Hamburger Helper is not just a meal anymore

‘Watch The Stove’ is a rap mixtape released by Hamburger Helper with five songs about the cuisine

Mason Schweizer, Staff Writer

On April Fool’s Day, Hamburger Helper—yes the cuisine that consists of adding hamburger to pasta and powdery scientific creation released a five-song rap mixtape titled “Watch The Stove.”


I initially dismissed the project as what was probably a lame and corny prank due to its release date. But this tape is no joke. It is phenomenal.


The name is an obvious ode to Jay Z and Kanye West’s 2011 joint album, “Watch The Throne,” and the album art even depicts a similar golden artwork. The main difference is that the large Hamburger Helper glove, known in the rap game as Lefty, is seen on this cover, dripping in gold paint.


General Mills didn’t enlist the help of any A-list talent for the project, but rather tabbed students from McNally Smith College in St. Paul, Minn. The common theme for all the songs was Hamburger Helper, of course.


But until you hear the brand mentioned, you have no idea that is what they’re talking about. In most hip-hop, references to cooking on the stove, whipping it up in the kitchen, or feeding the streets indicate success cooking up drugs and selling them. On “Watch The Stove,” these references are commonplace, but refer to Cheeseburger Mac rather than crack cocaine.


Lefty and his college buddies come out swinging on the first cut, “Feed The Streets.” The lyric “I just dumped out that whole packet, add the powder let it simmer, I was whippin’ whippin’ whippin’, should be done in 10 minutes,” sounds like a line straight from a Gucci Mane song, but don’t be fooled.


“Feed The Streets” has the best lyric on the project as well, “only want beef with the lean in it.” Prescription cough medicine, better known as lean, has been a staple of rap conversation for decades, and the clever connection had me laughing out loud on my first listen.


The second track, aptly titled “Hamburger Helper” continues where the intro left off, with another sizzling beat embedded with lyrics about sizzling beef, while “Crazy” features such a spot-on impersonation of iLoveMakonnen that I thought the “Tuesday” rapper himself lent a verse to the project.


“Food For Your Soul” sounds like the type of soul food delivered by 90s icons such as Common and Nas. It is also the only song that doesn’t mention Hamburger Helper.


The short tape ends with an auto-tuned ballad about a girl who is in love with Lefty, “In Love With The Glove.” “I don’t want no beef if it ain’t about this cheese,” is a witty double-entendre referencing two of Hamburger Helper’s three ingredients, while Lefty also is stating that he doesn’t want to be involved in drama unless it’s about that money.


While “Watch The Stove” is clearly made for laughs and entertainment, it does cast a bad light on the current state of mainstream rap today. Any of these songs could easily be mistaken for songs that blare on radio stations nationwide, even with the same “cookin’ with the wrist” references.


Though it does spotlight the state of the genre in a hilariously sad shadow, that is what makes “Watch The Stove” such a banger. We can only hope Lefty gets back in the studio to cook up more.