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If you’re a child of hip-hop then you might be interested in your favorite rappers’ perspective on the culture, the music genre, their own legacy within hip-hop history. Raekwon, artfully known as “The Chef,” is one of hip-hop’s most prolific artists,  and a key member of the Wu-Tang universe. With just 30 years in the rap game, Raekwon has seen the culture go through a number of evolutions, including its reputation and how hip-hop is received—and is now making its mark in global marketing. In fact, the Staten Island-bred wordsmith locked down a partnership deal with DoorDash that places him front and center on Super Bowl Sunday. The campaign, aptly dubbed “We Get Groceries,” showcases “The Chef” in a supermarket getting groceries, along with “Dashers,” who shop and deliver an assortment of food items, highlighting the innovation the company has become largely known for. 

Raekwon was gracious enough to lend himself to MADAMENOIRE to discuss his latest venture, Wu-Tang America Saga, hip-hop at large and what’s next on the The Chef’s menu.

MADAMENOIRE: We’re super excited to have this conversation with you. I am a Wu-woman. I claim Wu. I’ve been tapping into Wu-Tang since 1993.

Raekwon “The Chef”: Wow.


I’m kind of curious. How does Raekwon partner with DoorDash for a Super Bowl ad? Like, how did that happen?

Well, you know, of course everybody knows me as The Chef. The connection came through my management company, Gold Point. So, I was just like, yeah, I’m down.

Not only just because of the partnership, but I’m a big DoorDash fan because these days I’m pretty much inside trying to get my thoughts together and everything like that. So, sometimes you want to get your food and get the right quality food, and it was just a perfect connection. They asked me was I interested, and I was like, absolutely. And before you know it, I’m on the set, and we’re actually working on this great project. So, everything just happened organically.


Can you tell me a little bit about the concept?

The concept was pretty basic. I’m inside a supermarket, and of course there’s regular civilians shopping. I just basically offered a helping hand with something. Next thing, you know, it was almost like she was blown away that it was me. Kind of felt a little bit like a Michael Jackson commercial.

It was dope. It was just smooth. All I had to do was continue to be myself and be The Chef. To be honest, I was really driven off the people that actually was working. The actors that they had there, they became all of a sudden, my coaches at the time of doing it. So, it was just a dope experience. It was like, he’s in a supermarket shopping, and The Chef is in there. It was very natural, fun and very organized, which I love.

Raekwon, Getting Groceries

Source: Courtesy of DoorDash / DoorDash

I’m glad it could be that for you. I want to pivot a little bit. I want to know Chef’s thoughts on Hip-Hop’s impact—on a collab going from DoorDash and intersecting with the Super Bowl. Hip-Hop has been a big part of these last several Super Bowls.

Hip-Hop is number one. It’s the biggest genre of music across the world, and we all know that. Us, as entertainers, we love sports, we love food. Everything becomes a lifestyle. So, me being able to have the opportunity to be involved with something that actually raised me, Hip-Hop, and see it here. It’s like it was always there. It just wasn’t exploited. It wasn’t ever exploited. Now that it becomes such a thing, where everybody loves the artists, they love the music that they’re hearing. You got to remember, music is motivation to the heart.

So everybody’s out there that’s doing something skillfully is listening to music. To see this collaboration come together, it’s almost like being inside of the refrigerator and knowing exactly the ingredients you have in there, that makes that dish. That makes that dish perfect for you to always go back to. DoorDash, we know them for food and deliveries and this and that. But to come and do something with The Chef who is looked at as a cook inside this restaurant of Hip-Hop, right? It was perfect. I grew up seeing this all the time, watching commercials and seeing new companies promoting their stuff, marketing their brands. So, to me, this is just evolution all over again.

Raekwon, The Chef

Source: Courtesy of DoorDash / DoorDash

Yeah, it’s part of the course. I agree with you. It’s a proud moment, right, for entities like DoorDash and Super Bowl to finally get on board. Like you said, [Hip-Hop] has been there. I’m glad they’re catching up to the moment and to the Wu-Tang model, if you will.

Wu-Tang is forever and has been forever. I want to talk about the global impact, particularly with the Wu-Tang American Saga coming to us through our TV screens, you know what I’m saying? That was crazy for me because even though I’ve never been in Wu-Spaces, but as a fan, the experience of watching it on-air—made feel like I was there. I was at the Tunnel. I was at shows. I know some of it is made for TV, but it was so real and so visceral for me. Then seeing you on Verzuz—coming into our homes again.



What does that feel like for you, though? That’s the experience I get as a fan. What did you get as a player in this—and watching people perform as you, as Shameik Moore has done. Then watching yourself on something like a Verzuz. What’s that feeling for you?

It’s called living out your dreams and just being excited to still be acknowledged. When you’re living out your dreams, it’s something about you that always wants to enlighten other people that it can happen for them as well. For me to be in the business for 30 years and still feel like it happened yesterday, it’s always going to be something that motivates me to want to be even more greater. If that makes sense.

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To see myself being portrayed on television by a young actor is dope. It’s like, wow, it’s a great feeling. I mean, it just shows that all the hard work and the places that we’ve been and the lambs we conquered and the music that we created that took hours and days and months and years to make—it all benefited. Now that generation that I actually came up with, they loved the music so much and they were chasing their dreams and goals that now it became a melting pot for all of us to just sit here and say, wow, we’re just being creative still.

To be a living legend and seeing myself on television, it just makes me go back to my vision board and say, I got to get this done now, I got to get that now. But, I don’t know what is going to happen. This motivation, man, it’s just deep motivation for me at this point.


Absolutely. I mean, you’re even on bookshelves. Listen, I was shopping at Target, I was at the register. I turned to the left of me and I’m like, oh, shit, let me cop this, too.

A lot of people never think that artists are so complex with a lot of things that they want to share with their fans. For us, it wasn’t always just about the music. It was about the lifestyle. It was about showing the world how important Hip-Hop is, and how it would transpire into so many different people across the world that today you got Fortune 500 companies, you got brands that now, they live it with us. Some of these companies, before it even got to the level, they were very kind of like against the wall with wanting to partner with things like this, like this culture.

So now things change. Now you’ve got new flesh and blood of businesspeople coming in and making things that isn’t traditional. Still kind of respecting it but upgrading it. Now you bring in new meat. You got to bring in new meat to come up and be creative with certain things that at the end of the day makes sense for this lifestyle that we all love. Anybody that’s a hard worker, sometimes you have those days where it’s like you’re working so hard, you could hear a song, and it could just eliminate that whole feeling of working hard.


Listen, “Triumph” is my anthem. You hear me? That’s my anthem.

That’s a Friday morning. Get ready to break stuff.


When you talk about new meat, fresh meat, I was thinking about DoorDash having a new mode to bring the meat, like literally bringing it to my door, bringing it to the Super Bowl, to that platform. I want to thank you, too, for just being so open with us as an artist, because a lot of artists are closed and not as forthcoming in showing us that lifestyle.

I know that you got some stuff on the table for this year.

I got a big menu ready for you.


Run it down for me. What does 2023 look like for The Chef?

Well, this 2023 may probably be one of the best years of my career because I’ve been working on not only music, but also working on the film that I codirected with some other directors. It’s about the legendary album that everybody loves from me, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Now you get to see a documentary about an album that was so special to the culture. It is just something about the time that music was at a rate where everybody was just involved. And everybody was being creative. Whether you were an artist, whether you were just somebody that was motivated, the ’90s did something for us.


It was crazy.

Club life. The radio was playing music every day that we all love. You had some of our fans out there that had real big dreams, and he was going for them. I want to be this, I want to be an engineer. You want to do this? I’m starting this company. I’m working on filming videos, filming videos, all of that stuff. So, to me, this album reflects that energy at that time. So, I sat back and really took my time making this documentary for my fans. The good thing about it is that of course, the Wu is involved with it. I got 65 to 70 other influential friends that’s involved. That is just going to blow people away. I may be going a little bit extra with saying 65. But I know for a fact it’s more than 50.

You really don’t get a chance to see that many people in the documentary talking about a great album. So that was fun to me, though. But between the documentary and knowing that I got new music coming out and a big tour with my brothers, again, that’s supposedly where it needs to be.

I’m happy. I just want to get out there and just be great and be a role model to those that are role models to me. I never want to be comfortable. You can’t keep something in the refrigerator for so long and don’t think it ain’t going to spoil. You still got to go back in and check it, and make sure everything is good. That’s how I look at my career.


I love to see it because really, who thought Hip-Hop could take it this far?



It was great talking to you. I was one of those people who was definitely inspired and it’s just a blessing to be able to have this conversation with you and I look forward to more.

No, it’s dope sister. Just thank you. Like I said, this partnership with myself and DoorDash is just going to blow people’s minds and give them a good laugh. To see it on a Super Bowl platform is beautiful. Yes, Hip-Hop is everywhere.

Shout out Roc Nation for their contributions to convincing these networks and these franchises and sports that Hip-Hop is where it’s at. Look at your athletes. They breathe this, they live this. This is a moment that they get to say, I’m somebody even more now. I’m just excited that I was able to partner with a great company. Because trust me, I’ve been a fan of DoorDash and I know a lot of people that say, it’s very convenient.


Just last night, DoorDash got my $50 for some chicken and broccoli. Okay!

Look, the protein and the vegetables. You know, we the artists that mention food every time.


Right? Big ups to DoorDash. Big ups to you!  Groceries and The chef.

There you go, there you go. You got it.

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