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.
As campaigns go, this is a silly one: It has very little to do with food, anyway, although it’s exciting to learn how sofritas sound to the RZA (it’s a passionately plucked guitar). It’s fun, though, as a lark, to goof off and pretend to be the RZA for a few minutes in the afternoon. And if doing that makes us think about Chipotle ingredients while we’re on the job, well, that’s probably the mark of a successful collaboration for the brand.