Hip Hop & Health

Call it "Gangsta Wrap." Veggie wrap, that is.

Hip hop heavy-hitters Method Man (Clifford Smith) and Redman (Reggie Noble) have gone vegetarian, following the lead of their bandmate, GZA (Gary Grice), who's been a raw foodie for years.

WutangThe rappers—members of the popular group Wu-Tang Clan—are on a mission to bring a much-needed nutrition perspective into the hip hop scene, a world not exactly known for its emphasis on healthy and stress-free living.

The Wu-Tangers are among the latest wave of wizened hip hoppers to move from thug life to holistic living (must be something about hitting 40). Other vegetarian rappers include KRS-One, Jeru the Damaja, and hip hop granddaddy, Russell Simmons, who's also into transcendental meditation.

Meanwhile, gangsta rapper 50 Cent (Curtis James Jackson, III) has given new meaning to the term "B-boy," with his Street King line of vitamin B-based energy shots. Leveraging 50 Cent's popularity, Street King positions its products as a healthier, sugar-free alterative to other energy shots popular with young people.

The Street King products do contain caffeine, along with vitamin C, B12, niacin, folate, and E, but is free of sugar or stimulants. The company promises energy without the jitters or the crash.

"It's our mission with SK Energy to really change childrens' lives around the world," says 50 Cent. The company is donating a portion of all proceeds to the United Nations' World Food Program.

It may be a while before we start hearing rap songs about pot-luckin' instead of gang-bangin' but it seems that healthy diets and eco-conscious living are starting to take hold in the high-pressure world of hip-hop. There's even a website--veganhiphopmovement.blogspot.com--focused on vegetarian living, food justice, and of course, music.

Thanks to our friends at Earth Balance foods for bringing this story to our attention.

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