10 Things To Know About James Lindsay, CEO of Master P’s Rap Snacks

10 Things To Know About James Lindsay, CEO of Master P’s Rap Snacks

Here are 10 things you should know about James Lindsay, the CEO of Master P’s Rap Snacks, a $5-million business and growing.

The potato chip industry is a $10-billion industry in the U.S., shared among just 85 brands. James Lindsay had a dream back in 1994 to take his own bite out of this industry with a hip-hop-inspired chip brand.

Working with hip-hop mogul Master P., Lindsay launched Rap Snacks, putting the likenesses of some of the hip hop’s biggest stars on bags of chips. Now they’re in convenience stores and Walmarts around the country.

Originally the chips were available in only Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philly. Then in 2011, things slowed down for Rap Snacks.

“I never stopped making them,” Lindsay told Bon Appetit. “For a while, we’d just kind of operated them in three or four marketplaces, you know, until I felt like there’s a lot more opportunity to come back and repackage the brand.” 

In July 2016, he relaunched Rap Snacks, and now they’re in convenience stores from Maine to Florida, some parts of the Midwest and Texas, as well as more than 4,000 Walmart stores nationwide.

It all started with a $40,000 investment from Lindsay’s family and friends. Rap Snacks has grown into a $5-million business, Bakery and Snacks reported.

What’s unique about the brand is that the chips feature flavors endorsed by hip-hop stars such as Cardi B, Migos, Master P’s son (Romeo Miller), and others. 

Here are 10 things to know about James Lindsay, CEO of Master P’s Rap Snacks.

Marketing’s his game

Philadelphia native 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 ethnic hair care company Johnson Products and pharmaceutical company Warner-Lambert. 

Soulful Foods

Lindsay purchased a snack food line called Mr. G Snack Foods in 2001. Then in 2007, Lindsay launched Soulful Foods, Inc. 

“The mission of the company is to provide consumers with a great cultural experience through unique products and seasonings, and to partner with other ethnic brands in order to expand their product reach in the marketplace,” according to the Rap Snacks website.

The first product launched under Soulful Foods, Inc was a venture between Lindsay and Harlem, New York restaurateur Sylvia Woods, known as the “Queen of Soul Food.” Together they developed a nationally recognized brand of snack foods called “Sylvia’s.” It included kettle-cooked potato chips fried in sunflower seed oil, which eliminates trans fats. Initially, there were three flavors — honey barbeque, lemon pepper, and Louisiana hot.

Food & music

Lindsay has had two passions from day one and there never seemed any doubt that his career would incorporate both food and music, according to Rap Snacks. 

“As a kid, I considered myself a snack food connoisseur,” Lindsay said. 

Marketing music

In 2010, Lindsay was focused on the music marketing industry, co-managing platinum-selling recording artist Meek Mill. He helped Meek Mill connect his brand with corporate America and secured brand deals for the hip-hop artist with companies such as Puma, Monster Energy Drink, and Ciroc, according to Rap Snacks. Lindsay also partnered with Monster Headphones to help create the Monster 24K headphones.

Lindsay continued working with Master P and his family as well.

Rap Snacks soup       

Under the Rap Snacks brand, Lindsay and Master P launched a ramen noodle line in 2019. Like the chips, the Icon Ramen Noodles soup flavors are inspired by different rap artists such as E-40 and Boosie BadAzz.

This is Rap Snacks’ first entry into the noodles market, XXL reported. 

Going vegan

Under Lindsay’s tenure, Rap Snacks is partnering with Atlanta-based vegan burger restaurant Slutty Vegan to launch two new vegan chips, Black Enterprise reported.

“I am truly excited to partner with Slutty Vegan to bring our first-ever Rap Snacks vegan chip option to our customers,” he said in a press release. “Slutty Vegan has been immensely influential in introducing veganism to the culturally rich community of Atlanta and beyond. It’s always exciting to join forces with a brand that shares the same underlying mission as we do here at Rap Snacks—to push culture forward through food.”

International dreams

Lindsay told Black Enterprise his next goal is to make Rap Snacks an international brand and continue to inspire Black people to become entrepreneurs. 

“My goal for Rap Snacks is to make it one of the biggest brands in the world,” he said. “Hip hop is one of the biggest streaming genres in the world today and our potential in that space cannot be limited. I want our community to believe that you can create momentum and brand recognition outside of just the music and expand globally.”

He’s got flavor

Lindsay designs the flavors for the chips himself, Billboard reported. So far there are: Fetty Wap’s Honey Jalapeño, Boosie Badazz’s Louisiana Heat, Fabolous’ New York Deli Cheddar, Romeo Miller’s Bar-B-Quin with My Honey chips, Lil Yachty’s Hot Cheese Fries and Hot Chili Pepper & Lime Crunchy Curls, Trina’s Honey Jalapeño cheese puffs, and Migos’ White Cheddar with a Dab of Ranch Popcorn. 

Chips on hand

There will soon be Rap Snacks-branded vending machines that play music videos by their artist-endorsers, according to Billboard. 

Making moves

Lindsay told Billboard that he maps out his next business moves quietly. “When I strategize I try to focus on the present and the future of how I am looking to move my business forward,” he said. “A part of strategizing is out-of-the-box thinking. It’s called the surprise effect… People don’t see you coming. I’ve learned to move in silence. I’ve learned to also be patient and be very strategic about how you move.”