James Lindsay, Founder and CEO of Rap Snacks

James Lindsay, Founder of the Iconic Brand, Discusses Road to Success and Next Steps

“Research your market thoroughly—you need to know more about it than your competitors. Also, you have to love what you do and outwork everyone else,”

— James Lindsay/CEO and Founder Rap Snacks

MIAMI, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, January 31, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Rap Snacks, the iconic snack brand that features rap and hip-hop’s biggest artists such as Cardi B., Lil’ Baby, Moneybagg Yo, Lil’ Boosie, Master P and Romeo, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022. Its founder, highly successful visionary entrepreneur James Lindsay, couldn’t be happier about how the brand has entrenched itself as a staple of not just snack brands, but also music culture. The snack products, once sold in mom-and-pop retail outlets, can now be found at major retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Sam’s Clubs, among others. Lindsay’s journey from growing up in Philadelphia to helming a company that represents hip-hop culture is one of determination, sweat and inspiration.

Lindsay graduated from Cheyney University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He honed his marketing skills while serving as a manager in the consumer products industry for Johnson Products, an ethnic hair care company, and Warner-Lambert. James leveraged his background in the hair products business, tweaked and improved upon it and applied it to the packaged food industry. These experiences, and his desire to own a business, empowered him to start Rap Snacks, Inc. in 1994, a snack foods company that featured hip-hop artists on the brand—the first of its kind in the US. The first Rap Snacks bags were called MC Potato- Bar-b-Qing with My Honey and MC Potato’s Back at the Ranch (now known as Migo’s “Sour Cream with a Dab of the Ranch”).

Says Lindsay, “I wanted to dictate my own income. I’ve always been a self-starter and possess an entrepreneurial spirit. I saw a gap in the market. I knew that I wanted to deliver a quality product that tasted ten-times better than those already on the shelves. Additionally, African Americans weren’t seeing themselves on much of the products they purchase. With the explosion of hip-hop and its transcendence from “ethnic” markets to mainstream markets, I felt that by developing relationships with major artists and leveraging the public’s interest in them, we were creating a product that speaks to and for black culture.”

The success of Rap Snacks allowed Lindsay to solidify a co-marketing agreement with Universal Records to advertise Universal’s Artists on all Rap Snacks bags in the late 90s’ and during this time, the company grew into a $5 million dollar business selling mostly twenty-five cent bags of chips.

In 2001, Mr. Lindsay expanded his product line by purchasing a snack foods brand called “Mr. G” snack foods. Mr. G was a locally owned Philly brand that was best known for its hot and barbeque cheddar flavored chips. In 2007, Mr. Lindsay launched Soulful Foods, Inc. The first product launched under Soulful Foods, Inc. was a venture between Mr. Lindsay and Sylvia Woods, the “Queen of Soul Food”.

Influenced by the leadership styles of Magic Johnson, Reginald Johnson and LeBron James, Lindsay began to scale his business as well as keep current with hip-hop trends in order to remain relevant. In 2016, in what Lindsay considers one of his greatest accomplishments, he repackaged the brand. He gave it a new look and feel and began expanding his outreach to artists and the flavorings offered. In 2017, Lindsay began collaborating with Percy “Master P” Miller to expand the product line into foods such as noodles, breakfast cereals, and rice with the creation of P&J’s Foods, a partnership between the two. Miller is also a limited partner in Rap Snacks.
While Lindsay does not apply a template to select the artists representing the brand and the flavorings offered, he credits his intuition as to knowing which artists to select and his own expertise in being the “tastemaker” for Rap Snacks.

Rap Snacks is now a $25M company and one of the reasons the brand is so successful is that Lindsay has been able to leverage the public’s interest in the artists featured on the snacks in lieu spending heavily on advertising.

Gwendolyn M Priestley/Ginger Campbell
Gwendolyn Priestley PR
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