Shane Delia tells us his favourite rap tracks ahead of Biggie Smalls’ opening in December

What does a chef like to listen to on his downtime? Shane Delia, head chef and owner of Maha, is a self-confessed rap and hip-hop tragic so you’ll most likely find him cruising to N.W.A, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac and fellow forefathers of gangster rap. Ahead of the opening of his Collingwood kebab shop Biggie Smalls, named after East Coast rapper Notorious B.I.G, we asked Delia to tell us his five favourite rap tracks, with some explanation on why these are his jam.

Notorious BIG: ‘Juicy’
“This is my all time go to track. A track that inspires me to push on, grounds me and reminds me of what I have been and who I need to become to active my dreams. I can relate to this story and it touches me every time I hear it.”

Wu Tang Clan: ‘C.R.E.A.M’
“I love the original sound of the Wu. Grimy, hard, violent, poetical and clever. Bangin’ beats and production. Raw and full of energy and heart – ‘Cash rules everything around me!‘. [The track has some of] the truest lyrics in rap and helps me keep perspective.”

Mob Deep: ‘Shook Ones Pt. 2’
“A real East Coast street sound. Raw, real and original. [Queens, New York duo] Mobb Deep’s infamous album is a classic that spits some killer raps.”

Snoop Dogg: ‘Gin and Juice’
“[I think] Doggy Style is definitely one of the best albums of all time! And picking just one track from this album is almost impossible. It’s a constant on my play list. But seriously, who hasn’t sung the iconic chorus, ‘Rollin’ down the street smokin’ indo, sippin on gin and juice’? It will also be a drink at Biggie Smalls, which is going to be a frozen cocktail that will change every couple of months.”

2Pac: ‘Old school’
“You can’t have a top five list without a track from 2Pac. One of the most influential rappers in history. This is the side of 2Pac I like to remember. Happy, fun, playful, full of love and passion. I love West Coast rap; even the iconic high pitched whiney West Coast sound makes me smile and think of good times. And that’s what Biggie Smalls is all about. Fun, good times, good food, friends and memories.”

Biggie Smalls is set to open in the first week of December for lunch and dinner service daily at 86 Smith Street, Collingwood. 

Words by Delima Shanti
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Originally posted on Time Out, 9 December, 2015