the whole album, but on that one song, [Kendrick is ridiculous].
“Obviously, everybody knows the math with Pusha. He raps about the game, and the hustle, all the time. And then Kendrick has that song within a song, where he flips the dope hustle into the rap hustle, and talks about his dad and his grandfather. And it’s really like the ill, generational, hip-hop coming of age kind of verse, you know? The concept of it, I feel like it goes over some kids’ heads, but as someone who’s been listening [to rap music] for a minute, and was born in the ‘80s, the whole crack game/rap game has been synonymous. And Kendrick has been the one trying to redefine this thing, and be like, ‘Nah, the dope game is the rap game.’ I thought that verse as pretty defining of the generation, and very, very ill.
“I like everything on the Pusha album. I like ‘King Push,’ I like ‘Numbers On The Boards.’ The beat on ‘King Push’ is crazy, and I like when he’s like, ‘Jay Z without the Dash.’ That’s an ill pun. I like that line a lot.”
2. Earl Sweatshirt ft. Domo Genesis “20 Wave Caps”
“Him and Dom, they really fuckin’ kill it. I love Earl. When Odd Future came out, everyone wanted to compare them to Wu-Tang. I don’t like when people are always trying to compare things to something before. But that kid really did make a chamber music album. It’s wicked. It’s in the chamber. It’s got all the reverberations. It’s like you’re in a padded cell. It’s like crazy people music. I like it. I like ‘Molasses’ too, with RZA on it.
“Earl is that dude, though. He can really spit. I like to see these young kids who can really spit cross and feel sellable. We went through a whole generation of rappers who could spit, whether it’s Canibus or Papoose [rapping on] 20 minute tracks. You can’t sell that shit. Like, I listen to Roc Marciano all the time. I love Roc. But I can’t go play Roc for people who don’t really listen to hip-hop. Earl, I know girls that fuck with Earl. I’ve played it at the crib. I’ll turn on Earl, and there’s white chicks at the crib like, ‘Yo, this is fuckin’ hard. I like this shit.’ I think it’s because he makes songs, rather than just spitting. I think Earl is the illest young cat out.”
3. Migos “Chinatown”
“I know this is such a wack pick, but I still like that song. I’m still listening to that song. It’s so fuckin’ racist, but hilarious. I like that just straight Johnny Cage, Chinatown, jumping up and down shit. It’s kind of funny to me. But I would never go to Migos show. [Laughs.] That’s like going to a teenage Chuck E. Cheese. But I fuck with Migos. It’s a guilty pleasure. As an Asian person, to hear someone ad-lib ‘ching-chong’ is mad offensive. But I like the song. I’m not mad.”
4. Bobby Brown “My Prerogative”
“My brother had his birthday party at this bar in Fort Greene called Mo’s. It’s a bar that heads have been going to for like fifteen years. But Mo’s has the illest karaoke night. And this cat got on the stage and did ‘My Prerogative,’ and I was like, ‘Oh shit, I haven’t heard ‘My Prerogative’ in a minute.’ It’s just not one of those songs that’s in the party rotation anymore. People will play Bell Biv Devoe ‘Poison,’ they’ll play ‘Ignition.’ There’s certain go-to tracks that DJs will play to bring back that sound. But I hadn’t heard ‘My Prerogative’ in like five, six years, so I was bumping it this week. Just in the apartment, with the windows up. [Laughs.]
“I was watching the video, too, and he had the fuckin’ suits with the sharp shoulders, like young Arsenio out there. It was cool. When people had the fuckin’ Boomerang suits on, you know what I mean?”
5. Bobby Womack “Fact of Life”
“Me and my boy Dave were making a little party mix like two years ago, and he goes, ‘Yo, early on in the night, we gotta throw on ‘Across 110th Street.’ And I go, ‘What’s that? That sounds ill.’ And I listened, and I was like, ‘Oh shit! This is that real. That classic shit.’ And I had never heard [it]. Because you know, with everybody, you have holes in your classic repertoire. Then, I just went back and dug through all the old Bobby Womack, and I started listening to it.
“I love ‘Fact of Life’ because I love the old cats that do intros. I love when people talk on the record. And he’s got like a two minute intro on that song, where he just talks and talks, and then gets into it. It’s pretty dope.”
Previously: Heavy Rotation with Doley Bernays | Heavy Rotation with Black Dave | Heavy Rotation with Mistah F.A.B. (Bay Area Edition) | Heavy Rotation with Hannibal Buress | Heavy Rotation with Chuck Strangers | Heavy Rotation with Sean Price | Heavy Rotation with MTV’s Rob Markman