Because food brings us all together, Yahoo Life is serving up a plate full of table chat with people who are passionate about what’s on their menu in Glazeda series about food.
Rapper Yung Gravy has written songs about everything from making money to his appreciation of older women, but it was a song about media mogul Martha Stewart that landed him a string of dates with the famous octogenarian.
“I composed a song about her and then a few months later, I got a phone call,” Gravy, born Matthew Hauri, tells Yahoo Life. “Someone from her team showed it to her and she really liked my songs. We set up the whole campaign for her new line of frozen products. That’s when we first met, but then we ended up meeting a few times. I took her once on an appointment in New York City.”
Gravy later brought Stewart as his guest to a Bat Mitzvah, which fell on the same day as the Kentucky Derby. “The day of [the Bat Mitzvah], some friends and I went to his house,” Gravy says. “He made us mint juleps and we watched the Kentucky Derby and he made us guacamole. It was amazing.”
Also on gravy’s list for a dream date? Modern family protagonist Sofia Vergara. “She’s like the one who ran away,” she says. “She’s married, but she’s the woman of my dreams. I’m trying to think of anyone else who might hear this and reach out to me, but I’ll stay with Sofía until she folds.”
But it’s not just women who find their way into Gravy’s rap lyrics. The 26-year-old has become known for incorporating cooking into his songs. From proclaiming “all the mommas love me, now I think I’m peanut brittle” to boasting “you’ve got your bitch in the kitchen cooking pork chops,” food and rap go hand-in-hand in the world of gravy
“There are a lot of metaphors you can make between hip-hop and food,” she says. “Only from the beginning [of my career] I wanted to be different, and that was something that set me apart.”
But despite her lyrics, her appreciation of food doesn’t always have to involve a hard-working woman in the kitchen. “It could be whoever’s cooking. It could be me,” she says. “I want to get to the point where I’m good enough at cooking to cook for my girlfriend, but I have to find something really stylish [in my repertoire], like perhaps a well-done churrasco (grilled meat) with chimichurri (a parsley-based sauce) and some platanos (fried plantains). This is what I want, to learn how to cook for my girlfriend.”
Gravy’s father was born in Switzerland, to which he credits the dish he knows how to prepare best: fondue. “As far as food goes, cheese fondue is the thing I’m by far the best at cooking,” says Gravy. “Can I cook a decent taco and maybe other normal things except fondue? I can do it better than a restaurant. My dad has a recipe for his dad that is written on this piece of paper in my house: a secret family recipe”.
Gravy grew up in Minnesota, where he says there are many foods worth craving. “Cheese curds: a lot of people don’t know what they are if they come to visit,” he says. “In Minnesota specifically, you have tater tot hotdish (a tater tot-based casserole with ingredients like mushroom soup and ground beef) and a Juicy Lucy, which is a hamburger with cheese inside.”
Before recording hits like “Mr. Clean” and “Betty (Get Money),” Gravy was in the food business. “A friend and I started this company together called Pizza Roller where we bought this electric vehicle — like a souped-up golf cart that was basically street legal — and we bought this big metal heater that we plugged into the back and put in the lights and speakers,” he says. “We’d basically pay students to drive it around every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 3am and sell pizza by the slice to all the drunk kids.”
“We made a lot of money on this,” he continues. “Everyone knew about the Pizza Roller because they heard the rap music coming and they saw the lights. We used to go to a bunch of people waiting in line for the bar and you could sell them pizza for four dollars a slice. That was one of my first business ventures .”
Today, Gravy has partnered with a different kind of restaurant, Jimmy John’s, to create a special red velvet cookie for Valentine’s Day AND a commercial featuring some of his favorite people: older women. “Milfs are basically my thing,” says Gravy. “I kind of redefined MILF from its previous meaning (mother I’d like to fuck) to mean ‘mother I’d like to feed’ to encourage everyone to come and try Jimmy John’s new red velvet cookie. They may have one for the MILF in their life.”
In a video series that parodies dating reality shows, Gravy chooses who will get a red velvet cookie in a mock show called MILFs and Cookies. But what’s the order of gravy for Jimmy John? “I almost always get the Spicy East Coast Italian with some hot peppers or get the Country Club and add avocado and pickles,” he says. “I love the pickles there. I always get a pickle on the side and jalapeño chips, but I don’t get a soda because I’m a healthy guy.”
Healthy or not, Gravy says there’s one staple that’s always on the pilot when he’s performing: cereal. “I still eat cereal all the time as an adult,” he says. “I have it on my pilot at concerts – cereal and milk. It’s just a classic.”
But what’s her favorite food to pour some… gravy on? “Mashed potatoes,” she says. “Not the most exciting answer, but I like mashed potatoes with gravy on top, and I like biscuits and gravy, too.”
“I’m not much more of a gravy guy than anyone else,” she says of her stage name. “It’s more colloquial for the meaning of gravy, like, ‘it’s all gravy.’ I often said ‘it’s all gravy'”.
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