Make 'Em Say "Eww": My First Experience With Rap Noodles.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear.
This blog will never, ever, EVER make room for slander against Percy Miller aka Master P. The New Orleans based rapper, entertainer, and businessman has been my imaginary mentor for as long as I can remember. While he might not have the widespread appeal as his New York contemporaries, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and Sean “Diddy” Combs, his exploits are nothing to sneeze at. As such, I will forever praise Master P.
I could write a book about all of the business ventures that P has a hand in, but to be honest, the main business deal he is best known for was his 1996 agreement with Priority Records. Instead of signing directly to Priority, which was par for the course in those days, he asked for a distribution deal. The contract they signed stipulated that No Limit Records would retain 100% ownership of their master recordings while also keeping 85% of their record's sales. For their efforts, Priority would earn 15% for album pressing and distribution. This would be a magical agreement for any musical artist but was literally unheard of in the rap world.
And while I continue to praise P for everything he has accomplished, not to mention the work he’s doing now within the food industry, even the Mighty fall sometimes. Enter Rap Snacks ® “ICON Ramen Noodles”.
No need to bury the lede here, these noodles were trash.
I was sent a Rap Snacks care package a few months ago (shoutout to my homie Virgil). In it, there were a couple bags of the, now famous, Rap Snacks potato chips (including the hard-for-me-to-find Slutty Vegan version) as well as a few cups of ramen. The chips were serviceable, meaning they did their intended job. Acting as a medium on which to transport interesting flavors via thinly sliced pieces of potato. But nothing I’d want to write an entire blog post about, unless it was a sponsored post [wink, wink Rap Snacks].
The chips were cool but my taste buds were excited for the opportunity to finally try these noods! I had seen so many videos and pictures on the internet, I couldn’t hardly wait for my turn to bask in the glow of Master P’s genius. Of the flavors I received, I decided to stick with the first flavor I ever saw, the one that got me hyped up to try these ramen noodles in the first place: Creamy Chicken Gumbo.
Not wanting to consume the entire box in one sitting (which, in hindsight, would have made for a very interesting YouTube video), I waited a few weeks before giving it a go. Having 30 minutes to kill while at work, a luxury given that I work in Public Education, I ran to the workroom and eagerly peeled back the plastic seal of the package adorned with Master P’s confident face staring back at me.
First red flag.
The package says to peel the top back halfway and pour water up to the fill line. Simple enough. The only problem is I COULDN’T SEE THE FILL LINE! I mean, I turned that cup all around looking for that blasted line but for the life of me, I just couldn’t find it. I mean, there was an embossed line on the inside of the cup but it was very faint and hard to notice so, at the time, I couldn’t tell if that was the fill line or if my mind was playing tricks on me. And because the idea of handing my cup to someone else to see if they could identify the fill line was absolutely off the table (see: COVID-19), I just shrugged my shoulders and filled the cup with what I assumed was the right amount of water. I pressed “3”, “0”, “0” on the microwave and waited for the ding.
The package also said that I should let the noods sit for a minute before indulging, an almost unbearable task given how long I had already waited to try these. But, like a good No Limit Soldier, I did as asked and waited the requested 60 seconds. I should add, I even brought chopsticks for the occasion; I really wanted to have a full ramen experience!
So, aight, I pulled off the top, stuck my sticks in and got to stirring.
Second red flag.
The package clearly said “CREAMY” yet my noodles were far from it. I mean, my noodles were definitely wet because of the aforementioned water but the ramen lacked the creamy consistency I was promised. That sucked.
As for the noodles themselves...and this really pains me to say this...they weren’t good. I mean, the body of the noodle was as I expected. As a college graduate, who spent many broke nights nuking instant ramen noodles, I know a good noodle when I see it. And from a structural standpoint, these made the grade. Unfortunately, that’s where all the praise ends. Besides the lack of creaminess, the flavor just wasn’t hitting on anything. It tasted like chicken...kind of. It was more chicken adjacent than the full on artificial chicken flavoring you get from other brands. Which, while they don’t exactly taste like chicken at least those brands had good flavor. The Rap Snacks joints were just...blah.
To be frank, I expected so much more from the self proclaimed “...Colonel of this muthafuckin’ tank”. I was looking for these to be the best instant ramen this side of Japan, based on P’s track record of success in other areas! But admittedly, that’s the fanboy in me. Even the greatest among us will have a steep learning curve when tackling a new adventure. In reality, to EXPECT greatness from his first foray into ramen noodle water was silly of me.
Even Michael Jordan sucked at baseball.
Maybe the instant noodles in the paper cup isn’t the way to go. The seasoning wasn’t on point and I think this is something that can be improved provide they go the “ramen noodle brick” route. Like the Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup joints that come in the plastic packages. Those come with seasoning packets that contain WAY more flavor. They also contain way more sodium but if you’re eating these, you probably aren’t too concerned with its nutritional value in the first place.
Also, for goodness sake, PLEASE FIND SOME CREAM FOR THIS CREAMY CHICKEN GUMBO! I’m sure that the stuff used to turn a powdery substance into a creamy broth is probably made from some dangerous combination of sea salt, rubber tire shavings, baby seal skin, and dehydrated egg whites but whatever. If you promise me cream, I wants my cream! I don’t care what needs to be done in order to make it happen!
Listen. I have UNWAVERING faith in Percy Miller. So, if it’s a priority to him, I’m sure he’ll do whatever is needed to improve the product. But as it stands, I can’t recommend these at this particular time. However, I’ll be first in line when they create a new and improved formula!
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