Memorial Day isn't just a day to honor American servicemembers, it's also a day when barbecues everywhere get fired up and each hamburger patty laid sizzling down atop the grate announces the start of summer. Open a window Monday and guaranteed you will smell something delicious cooking. Complex spoke with four different rappers—Raekwon, Sean Price, Heems (of Das Racist), and Red Cafe—about what their cookout cannot go without.
"Cookouts, man, they're all about the family and the friends, about celebrating your family and your friends. I remember back when I was younger, we used to have cookouts and the older cats would play Marvin Gaye and the Whispers, maybe a drunk uncle would be trying to give a little liquor to some of the kids. We'd be cooking chicken, some burnt dogs, you know? Burnt dogs, man. But cookouts, they're about family."
"I absolutely do nothing on Memorial Day. I respect veterans, but I have no veterans in my family. We’re a bunch of draft dodgers. But at a cookout, I like to eat chicken, some steaks, some shrimp. My fam makes these fucking awesome shrimp kebabs. But I never cook—unless you want me to kill the family. My wife, she handles most of that."
"Every Memorial Day for the last, maybe, eight years, I’ve gone to Miami. I’ve been to Cancun a couple times, but usually Miami—the energy is great there. My recipe for Memorial Day is you have to get an apartment, preferably a bachelor pad with balcony. Or a house with a backyard. You need some cool friends that won’t come empty handed. Probably a Red Cafe CD [laughs]. And then you want chicken and shrimp kebabs. I get on the grill, cause you have to make sure the food tastes good.
Heems (of Das Racist):
"Kebabs, baby. All day. Tandoori chicken tikkas at Roni's house in Queens Village. Leh go."