The late Anthony Bourdain was a great man that mapped out an impeccable legacy before his unfortunate suicide last Friday (June 8). The celebrity chef had several successful food and travel TV shows and books, and will easily go down as one of the most influential cuisine kings to expand beyond the culinary world. In 2013, he won a Peabody Award for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.”
The famed food connoisseur was also a world traveler who faithfully shared unfiltered, firsthand cultural experiences across the globe. The beauty of Parts Unknown was how accessible and approachable Bourdain came across, resulting in a universal love that was also shared by the Hip-Hop community.
In loving memory, we’ve assembled some of Bourdain’s most memorable Hip-Hop endeavors:
Slim Thug talks about his first encounter with Bourdain during an appearance on RapRadar.
Parts Unknown: The Bronx
In October of 2014, CNN aired an episode of Parts Unknown that focused on the Bronx, commonly referred to as the birthplace of Hip-Hop, featuring interviews from Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Melle Mel, Futura 2000, and Desus. He also comments on the rich cultural history of the borough, especially the significance of rap today.
Parts Unknown: Chicago
Bourdain’s “Chicago” episode features a number of guest appearances, including one from Lupe Fiasco and his mother, Shirley. As the group eats in Shirley’s home, both Lupe and his mom talk about the violence that plagues Chicago while also speaking to what makes the city so great.
“It’s a beautiful place. It’s a genuinely beautiful place. You have to redefine what beauty is to you,” Lupe explains. “When you go to different neighborhoods and it’s really bad. And even in that, there’s still a beauty in the people.”
Parts Unknown: Houston
With Slim Thug as his guide, Bourdain learns about what’s needed to create a slab car and how each one comes with its own distinct personality.
“L.A. may have low riders, but Houston has a slab — its own car culture with its own accompanying sound, its own chopped and screwed hip-hop style,” Bourdain says as scenes of renovated cars are shown. Depending on who you ask, the slab has different meanings, such as “Slow, low and bangin’” or “Slow, loud and bangin’.” Even though the acronym’s meaning differs, there’s no denying its ties to Houston rap culture, which is heavily highlighted in this episode of Parts Unknown.
Rest well, king. Our prayers are currently with the Bourdain family, as well as anyone currently going through severe depression.