As Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson's Loco'l narrows in on opening its first locations in the Tenderloin, Choi has announced the healthy fast-food chain's first endorsement team: hip-hop stars Evidence (of Dilated Peoples fame) and Alchemist. "You know how Subway has Apolo Ohno and Michael Strahan?" Choi told Questlove in an interview for Paper. "We're going to keep it underground to start, and Al and Ev are going to be like our first spokesmen." As part of the promotion, the duo, who've been friends since childhood and released an album last year under new moniker Step Brothers, will even have their own menu item, "The Al and Ev Sandwich."
Bringing in hip-hop artists to promote the project is very much in line with Loco'l's mission, which is to become part of the fabric of the low-income neighborhoods in which it's planning locations. (L.A.'s Watts will be home to the second outpost.) "We could open 15 [locations] in South Central L.A. alone. Then you go to East Oakland, Detroit, North Saint Louis, the Bronx—we could open 150 without going anywhere near an affluent area," Choi tells Paper. "It's not like there's no money there. They're spending money, but no one's giving them the option of something better. It just blows my mind...I see it being a spark to a movement. I see our business itself growing, but I think it also becomes like a hip-hop collective, where others will latch onto it."