OG hip-hop leaders like KRS-One, Russell Simmons, and Jermaine Dupri believe veganism is straight up the path to enlightenment. They joined a consciousness movement I call the High Vibe Tribe — a subculture of emerging artists, leaders, and citizens dedicated to doing the right thing for the right reasons. Besides dropping bars about going green, their mic is committed to taking action. These 20 artists are the real MCs because they spit enlightenment and are changing the culture from slave foods to native foods.
KRS-One is the old school vegan! In 1990 he wrote a song called “Beef” talking about the ills of eating meat. The lyrics famously say, “It’s [meat] the number one drug on the street.” Beyond rap, KRS-One is the creator of The Temple of Hip Hop, which the UN recognizes for its work in non-violence and wellness.
2. Wu-Tang Clan
Ain’t nuttin’ to fuck wit! RZA is on some real shit these days, promoting raw food, plant-based diets, and animal free clothing for 36 Chambers. He has a PETA alliance and promotes Impossible Sliders at White Castle with Ghostface and GZA. He influenced GZA, Masta Killa, Method Man, Killah Priest, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon to drop meat. If you want a laugh, watch GZA and Ghostface Killah embark on an intergalactic journey in space to eat Impossible Sliders.
3. Russell Simmons
Russell became an OG vegan long before veganism was a trend. For him, it started with yoga and practicing ahimsa, or non-violence to others, the environment, and animals. Out of compassion, he decided to leave animals off his plate. He’s been a Happy Vegan for 17 years, and his book of the same name is a New York Times bestseller.
4. Snoop Dogg
Snoop started to eat his greens after he saw how hot dogs are made on Jimmy Kimmel. He said, “Every time I see a motherfucker at a barbecue with a plate with a hot dog on it, I’m knockin’ that shit out his hands.” He’s a big ambassador for Beyond Meat, raves about Beyond Fried Chicken at KFC, and is a customer at Slutty Vegans.
5. Jermaine Dupri
Jermaine jumped on a plant-based diet after he did a master juice cleanse that left him revitalized. He wasn’t about to give up his newfound energy, so he went vegan cold turkey. Today, PETA and Jermaine encourage us to “Feel the Beats. Lose the Meats. Go Vegan.” He’s also a business mogul investing in veggie based companies left and right. His latest venture is co-ownership of Slush Naturals Company.
6. Erykah Badu
Erykah is the ultimate hip hop wellness guru. She went vegetarian in 1989 and vegan in 1997 and never looked back. She appeared in the famous documentary “Holistic Wellness for the Hip-Hop Generation with Common,” where she advocated for holistic approaches to health, including veganism. She backs Queen Afua’s products and continually works with Supa Nova Slom and Method Man to spread the black vegan movement.
Will.i.am started his vegan journey to improve his cholesterol. Since switching, he’s been a big advocate for veganism, animal rights, and food justice on his social media hashtag #vegang. He loves cooking, and his black-eyed pea taco recipe and vegan chocolate coconut date bars are big hits on This Morning and Channel 4 Cooking.
After winning Rap Single of the Year at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards for “Who Dat,” Solé became disenchanted with the industry and let go of her record label. She embarked on a spiritual journey that transformed her into a plant-based nutritionist and spiritual hip hop artist. After a 20 year hiatus, Solé is back to rhyming. “Pranayama” is straight up lyrical nutrition, playing on themes of yoga, presence, consciousness, and enlightenment.
9. Stic of Dead Prez
Stic is famous for his banger “Hip Hop” with Dead Prez. He’s also known as a “holistic healer in the hood” for his work with Hip Hop is Green. The organization indoctrinates health and wellness as Hip Hop’s 10th Commandment and frequently serves vegan meals to poor families in the streets. He also produced an album for the organization with big names like Nas, Busta Rhymes, Snoop, M1, and Solé appearing on the tracks.
10. Supa Nova Slom
Busta Rhymes coined Supa as “hip hop’s medicine man” because he would take shots of chlorophyll before shows. Supa credits his mom, Queen Afua, with going vegan as a kid. She inspired him to write music for the film “Wholistic Wellness for the Hip Hop Generation” and health conscious raps like “Sugar Crack.” He’s the youngest black hip hop artist to launch a vegan supplement line, Supa Mega Foods, with his book The Remedy.
11. LOX — Styles P & Jadakiss
After Styles P was incarcerated in 2003, he looked for ways to control his temper, including diet management. When he got out, he went completely vegan and founded Juices For Life with Jadakiss. The chain is located in the Bronx, Yonkers, and Brooklyn. He believes, “If the community is eating right, it leads to bright ideas, betterment, and enlightenment.” He’s teamed up with PETA because, as a black man, he says he “relates to mistreated animals.”
In 2018, Ne-Yo’s tendonitis was so bad he couldn’t dance or rehearse. Down to try anything, Ne-Yo gave veganism a shot to reduce symptoms. Within two weeks, he said his tendonitis was gone, plus he dropped extra weight and his skin cleared up. He’s held onto the lifestyle ever since.
13. AshEL SeaSunZ
AshEL is the founder of Earth Amplified, a rap group dedicated to dropping bars about food justice and corporate vultures that keep people sick and harm the environment. He tours with big names like Bassnectar, Erykah Badu, and Damian Marley to spread his message. He’s a member of Hip Hop is Green where he feeds vegan meals to poor youth. His company, Urban Farmacy, works to build vertical urban farms in the hood. He’s also the co-founder of United Roots, a green youth center for underserved kids in Oakland.
At a young age, Sa-Roc linked diet to disease and decided to let go of animal products forever. Later in her rap career, the lack of food education in her hood made her want to take action. She’s working with Stic in Hip Hop is Green movement to spread awareness to the importance of veganism. She believes it’s important for hip hop to heal their communities and the world through music and education.
In 2016, YG went vegan. In an interview with The Breakfast Club, he explained he was noticing the people around him getting sick with cancer and dying. He linked processed foods to illness and made a choice to embrace a vegan diet. In honor of his close vegan friend Nipsey Hussle, YG donated half of “4Real 4Real” proceeds to Nipsey’s family.
16. A$AP Rocky
A$AP was pescetarian in 2012 and went vegetarian in 2015 after he learned about the horrors of the poultry industry. “Those chickens go through fucking torture before they’re processed and shit.” However, in 2019, his release “Babushka Boi” revealed he went completely vegan.
17. Grey Matter
Famous for his Vegan Thanksgiving rap, Grey Matter told Vegan Life he went vegan in 2016 because his vegan girlfriend would whip up crazy good plant-based dishes. He said, “You mean to tell me this isn’t meat, it’s healthier for me, and it’s easy to make? Sign me up.”
18. Joey Purp
The young “SAVEMONEY” rapper would rather start a vegan food truck over signing a record label. He was a vegetarian for seven years before he turned vegan a couple of years ago. He says, “My entire body feels more energetic.”
19. DJ Cavem Moetavation
DJ Cavem is a self-titled “OG — Organic Gardener.” As a rapper and “ghetto gourmet vegan chef,” he founded a movement called the Going Green Living Bling movement. He envisions “a hood without food deserts, liquor stores, and fast food joints.” Listen to him spit on “Sprout That Life,” his documentary “From Gangs to Gardens,” or his TED Talk “Marketing Environmental Hip Hop and Culinary Wellness.” You’ll see his movement is all about consciousness. In 2014, he received a Grammy nomination for Best Music Educator.
20. TK the Artist
Young rapper TK the Artist is using music as a medium to spread veganism to a younger generation. He became vegan as a kid and was constantly bullied. Inspired by his struggle, he decided to use rap to make veganism cool to young black kids. His latest album, “Chewicide,” is all about breaking stereotypes of conscious music, defending animal rights, and praising plant-based people.
Even if rappers aren’t vegan, there are tons of artists that are still apart of the High Vibe Tribe for supporting the movement.
- Nipsey Hussle (R.I.P.)
- Lil B
- Queen Latifah
- Andre 3000
- DJ Khaled
- Dr. Dre
- Busta Rhymes
The hip hop community is making a huge impact deeper than veganism — they’re fighting for food justice. What it ultimately comes down to is making delicious plant-based food available to everybody. As meatless options become more low cost and hip hop backs the industry, making the switch will be a no-brainer. I predict veganism will continue to be popularized by artists until it’s normalized in the hip hop community.
I’ve been a vegetarian for years, but now I’m making plant-based vegan meals at home. I hope these rappers inspired you to give veganism a shot. Try one of these three things and see how you like it:
- Try out some of my vegetarian recipes.
- Download Happy Cow and go to a vegan restaurant.
- Have vegan meals delivered to your door with Sun Basket.
I have to know how you like eating vegan! Drop me a message with your experiences, tips, and recipes. I’m open to all of it.