By Tamara Palmer
Food and music go together like frosting on cake. And Off the Grid’s legendary food truck festival wouldn’t be what it is without the beats that carry the night.
As one of the DJs for the last several seasons of Off The Grid : Fort Mason Center, I always like to begin my three-hour set by playing “All You Can Eat,” a rap song recorded by Fat Boys way back in 1985 that’s featured in the classic hip-hop movie Krush Groove. I often like to keep the food theme going in those exciting opening moments when you arrive and begin to figure out your eating strategies for the evening.
Press play on the mix below and keep reading to learn a little bit about the artists in my song selection.
Hungry-making tunes in honor of OTG:FMC’s big return on Friday.
Fat Boys — ”All You Can Eat”
I had to start with the aforementioned opening song you’ll always hear from me; my next appearance at OTG:FMC is on Apr. 8.
Harry Styles — “Watermelon Sugar”
I keep it clean for the kids at Fort Mason, but you don’t have to enlighten them on what some of these metaphors mean!
Snoop Dogg featuring E-40 — “Candy”
The Doggfather and the Bay Area’s own E-40 now form half of Mount Westmore with Ice Cube and Too $hort. The group will perform at Oakland Arena and Bottlerock in Napa this May.
112 — “Peaches and Cream” & Weird Al Yankovic — “I Love Rocky Road”
Two very different songs about ice cream sound great together. Weird Al definitely brings out the cheeky humor of the R&B hit that precedes it.
New Edition — “Candy Girl”
Almost 40 years after New Edition sang this bubblegum hit, they’re still slaying crowds with it. See them live if you can.
Katy Perry featuring Migos — “Bon Appetit” & Tyga featuring Quavo — Taste (CHILDSPLAY remix)
Here you also get a double dose of Quavo from the Migos via two songs I have enjoyed unleashing on the party at Fort Mason. Katy Perry and Tyga love their food themes.
Rice-A-Roni — “The San Francisco Treat”
I don’t know too many people in San Francisco who have actually tried a box of Rice-A-Roni, but the old TV jingle is too irresistible not to share.
Squeeze — “Black Coffee in Bed”
Thanks to heavy rotation of this song’s music video on MTV in 1982, Squeeze became a band that Americans could crush on at home. To me, they sound cafe au lait smooth in the mix even decades later.
Chaka Khan — “Sugar”
Taken from Chaka Khan’s super slept-on 2019 album Hello Happiness, this song is always a dancing hit with kids when I play it at Fort Mason and Chaka herself liked a video of them grooving to it!
Big Daddy Kane — ”Taste of Chocolate”
The Smooth Operator is perpetually ready to offer a “Taste of Chocolate,” one of his hits from 1990.
Destiny’s Child — “Apple Pie à la Mode”
While not a blockbuster hit for Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle in 2001, “Apple Pie à la Mode” still secured a place on the iconic Survivor album.
Anitta featuring Becky G — “Banana”
This dynamic duo’s saucy music video for 2019’s “Banana” has unpeeled more than 122 million views on YouTube.
69 Boyz — “Tootsie Roll”
When Florida’s 69 Boyz dropped this bass bomb in 1994, everyone was doing the corresponding Tootsie Roll dance. Let’s see who remembers it now!
Def Leppard — “Pour Some Sugar on Me”
No set about food is complete without this heavy metal classic from 1987, right?
Digital Underground — “Food Fight”
Oakland’s Digital Underground are best known for “The Humpty Dance,” but the band’s funky discography runs deep. “Food Fight” appears on the 1996 DU album Future Rhythm.
A Tribe Called Quest — “Ham N Eggs”
If you’ve never listened to A Tribe Called Quest, start with this song and the debut album, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990).
The JB’s — ”Pass the Peas”
A highly sampled song from 1972 still sets rhythmic standards decades later. You’ll hear fragments of this flipped in masterpieces by De La Soul, EPMD, Eric B & Rakim and other notable hip-hop artists.
Mtume — ”Juicy Fruit”
Hip-hop historians will recognize this song from 1983 as the original tune sampled by Notorious B.I.G. for his 1994 single “Juicy.” As Biggie would say: and if you don’t know, now you know!