Why Rappers Love Grey Poupon (And Other Foods)
Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon? According to Vox producer Estelle Caswell, if you're looking for a serving of the iconic brand of Dijon mustard, just turn on the radio.
"Grey Poupon is everywhere," Caswell says in her latest video. She counts nearly 120 references in popular rap lyrics spanning three decades—from artists including Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Kanye West, and Das EFX—where Poupon is often rhymed with words such as coupon, neutron, crouton, and futon.
The craze kicked off in the '80s, when the mustard's now-legendary commercial debuted with its "Pardon me" catchphrase that's since become inextricably linked to the brand.
"By the spring of 1992 this glass jar of bougie white wine mustard spread across the pop culture landscape and started one of the weirdest trends in hip-hop music," Caswell says. And since 2007, despite the fact that its early commercials no long air on television, mentions of the mustard in rap music have spiked exponentially—thanks in part to its social significance as a metaphor for refinement, and as a euphemism for, uh, sex.
Grey Poupon isn't the only food brand that's popular in rap lyrics. Benihana has had its fair share of call-outs, as have Red Lobster, and premium liquors such as Patron and Remy Martin. Then there's an entire catalog of rap songs about specific types of food.
Like fried chicken:
And ham and eggs: