Chocolate Cities

Re-Launch of Parliament's Chocolate City


Chocolate Cities

Article and Photography by Dan Resnick, founder of The Feedfeed and Colleen Vincent from Black Food Folks and The James Beard Foundation

Video by Laura Newman

Dan Resnick:

A lot of people ask us where Feedfeed is going in the next couple of years.  What started as a hashtag for people to share what they cook, bake and drink on Instagram, has developed into the world’s largest crowdsourced publication, a media and experiential company, with diverse and interesting products like applications on Google Voice and Alexa, print magazines, as well as numerous offerings for brands we align with.  Ultimately, our goals boil down to a desire to build community and give people an opportunity to engage with meaningful content and meet other creative people on social media and in real life.  Sure, we started in food, and food will always be the core of what we do, but ultimately, when we all break bread, food is just what oils the wheels for deeper conversations on all topics, and that intersection between food, music, culture, etc. is what we find really interesting as we continue to build a community that inspires us every day.

When Urban Legends / Universal Music Group approached us to collaborate on a conversation around the re-release of Parliament’s Chocolate City, we jumped at the opportunity to connect food and music in a creative way.  To honor Parliament’s Chocolate City re-release, we brought on African American culinary superstars, Chef Roblé Ali and Jerrelle Guy to serve as co-hosts on a Feedfeed TV Production at Feedfeed Brooklyn.  We filmed their creation of some stunning Chocolate City-inspired desserts, all while exploring some of the legendary album’s complex themes including the African diaspora and chocolate cities, the album’s influence on current music and their own music tastes, as well as music’s role in elevating the cooking/dining experience.  Joining the conversation with Roblé Ali and Jerrelle Guy was Colleen Vincent of Black Food Folks and The James Beard Foundation, bringing her own vantage point of growing up in Brooklyn, her own chocolate city.

“There's a lot of chocolate cities, around
We've got Newark, we've got Gary
Somebody told me we got L.A
And we're working on Atlanta…
But you're the capital, CC”  (lyrics from Parliament’s Chocolate City)


Colleen Vincent:

Growing up in Brooklyn was a revelation of all the different flavor notes found in chocolate. 
Chocolate City was a funky war cry in 1975.  To be unabashedly, unapologetically Black was, and still is a bold concept, so celebrating the “conquering” of a city, especially the capital of the United States of America, was audacious.  Black majorities in American cities looked like the fulfillment of the Civil Rights dreams and the Black Power Movements of the sixties and seventies. 

“Tell em to make sure they got their James Brown pass
And don't be surprised if Ali is in the White House
Reverend Ike, Secretary of the Treasure
Richard Pryor, Minister of Education
Stevie Wonder, Secretary of Fine Arts
and Miss Aretha Franklin, First Lady”

Parliament imagined the coolest Cabinet that has never existed.  It was unbelievable at the time, but this album was prescient.  Eventually we got Obama...and Atlanta!  

Recipes Inspired by Chocolate City
Cocoa Gingersnap Cookies by Jerrelle Guy
Fudgy Flourless Brownie Pie by Jerrelle Guy
Cinnamon Corn Flake Crunch Truffles by Chef Roblé Ali
Break N' Drop Chile Chocolate Chip Cookies by Jerrelle Guy
Background On The Re-Released Parliament Albums 

Urban Legends/UMe has reissued two classic Parliament
albums on black vinyl and in limited special vinyl editions: Chocolate City (released June 21, 2019) and Up For The Down Stroke (released July 12th 2019). Up For The Down Stroke is also available in a limited translucent red vinyl edition, while Chocolate City is also available in a limited picture disc vinyl edition. To celebrate the new releases and to honor Parliament’s iconic funk influence, Urban Legends has collaborated with Feedfeed on a new co-branded Chocolate City-inspired recipe video co-hosted by acclaimed chef Roblé Ali and cookbook author/blogger/artist Jerrelle  Guy.

In July 1974, the George Clinton-led funk group Parliament released their second studio album,
Up For The Down Stroke. The album marked the return of bassist and co-songwriter Bootsy
Collins after a two-year hiatus, cementing his pivotal creative role in the group. Released as a
single, the title track reached No. 10 on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart, while the acclaimed
album peaked at No. 17 on the R&B Albums chart.

In April 1975, Parliament released their third album, Chocolate City, maintaining the classic,
Clinton-led lineup with Collins, Bernie Worrell, and Eddie Hazel. For Chocolate City, the group
was also joined by the Brecker Brothers (Michael and Randy Brecker), vocalist Glenn Goins,
and bassist Prakash John. Propelled by Parliament’s signature up-tempo funk, and featuring
vocal harmonies by doo-wop group The Parliaments, the “tribute to Washington, D.C” (A.K.A. “Chocolate City”) earned rave reviews and reached No. 18 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.

To Purchase

Purchase Up For The Down Stroke and Chocolate City