In the latest edition of Paper magazine, Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy (“Soul Survivor,” “F.A.M.E.,” “Get Right”) interviews Eddie Huang, the chef who started Baohaus and whose autobiography was made into the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat.
Paper’s latest issue, featuring Kanye West on the cover, focuses on the American Dream and what that means to different Americans. Jeezy, whose lyrics appear throughout Huang’s book, reflects with Eddie about the importance of a grandmother’s love, learning to appreciate hard work, and creating new goals.
Eddie, who briefly tried to be a lawyer before he figured out how to do what he loved most, describes his circuitous route to happiness when Jeezy asks him to reflect on when he knew he was onto something:
“When I went to go work at the law firm, I won this minority fellowship, and they stuck me at a top 50 firm. But the work wasn't about what I wanted to do. I was into social justice, and they stuck me working on the investments for the people that own Purdue Pharma, selling OxyContin. And I was like, ‘These are the for real criminals!’ So I got laid off and never went back to the law… So I started cooking again, because my parents owned restaurants. And I just started telling all my stories with food. I got on some TV shows, and people were like, ‘Yo, you could cook for real.’ So I opened a restaurant with all the money I saved up hustling, and then it just popped in New York. And once I knew it popped, I didn't want to talk about food. I respect it, but I was like, ‘I got to say something with this.’ So I started to talk about my identity as a Taiwanese-Chinese-American, and I used the sandwich to do that.”
Read the full interview between Jeezy and Eddie online at Paper magazine.