“It’s an opportunity to put hip hop inside of your body,” says creator Marcus Gray about his unique confections. “A chance to really think about what we are feeding our culture.”
That’s Gray’s take to the question, “What are hip-hop chocolates?” Inspired by the art and culture of hip hop, the Original Hip Hop Chocolates LLC company produces chocolate sculptures made in the shape of various symbols associated with hip hop. It’s provided Gray a way to cater specifically toward a unique culture, as well as spread the word about this oft misunderstood demographic.
As the world’s first candy company specializing in catering toward the luxury and pop/hip hop society, Original Hip Hop Chocolates has also become a functioning tool for actually understanding the culture better.
“Hip-hop culture is a belief system and Original Hip Hop Chocolates inspires a meditation on what hip-hop is and can be,” he says.” Eating is a very personal and sensual experience. Why not use that experience as a point of gratitude and reflection?”
The Original Hip Hop Chocolates began in 2008 as an art project. After wading through the initial response of amazement from everyone who encountered the specialty chocolates, Gray thought he may have something to share with the world.
He slowly began offering them at local events in Los Angeles. Later, hip-hop themed baby showers and weddings found him.
To date, Original Hip Hop Chocolates has developed the following novelty confections: chocolate turntable, turntable lollipops, chocolate shell-toe shoes, GraffitiCap Gummies, a dual-cassette boom box, and even a chocolate MPC2000 (a music production controller used in hip-hop music creation) amongst a host of other symbols from the culture.
“For those who know hip-hop culture and its inspirations, this sampler has been the hip-hop producers’ favorite vehicle for sculpting sound into the soul-panicked muse that has become one of the world’s most powerful influences,” asserts Gray.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
I think the smart answer would be a jar of molasses! It contains all the minerals and nutrients you’d need to survive. The fun answer would be raw cocoa.
What’s the last cool thing you saw online?
A video of a cute Pomeranian puppy dressed up like a witch — my girlfriend made me watch it.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A holy man — seriously. I wanted to heal the sick, feed the poor and share the secrets of the nature of reality for the betterment of humankind. I still do.
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
I’m concerned that there aren’t many truly healthy candy options for children.
What’s the last book you read?
The Emerald Tablets of Thoth by Dr. Doreal.
What is your pet peeve?
That I can’t get a loan for my business in this economy!
If given the chance to choose anyone, whom would you like to collaborate with?
Haribo or Marc Ecko.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
We are vibrational beings translating vibrations through our senses. Never let your translation of those vibrations keep you from creating your own vibrational impression on a situation or environment.
What excites you most about your job?
I get to make people smile while giving the hip-hop culture something to think about.