RZA Teams Up with Chipotle to Create Beats and Burritos. You Heard Me.

Chipotle has had a rough couple of years, what with all those stories of people getting ill after having a burrito tainted with…something. The company needed to change the narrative to turn the conversation about their ingredients positive. So who did they call? Wu-Tang Clan.

No, seriously. This is from Fast Company.

Chipotle hasn’t been shy about tapping the creative talents of prominent people in the past. They’ve published short stories by Jonathan Safron Foer and Toni Morrison on their packaging, and talked up their fresh ingredients with the help of Jeffrey Tambor and Jillian Bell (even as they’ve tiptoed around their struggles with food-borne illness). But translating burritos, tacos, and protein bowls to music is a tall order. Which is presumably why they tapped Wu-Tang overlord RZA to make it happen.

On a new interactive website called Savorwavs that the brand launched on Wednesday, the beats and the ingredients are fresh. Visitors assemble the lunch of their dreams, and each ingredient fleshes out the track the hungry customer lays down. Start with a base—which provides the primary beat—then flesh it out with up to two proteins (which carry the bulk of the melody), rice and/or beans for rhythm, and salsa, cheese, guacamole, or other toppings to truly customize the track.

If that sounds weird, well, each ingredient has its own distinct sound, roughly related to how bold each one is within the confines of a burrito. Lettuce or salad greens, for example, are just a couple of quickly-shaken maracas, while the crispy corn tortillas fairly announce their presence. Chicken and black beans will add a charismatic bassline and horns, and topping it off with cheese and sour cream adds some funky dairy to the mix.

Read the entire story here.

Okay, I’ll bite. I built my traditional carnitas burrito.  Here’s where I started.

The next screen looks like this.

I chose a burrito with carnitas, cilantro-lime brown rice, black beans, red-chili salsa, sour cream, corn salsa, guacamole and cheese. Clicking “Wrap it up” takes me to a cooking/mixing screen and about 30 seconds later, I’m served up a psych-y kaleidescope screen soundtracked by a custom instrumental which wouldn’t sound out of place in a Tarantino movie.

Unfortunately, (a) I couldn’t find a way to share my mix with anyone; and (b) the two-for-one offer that comes with making a mix only seems to be good in the US. Dammit!

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37426 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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