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A History of Rap's Love For Fatburger

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Lots of love between the two.

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There’s always been a lot of love between Fatburger and rap. Both were largely born from predominantly African American communities, and have risen to become, in many ways, standard-bearers in their respective industries. Rap, jazz and R&B play on heavy rotation at any Fatburger you’re likely to find, and over the decades musicians and rap stars have come to not only publicly discuss their love of the franchise, but buy in themselves.

Two of the most notable examples of Fatburger lyrical love come from none other than Ice Cube and Notorious B.I.G. In Cube’s iconic It Was A Good Day, he raps "No helicopter lookin’ for a murder / Two in the mornin’, got the Fatburger / Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp / And it read, Ice Cube’s a Pimp."

Biggie Smalls, for his part, couldn’t deny the allure of the burger when putting together his West Coast party anthem Goin’ Back to Cali, where he, uh, takes a date to a Fatburger. And neither could Tupac, who on Late Night reps Fatburger as his post-club spot of choice.

(Fatburger on La Cienega / 3rd St. Photo by Chris Yarzab)

Rap and Fatburger have also coexisted for years on the franchise side of things. Bay Area legend E-40 was an early believer, snatching up Northern California franchise agreements and rolling out several restaurants in and around San Francisco through the early 2000’s. The same is true for Kanye West, who for a time had plans to open ten franchise locations in and around Chicago. A few years in and with only two location to show for it, Yeezus dumped the agreement altogether. Even Pharrell is in the mix, bringing the American brand to China nearly a decade ago.

Even Atlanta-born rapper T.I. is a Fatburger fan, though less so of boxer Floyd Mayweather (though the latter is apparently a big fan). The two got into some heavy beef at a Las Vegas Fatburger location on the Strip last year, resulting in a lot of thrown chairs.

Today, the brand is as popular as ever, and growing its international fanbase. There are multiple Middle Eastern and Chinese franchise locations, with more being added constantly. People must really be into the XXL burger, which at 24 ounces is among the biggest fast food burgers you can casually order.


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