Yung Gravy shares what it was like having Martha Stewart host him: 'She made us mint juleps … and guacamole'
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Rapper Yung Gravy has written songs about everything from making money to his appreciation for older women, but it was a song about media mogul Martha Stewart that landed him a series of dates with the famous octogenarian.
"I made a song about her and then, a few months later I got a call," Gravy, born Matthew Hauri, tells Yahoo Life. "Someone on her team showed it to her and she really liked my songs. We set up this whole campaign for her new line of frozen products. That was when we first met, but then we ended up meeting up a few times. I took her on a date in New York City one time."
Gravy later took Stewart along as his guest to a Bat Mitzvah, which happened to fall on the same day as the Kentucky Derby. "The day of [the Bat Mitzvah], myself and a few friends went over to her house," says Gravy. "She made us mint juleps and we watched the Kentucky Derby and she made us guacamole. It was amazing."
Also on Gravy's list for a dream date? Modern Family star Sofía Vergara. "She's like the one that got away," he says. "She's married, but she's my dream woman. I'm trying to think of someone else who might hear this and reach out, but I'm gonna stick with Sofía until she folds."
But it's not just women who find their way into Gravy's rap lyrics. The 26-year-old has become famous for incorporating cuisine into his songs. From proclaiming "all the mamas love me, now I think I'm peanut brittle" to bragging "got your bitch in the kitchen cooking up the pork chops," food and rap go hand-in-hand in Gravy's world
"There are a lot of metaphors you can make between hip-hop and food," he says. "Just from the start [of my career] I wanted to be different, and that was something that set me apart."
But despite his lyrics, his appreciation for food doesn't always have to involve a woman working hard in the kitchen. "It could be anyone cooking. It could be me," he says. "I want to get to the point where I'm good enough at cooking that I'm cooking for my girl, but I have to get something real fancy [in my repertoire], like maybe a well done churrasco (grilled meat) with chimichurri (a parsley-based sauce) and some platanos (fried plantains). That's what I want, to learn to cook for my girl."
Gravy's father was born in Switzerland, something he credits with the dish he's best at preparing: fondue. "Food-wise, cheese fondue is the thing that I'm the best at cooking by far," says Gravy. "I can cook a decent taco and maybe other average things but fondue? I can make it better than a restaurant. My dad has a recipe from his dad that's written down on this piece of paper in my house — a secret family recipe."
Gravy grew up in Minnesota, where he says there are plenty of crave-worthy foods. "Cheese curds — a lot of people don't know what those are if they come visit," he says. "In Minnesota specifically, you've got tater tot hotdish (a tater tot-based casserole with ingredients like mushroom soup and ground beef) and a Juicy Lucy, which is a burger with cheese on the inside."
Before recording hits like "Mr. Clean" and "Betty (Get Money)," Gravy was in the food business. "A friend and I started this company together called the Pizza Roller where we bought this electric vehicle — like a souped-up golf cart basically that was street legal — and we bought this big metal heater thing we attached to the back of it and put in lights and speakers," he says. "Basically we would pay students to drive it around every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from like 10 p.m. to like 3 a.m. and sell pizza by the slice to all the drunk kids."
"We made a lot of money on that," he continues. "Everyone knew the Pizza Roller because they'd hear rap music approaching and see the lights. We'd go up to a bunch of people waiting in line for the bar and you could sell them pizza at four bucks a slice. That was one of my first business ventures."
Today, Gravy has partnered with a different type of restaurant — Jimmy John's — to create both a special red velvet cookie for Valentine's Day and a commercial starring some of his favorite people: older women. "Basically MILFs are my thing," says Gravy. "I sort of redefined MILF from its prior meaning (mother I'd like to f***) to mean 'mother I'd like to feed' to encourage everyone to come try Jimmy John's new red velvet cookie. They can get one for the MILF in their life."
In a series of videos that parody reality dating shows, Gravy chooses who will receive a red velvet cookie on a pretend show called MILFs and Cookies. But what is Gravy's go-to Jimmy John's order? "I almost always will get either the Spicy East Coast Italian with some hot peppers or I'll get the Country Club and add avocado and pickles," he says. "I love the pickles there. I'll always get a pickle on the side and jalapeño chips, but I don't get a soda because I'm a healthy boy."
Healthy or not, Gravy says there's one food that's always on the rider when he performs: cereal. "I still eat cereal all the time as a grown man," he says. "I have it on my rider at concerts — cereal and milk. It's just a classic."
But what's his favorite food to pour some ... gravy on? "Mashed potatoes," he says. "It's not the most exciting answer, but I like mashed potatoes with gravy on them and I also like biscuits and gravy."
"I'm not that much more of a gravy guy than anyone else," he says of his stage name. "It's more like colloquial for the meaning of gravy, like, 'it's all gravy.' I used to say, 'it's all gravy' a lot."
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