I needed to make sure that Doug E. Fresh's Doug E.'s Fresh Chicken & Waffles eatery in Harlem remained open, so I called the restaurant and asked if I could have a meal shipped to Raleigh. I talked to Gary, who told me he once had White Castle hamburgers shipped from New York to Louisiana. Maybe it was possible, he said.
There must be a point in every black entertainer's career when they think it'd be a great idea to open some variation of a soul food spot, just like there's a point in most every party or concert hosted by a black entertainer popular from the '80s in which they race through a list of every zodiac sign in a call-and-response routine with the crowd. It's most commonly heard on Fatman Scoop's mash-up party record "Be Faithful," but Doug E. Fresh probably jump-started the tradition back when there was some truth to his claim that he was "the world's greatest entertainer." Today, he's the world's millionth chicken-and-waffles man, the last rapper to have a dance named after him (The Dougie), and probably the only rapper outside of Will Smith to join the Church of Scientology. Don't forget what your zodiac sign is and brush up on the words to Slick Rick's classic, "La-Di-Da-Di." I'll save you some chicken if Gary ever sends some. Tickets are $10 for Doug's 10 p.m. party; Sagittariuses (Sagitarii?) get in free before 11 p.m. —Eric Tullis