Catholic High School Teacher Busted for Allegedly Smoking Weed with Students

Brady P. Waibel, 32, a now-former Catholic school teacher, is accused of allegedly smoking weed with several students, three of them juveniles. 

Waibel, who formerly taught music at Cathedral High School in New Ulm, Minnesota, was charged on Jan. 19 in Brown County court with fifth-degree felony possession of cannabis and three gross misdemeanors of contributing to the delinquency of a child. 

The school responded promptly to the incident with a statement: New Ulm Area Catholic Schools President Sister Julie Brand said on Jan. 19 Waibel is no longer employed at the school. The Journal reports that a Zoom hearing on the matter is set for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 14.

Fox 9 reports that according to court documents, a student and two others picked up Waibel and parked under a bridge. There, they walked to a nearby sandbar, and Waibel allegedly whipped out a blunt and passed it to the students. All three students at that incident said they smoked cannabis.

A priest associated with the New Ulm Diocese dropped the dime and called police on Jan. 14 after a school administrator alerted him that students had been smoking with their teacher. The supervising priest called New Ulm Police Investigator Jeff Hohensee, The Free Press identified. One student was an adult, and three others were minors.

Hohensee then set up interviews with parents of the students and questioned them at the New Ulm Police Department.

Police interviewed several students including an additional student who admitted that they had smoked at Waibel’s house on another occasion. He admitted that the adult student picked up a juvenile student after school and drove to the teacher’s house, where they smoked weed out of a bong. A student said they hit the bong with Waibel between 10 and 20 times.

One of the students told police that Waibel “always provided the marijuana free of charge,” the complaint reads. 

It’s a high school fantasy to be “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” but a nightmare for the parents and teacher accused of contributing to minors.

Police executed a search warrant, and a Brown Lyon Redwood Renville Drug Task Force agent photographed and collected evidence. Police recovered items including flower, wax, a grinder and a multi-colored bong.

The estimated weight of the wax is 3/4 of a gram.

Waibel was taken to Brown County Jail in New Ulm, Minnesota where he was subsequently released after posting a $10,000 bail.

Contributing to a Minor in Minnesota

So what exactly is Waibel looking at in terms of punishment?

The penalty for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, under Minnesota law, is a gross misdemeanor and the maximum penalty is a year in prison and a $3,000 fine.

Under Minnesota Statute § 152.027 possession of under 42.5 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor charge punishable by a $200 fine and no jail time. Over that amount, but under 10 kilograms, could mean a felony charge carrying a fine of $10,000 and five years in prison.

New Ulm Area Catholic Schools did not immediately respond for comment.

In October 2021, a South Carolina elementary school teacher faced criminal charges and lost her job after a pupil in her class pulled a package of cannabis edibles from a box of treats intended as prizes to reward students.

In 2020, the board of Marion County Public Schools in Florida suspended a Belleview High School teacher and student services manager over his use of medical cannabis. 

The post Catholic High School Teacher Busted for Allegedly Smoking Weed with Students appeared first on High Times.

UNI and The Urchins Are More Than Music—They’re an Art Collective

New York City is home to many artists, and among those who live under its gloriously creative umbrella is glam rock group UNI and The Urchins. The band—comprised of vocalist/bassist Charlotte Kemp Muhl (who goes by Kemp), frontman/vocalist Jack James, guitarist David Strange, and drummer Andrew Oakley—has recently celebrated the drop of their debut album Simulator via Chimera Music, the artist-run label from Kemp and Sean Lennon, and is gearing up to have a fruitful 2023 in its wake. As part of the band’s debut record release, High Times has the exclusive worldwide premiere of the music video for the single “Dorian Gray,” which provides a trippy experience through both sound and visuals: 

To learn more about the album and the group itself, we drop in a Zoom interview which, per UNI’s request, takes place at 4:20pm.

Kemp then kicks things off with her thoughts on cannabis in a free-flowing chat that morphs into an exploration of the group’s creative inspirations, how drugs and psychedelics can open new and different creative doors, and how authenticity pertains to the relationship between art, commerce, and creation as a whole.

Kemp: I feel like a lot of weed puritans are actually against the legalization in a sort of roundabout way because it fucks with their pipeline.

David Strange: But true or false: Part of the fun of doing drugs is that you’re not supposed to be doing them? I feel like part of [weed] being illegal is it made it so that you really had to want to do drugs. You had to really seek them out and you usually had to do something super sketchy to get them. I know I sure did when I was in junior high.

We would take the train down to the worst place in the Bronx—so dangerous—and buy it from legitimate gangsters with fifty-dollars worth of crumpled up ones and fives that we’d scrounge together from all of our friends’ lunch monies. We got mugged a couple of times doing that.

Kemp: And they just sold you tic-tacs.

David Strange: God knows what was in that weed. When we got it, we were so fucking stoked to have lived through the experience that it made it that much more meaningful—the fact that [weed] was difficult to come by. Nowadays, in Los Angeles especially, you can go to the health food store and they’re like, “Have some flaxseed or pot brownies.”

Kemp: Or CBD lube.

High Times: Everything is now so infused.

Kemp: Well, isn’t music kind of the same way? It’s so easy-access now with Spotify and all of these apps. You just discover band after band that it takes the fun out of discovering them from an odyssey to the record shop or a friend making you a mixtape from some other city or something.

David Strange: With all of these technological advances making parts of life easier to attain, it takes the fun out of the experience and makes the experience less meaningful. It’s like the harder it is to do something the more you appreciate it, is what it boils down to. With weed being so normalized, I think we need to up the ante now.

Jack James: To David’s point on how drugs used to be hard to find or how music used to be hard to find, we did pick a band name that was universally very difficult to find on any streaming platform. And then we changed our band name and everyone was like, “Well, why on earth would you change it?” It’s the same thing with “Weed should be legalized, weed should be legalized,” and then it’s no longer fun.

Courtesy of UNI and The Urchins

High Times: Is the band name now more of a conversation piece than it was before?

Kemp: The unsexy truth of it is that the Spotify algorithm thought “UNI” was a prefix, so it would be the last thing to come up after “unicorn,” “university,” everything “uni.” But it’s a Japanese word that means “sea urchin,” which is one of my favorite foods. UNI and The Urchins is technically redundant, but it’s cool because “Urchins” makes it feel more like a collective and a Warhol factory. We’re UNI, but the “Urchins” is anyone who wants to be involved in this movement.

There really haven’t been any art movements happening, and New York used to be such a hub for that. We’re very nostalgic for those times. Videos of Bowie hanging out with Dylan. It was such a scene. The Beach Boys used to be competitive in a friendly way with The Beatles and it made them make their best work. There’s not a lot of that, so the “Urchins” sort of represents the community we imagine we would like to have.

Jack James: For every video we do, there are so many people who come on and we can’t pay them what they’re worth, but they come on because they love it and it’s representative of the art collective like Kemp is saying. But the brass tax of it is no one could find us on Spotify [laughs].

David Strange: I also had a really funny joke about the real reason we had to change our name from what it used to be but I can’t say it.

Kemp: We’ll just have to take your word for it that it’s the best story.

David Strange: I just wish people weren’t so sensitive these days.

High Times: Sometimes it seems people want to go out of their way to be offended, which often takes more energy than to simply live your existence.

David Strange: What’s the last thing that offended you, Andrew?

Andrew Oakley: Me? I’m always offended.

David Strange: Just my question offended you, huh?

Kemp: We have a culture within our band of really hazing each other and it really takes the pressure off. There’s no feeling of walking on eggshells because we just call each other horrible things that I can’t even say here. It’s in a loving way.

Jack James: It’s nice, weirdly.

Kemp: And it’s very hard to offend us internally because we all come from a place of love and camaraderie.

In terms of the album, the thing that we were saying earlier about access and deflating value, technology has done that with recording in a lot of ways. I spent all of my last money on investing in vintage music gear, for example. Over the course of the pandemic, I decided to go to the dark side a little bit and flirt with some of these more sample-based programs. It’s been interesting, but I am nostalgic for our old way of making music, which was tracking live-to-tape as a band. It does make me really think about the ratio of satisfaction-and-value to ease-and-accessibility.

It’s great how egalitarian these new techs have made everything now. People who are barely a musician can now just push a button and make a track that sounds like a hit. I feel like such a grandpa about it.

High Times: There’s an authenticity that’s lost in any type of art when you can just press a button and it spits out something that wasn’t coming from a place within somebody.

David Strange: But maybe soullessness is the new soul?

Kemp: [Laughs]

David Strange: No, really. Warhol said the best kind of art is “business art.” He had the whole factory and he wasn’t even making his prints. Now there’s a huge argument in the Warhol community over whether the prints were real or not, or which printmaker was making them. Talk about going to the dark side, I’m kind of with you Kemp—I don’t think you can fight against the tide. I think it’s going in that direction and maybe there’s some new soul to be discovered within all the soullessness.

One thing that Kemp has really gotten into lately and turned me onto is the new AI renderings that are creating original content. It’s putting to the forefront: What do you do to become a good artist? You study other artists, you learn your craft, you go to school, and you take inspiration from the things you want to take inspiration from. These AI generators are doing that by condensing a lifetime full of references and learning them down to thirty seconds and just processing the AI in a computer and spitting it out. Surely it’s the same thing if you’re one of the cool people in New York who lives downtown—like a DJ who knows all the cool references and Iranian psychedelic music from the seventies and afro-pop from the sixties—and you can put all of that into your pot and have these cool original tracks based upon it. Why is it then that we should look down upon AI for being able to do the same thing in a matter of seconds? Is it less authentic or is it evolution? I don’t know.

Kemp: What it is is like a gun to the samurai; it levels the playing field. It’s like Uber to the taxi driver. It’s inevitable, but it creates a class of resentful Luddites. It’s the Industrial Revolution 3.0.

David Strange: If I really feel something while I’m creating it, does that make the end result more important or better compared to if I feel nothing at all when I’m creating and the end result is really awesome?

High Times: Though if you’re feeling something in the moment of creation, people can pick up on that through the work.

Kemp: I agree with you, except a lot of people’s most successful work is the shit they cared the least about. There’s that scene in Of Mice and Men where he’s strangling a girl and he doesn’t mean to be strangling her and he’s like, “Why aren’t you smiling? Why aren’t you smiling?” She dies and he doesn’t mean to kill her and I feel like artists do that to their own art when they care too much. So, I think there’s a sweet spot there of being too precious.

I think also with putting out a first album, you’re always overly precious and second guessing. That was definitely a factor for us in that we had like forty songs and we didn’t know which ones to put on the album. We were losing perspective, so we were finally just like, “Fuck it,” lets just throw out these ten songs and then put out the next one. We’re learning to be less precious, which is good. But I agree with you, you do have to have a boner for what you’re working on.

Courtesy of UNI and The Urchins

High Times: How did the song selection process work with having so much material?

Kemp: For Me, Jack is really my read on stuff because I go into a jazz trance and lose perspective on everything when I’m working on tracks. Each one that I’m working on at the moment becomes my favorite child. The way that Jack will respond to a rough mix will kind of be a gauge for me on what we should pursue.

Jack James: Although to be fair, the last single we put out—when I went upstate to the studio and [Kemp] was showing me the song “Subhuman Suburbia,” I was like, “I dunno, I’m just going to roll with it,” and then it turned out to be my favorite song I think off the album.

David Strange: Not to bring it all back to drugs, but sometimes when you think things are good, it’s really hard to trust yourself and your own internal experience versus other peoples’ external experiences.

For instance, I went on a really heavy trip recently—a full day thing—and went immediately to this party at the house where I was staying and just tripped my balls off. The other people at the party hadn’t been tripping, so I was explaining to them what had happened to me and how incredible and life changing the experience had been and it was so uninteresting to everyone at this party. The only person who it was interesting to was me.

I was telling them, “There I was in the jungle and I could see the fabric of the universe,” and people were like, “Oh, cool. Anyway, is that juice over there? I think I’m gonna go get a cup.” My point is, you can imagine [thinking] That song, I’m really feeling it, the way I was feeling after that trip and then other people are like, “Yeah, it’s cool that you’re feeling it, but I’m not feeling this at all.” It’s really hard to tell.

Jack James: For our songs, eventually we decided the songs we chose for the album encompassed whatever the hell we’re trying to say and we thought they were the best to fit on a ten song vinyl.

High Times: Creatively, is there something you hope that the audience and fans take from the debut record Simulator?

Kemp: This is where it gets like that Frank Zappa quote: “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” It’s always hard to put it into words. David Lynch was like, “If I wanted to put it into words, I would have just written a book instead of making a movie.” I think the best art is open to interpretation.

Jack James: Yeah, whatever they take from it is really nice and I appreciate them listening to it. It’s whatever you take from it. We keep an audience in mind, but it’s like-minded outcast weirdos like [us] and I hope they find some solace in that they have another friend who is out there when they listen to it.

Kemp: We’re all drawn to each other being weirdos and outcasts but we’re all very different and that’s what makes us feel like the motley crew from Lord of The Rings or something.

I am very dark and nihilistic and Jack is very spiritual and positive. Andrew is the cool metal Black Sabbath analog rock dude and David is the insane freak poet charlatan hobo. Normally if we saw each other at a bar and we didn’t know each other, we’d probably never talk to each other. But we somehow ended up together and it’s this beautiful synthesis of our very different personalities. The thing that binds us is sort of feeling alienated from the rest of society.

Courtesy of UNI and The Urchins

High Times: Is there a lot of parallel thinking that happens when you’re creating or are you each bringing something unique to that process?

Jack James: I think both, though it depends, especially if we’re doing a music video and we’ve been around each other enough. You sort of finish each other’s sentences very quickly and there’s a simpatico thing going on. Other times, one of us will come with an idea and the others will look at it like, “What are you fucking talking about?” I think for as different as we are, we are very like-minded in what we enjoy to see and enjoy listening to.

High Times: How does cannabis and/or psychedelics play a role in that creation process?

Andrew Oakley: I’m pretty into edibles these days, especially something with heavy CBD.

High Times: Sativa or Indica?

Andrew Oakley: Sativa for sure, especially if you’re playing music. It gives you a little energy, gets you focused. It’s the way to go.

David Strange: We have all partaken on the spiritual quests together on multiple occasions and what I think is pretty cool about psychedelics is that they tend to open up doors. Those doors lead to rooms within you that already exist and there’s a lot of ways to open up those doors. Psychedelics are just one way to open those doors.

Kemp: I don’t think you can make rock or psych or glam or any of the genres that we love without having done psychedelics. It’s really what created the genres.

Jack James: I remember growing up thinking, “I bet all the coolest shit was written on drugs,” but then you try to do it and you find how difficult it actually is.

David Strange: That’s what I was saying about the doors—the drugs are the training wheels that show you those doors because, truly, a lot of the experiences that we’ve had either on stage or in studio have been psychedelic without any drugs at all. But if you can’t access those rooms on your own, sometimes doing a drug like that is the key that can open up that door and give you access to it. If you treat drugs in the right way, you will retain the combination or key to that door so you can go through it again and again when you need to.

Kemp: That being said, I think drugs should not be done flippantly. Yeah, it’s fun to occasionally do them at a party, but they definitely are spiritual keys and should be used with purpose like creativity, sex, thinking, and introspection.

Follow @uniandtheurchins and check out https://uniandtheurchins.com/ for tickets, tour dates, and their debut album “Simulator”.

The post UNI and The Urchins Are More Than Music—They’re an Art Collective appeared first on High Times.

Damian Marley Feeds You the Medicine of Music

Damian Marley continues to honor the Marley legacy in his own way as an artist carving his own path. The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and producer remains at the forefront of the reggae genre for his music, collaborations, producing of other artists, and his very own reggae cruise.

The Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise set sail last month for its seventh installment, the first annual voyage since the cruise was put on hiatus due to the worldwide COVID pandemic.

In advance of the ship’s departure, we were able to catch up with Marley via Zoom and learn more about his music creation process, his relationship with cannabis—cannabis consumption, cannabis activism, and cannabis reform—and the inspiration behind creating a reggae festival on water.

High Times: You’ve been performing music for most of your life. Do you remember the starting point?

Damian Marley: We started off doing performances in my aunt’s living room until my aunt decided to take us on the road. We then started doing things like Mother’s Day shows and Valentine’s Day shows, little girls’ birthday parties—things like that in Jamaica.

High Times: Did you ever imagine you’d one day go from that to headlining your own festival cruise?

Damian Marley: We weren’t the first people to come up with a musical cruise but there had never really been a successful reggae cruise. It’s something my manager, Dan [Dalton], brought to my attention—that there’ve been other genres doing cruises. The whole culture of a cruise—going to an island, being out in the sun, out on the sea and all that stuff—lends itself very well to the culture of reggae music. However, there was hesitation if our fanbase was financially able to go on a cruise, and of course we ended up proving that we do have the market to be able to do that.

The idea of the Caribbean sea, sun, and weather, going to Jamaica, the music, and all these things—it goes hand in hand [with reggae] and it’s kind of surprising that it actually hadn’t been done before. But here we are, the ones who actually executed the idea.

High Times: In terms of ideas, what role does cannabis play in your creative process?

Damian Marley: Cannabis plays a really big role in my life in general. I’m burning a spliff as I’m speaking to you now, so what role does it not play? It’s kind of hard to say. It’s a part of my day-to-day regimen. Most of the things I’m doing are under the influence of cannabis [laughs].

High Times: Is there a specific method of consumption or specific strain you prefer?

Damian Marley: Ocean Grown OG Kush tends to be one of my favorites, but we still enjoy other strains, too. Variety is the spice of life in that way.

I also usually smoke, I don’t really do many edibles or that kind of stuff. It’s mostly smoking, although I would encourage people not to smoke and instead consume edibles because smoking in itself is not a healthy habit—but that’s just what I do.

High Times: Do you feel that the act of consumption opens you up to other ways of thinking or other spiritual activity?

Damian Marley: It puts you in a space where you have time for your own thoughts, where you can hear your thoughts a bit more clearly. It helps you focus less on the busyness around you and you get more exclusive to your own thoughts.

High Times: As in putting your own thoughts under your own sort of microscope?

Damian Marley: More so that you get to hear your own voice more clearly by silencing some of the other voices around you.

High Times: So it’s more that it helps you block out distractions and other external factors and tune you in to you.

Damian Marley: Especially when I was younger. Now, of course, [smoking] is part of my life so I don’t have the kind of jolt and effect from when you just start smoking. But after high school when I was smoking and reading the bible and learning about my faith as a Rastafari, you really get to meditate and zone in on your own voice and certain topics in a different way.

High Times: From a music standpoint, what can we be on the lookout for from you in the coming months?

Damian Marley: I’m about to start making some music for myself right now, so it’s a bit difficult to say specifically what to look for, but you can look for some music from me this year. I would think we’ll probably start with a few singles leading up into an album. We also recently released an album I produced for an artist by the name of Kabaka Pyramid, where myself and the team produced the entire album, and we’re really proud of that.

High Times: Is it the same creative input that you provide when producing a record for someone else that you provide for yourself?

Damian Marley: We give one-hundred percent when making music, regardless of what we’re doing, you know what I mean?

Photo by Tizzy Tokyo

High Times: Whether you’re creating music for yourself or someone else, is there something you hope the audience takes from it?

Damian Marley: Yeah, something that they need. So it’s not for me to say what they must take, but we want them to take something that they need, something that will benefit their life in some kind of way.

Something I always find very interesting and such a joy is in how people interpret songs and what they take from them. Sometimes with certain songs and certain lyrics, someone might find a completely different meaning from what I was trying to say in the conversation of the lyrics. They interpreted it completely differently, and that’s always very interesting to see. So, it’s not for me to say what people take away from it, but we want them to take something that brings substance to their life and somehow impacts their life in a positive way.

High Times: So you’re creating the substance from which other people can have an experience, but you’re not here to dictate what that experience is.

Damian Marley: We’re not telling you how to take the dosage, we’re just making the medicine.

High Times: In terms of the medicine, what types of cannabis endeavors are you currently involved in?

Damian Marley: Right now, the brand that we’re working on and supporting is called Evidence, but the overall brand that I and Dan are a part of is called Ocean Grown. The product that Ocean Grown is now presenting is called Evidence, which is obviously herb that you buy and smoke. But the great thing about Evidence is the work that we’re doing to help people who have been locked up for herb become free.

With Evidence, we’re also partnered with the organization Last Prisoner Project (LPP), and the whole aim of this organization is to help people who are locked up for marijuana and help them gain their freedom now that the cannabis laws have changed. So we have a greater purpose other than trying to just sell herb and make money. We want to do that—don’t get me wrong—but we’re doing some great work within the community through this Evidence brand and through LPP and through what the whole movement stands for. We’re encouraging people to check out that part to fully understand what the movement is all about, while also enjoying the cannabis.

High Times: So the brand has that social impact element, which is really important.

Damian Marley: Yeah, really important. Cannabis users tend to be good people who want to do good, so it goes hand in hand.  

Follow @damianmarley and check out https://damianmarley.com for tickets, tour dates, and the latest on the Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise.

The post Damian Marley Feeds You the Medicine of Music appeared first on High Times.

Cómo Hicieron Don Cupón y Sondelvalle para Convertirse en Una de las Grandes Sorpresas de la Nueva Escena Musical Chilena

Nota por Hernán Panessi publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

Síguenos en Instagram (@El.Planteo) y Twitter (@ElPlanteo).

Recién había terminado la universidad cuando Seba “Don Cupón” Rojas respiró hondo y se dijo a sí mismo: “No va más”. Le había pegado un bajón, una especie de “depre”: tenía una crisis de identidad. Recibido de Diseñador Industrial en la Universidad Diego Portales, una de las más prestigiosas de Chile, Don Cupón quiso dar un vuelco a su vida y se metió de lleno a la música. Sin nunca antes haberse relacionado con ella.

Los zambullones en profundidad son así: o llegás a la orilla como podés, o te acostumbrás a las olas, o te ahogás en el camino. “Doncu”, como le dicen habitualmente, sabía que lo siguiente en su vida sería duro pero, también, ¿qué más daba? Peor debía ser quedarse con la duda.

Contenido relacionado: El Mundo de Soulfía: de Chile al Infinito, Porro en Mano

Y no sólo se acostumbró a las olas, sino que –de puro callejear- forjó un carácter, una identidad sonora junto a Sondelvalle, la banda que armó junto a unos amigos.

Con un tendal de kilómetros sobre sus espaldas, con conciertos en buses, plazas, bares, calles y quién sabe dónde más, Sondelvalle se convirtió en una de las sorpresas de la nueva escena chilena.

“En la calle aprendimos cómo funciona el arte, lo aprendimos fuerte”, dice Doncu en exclusiva para El Planteo.

El oro del arte

Después de entrometerse de lleno en esta nueva forma de vida, Doncu y Sondelvalle encararon la sinuosa tarea de grabar un disco. “Puedo decir que ahí me dediqué oficialmente a la música”, sigue.

Así, con apenas dos años de ruedo, Sondelvalle se animó a meter una larga gira por Europa. Y, a pesar de advertir los movimientos de la industria y de coquetear con algunas disqueras, decidieron seguir por el camino de la independencia.

Ahí entendimos que los ratos donde estamos componiendo son el oro del arte. En las conversaciones están las temáticas. En la vida que llevemos están las cosas para sembrar”.

Contenido relacionado: Polimá Westcoast: Actos de Fe, Mundos de Ficción y Revolución Multicultural

Por estos días, llevan ocho años de girar y girar, de tocar y tocar, de hacerse –en sus palabras- “medianamente conocidos”.

“Con la banda full tocando, nos convertimos en una empresa. Y uno aprende empujando. Necesitábamos facturas. Pero, ¿cómo se hacen? Todo eso fue un proceso hermoso, de mucho aprendizaje”.

El orden lógico (o el enfocado trabajo del compositor)

Hasta el momento, Sondelvalle lleva publicados dos discos y un EP. Y, entre sus máximos orgullos, está haber ganado un Premio Pulsar, uno de los más destacados de su país, a “Mejor Artista Tropical”.

“Fue en pandemia, no tuvimos alfombra roja”, bromea Doncu.

FOTO

Por lo demás, fue durante los años pandémicos en los que Doncu aprendió un segundo oficio: el de diseñador de arte. Una nueva skill que terminó aplicando al resto de su vida.

“Aprendí a desarrollar el ojo, a ordenarlo para poder repetirlo. Y ese ojo lo apliqué a todo. A veces sólo compongo y canalizo. Pero, en un momento, si la musa no llega… sorry, tengo que seguir trabajando. No me puedo desaparecer mucho en la droga y en la fiesta porque desaparecés muy rápido”, cuenta.

Con esta metodología, con esta “mirada de diseñador”, se obliga a componer: sabe que –ese proceso- es su principal trabajo. Y que, indefectiblemente, necesita de algunos pasos.

“Compongo con estructura, con orden lógico. Cómo traigo las palabras a mí. Traigo ideas, ordeno eso, armo estructuras y pongo conceptos en la cabeza hasta que, de repente, consigo armar una canción”.

Y sigue: “No es lo mismo llevar un dolorcito y ponerlo en el papel que esos días en los que estás re plano. Cuando entendí lo que era ‘un producto’, cuando me di cuenta qué hacían los directores creativos, cayó la pandemia”.

Que venga lo que tenga que venir

Aprovechando ese envión, y ante la falta de shows en vivo, Doncu montó una agencia de producción y dirección de arte. Allí filmó videoclips, publicidades y comerciales.

En paralelo, formó otra banda, DM, junto a un amigo del mundo del hip hop. Al toque, grabaron un EP romántico con puras colaboraciones de chicas. Confinados en casa, filmaron “Yera”, con un videoclip flasherísimo en la tónica de “OLA MINA XD” de Ca7riel y Paco Amoroso.

Contenido relacionado: Ouke: Esteban Lamothe Cuenta la Anécdota detrás del Tema de Ca7riel y Paco Amoroso

Además, junto a Sondelvalle se la rebuscaron para hacer una grabación hermosísima en el Museo de Ciencia y Tecnología (MUCYTEC) de Santiago. “La plata que ganamos se la dimos al museo”.

“Nunca tengo idea de lo que voy a hacer mañana”, confiesa.

Con la pandemia en fade out, recibió una oferta para hacer dirección de arte para una serie de Netflix. Dijo “sí” y se encargó del departamento de arte gráfico de Cromosoma 21, una de las grandes apuestas chilenas de la plataforma norteamericana. “Nunca supe qué era ‘departamento de arte gráfico’. ¿Por qué me metí en esa huevada? No volví a dormir en meses”, tira en chiste.

Energía positiva y una mente sana

Con Sondelvalle, su principal proyecto artístico, siguen tocando y, en la actualidad, se están juntando para escribir sus próximas canciones. “Nuestra banda tiene una particularidad: escucharnos bien es escucharnos en vivo”.

Y en sus letras no hay garabatos, ni culos, ni tetas. Hay, sí, una buena onda ungida en sonidos de “rap guachaca” y “cumbia reflexiva” (así lo asumen, así se llama, incluso, uno de sus discos: Rap Guachaca & Cumbia Reflexiva).

Contenido relacionado: Humor, Feminismo y Estados Alterados según Alexis de Anda, Comediante Mexicana

“Eso lo aprendimos en la calle. Cuando cantábamos en la calle, el abuelo se iba si hablábamos de culo y tetas. Aprendimos eso, a traer dinero. No le deseamos mal a alguien, le deseamos el bien. Ese nos daba más dinero. Componer desde esa búsqueda me hizo tener una mirada más positiva”.

De esta manera fueron desarrollando un estilo propio y, también, esos años de callejeo se volvieron muy simbólicos para el ADN de la banda. Fueron años de tocar con Los Pericos, con Damas Gratis, con Cultura Profética. De brindar shows ante 40.000 personas. “Llenamos locales todos los fines de semana”.

Claro que todo este ruido, todo este movimiento, lo pone feliz: después de sus conciertos, su público se les acerca a hablar, a tirarle la buena, a reconocerle que sus canciones los ayudaron en tal o cual situación.

¿La que más pegó? Una cumbia fatto in casa llamada “Maracuyá con Mango”, que –curiosamente- no es la favorita de Doncu. Sin embargo, fue la que generó un fanbase, sonó muchísimo en la radio y hasta se convirtió en cortina de distintos programas de fútbol.

Don Cupón, una máquina de ‘hacer y hacer’

Hoy, Doncu se dedica cotidianamente a la dirección de arte, es juez de batalla de freestyle y, obviamente, le queda mucho combustible como para seguir experimentando y buscando aventuras con la música.

Siempre movedizo, montó una exposición itinerante sobre la compositora Violeta Parra en la Universidad Católica de Chile, se hizo cargo de un documental sobre la historia del hip hop local, grabó junto a Sondelvalle un “Comida para llevar” (un novedoso formato de música y animación creado por artistas venezolanos), colaboró con diversos artistas chilenos, metió dirección creativa de algunas cápsulas comerciales (como esta gemita para la marca deportiva Fila) y, cerrando la pandemia (“Algunos nos demoramos más que otros”), está volviendo a su vida cotidiana.

Tenemos que sacar un disco a como dé lugar. Se nos va a vivir a España nuestro bajista y productor. Hay que sacar un disco antes. Tengo ganas de moverme, también. De llevarme amigos y empezar con nuevas aventuras”.

La generación del porro

Si bien es raro verlo a Doncu rolando un blunt, su vida social se construyó en torno al cannabis. “Mi círculo consume mucha weed”, asegura.

don cupón

En ese sentido, destaca el trabajo de En Volá, uno de los medios especializados más interesantes de Sudamérica. “Están construyendo una industria, una comunidad”.

Contenido relacionado: Porros, Viajes y Buen Contenido: Conocé a En Volá, la Plataforma Cannábica Chilena

¿Y qué mirada tiene sobre el porro? “Encuentro que es parte del cotidiano de mi generación. No creo que alguien tenga algún conflicto ético o moral. Yo tengo mis plantitas, las riego y les doy amor. Crecimos en casas donde la marihuana está en nuestros patios, en nuestros balcones, en nuestras penas, en nuestras conversaciones”.

“Soy parte de una generación que está cambiando la realidad cannábica”, cierra.

Fotos cortesía de Don Cupón.

Más contenido de El Planteo:

The post Cómo Hicieron Don Cupón y Sondelvalle para Convertirse en Una de las Grandes Sorpresas de la Nueva Escena Musical Chilena appeared first on High Times.

Tony Shhnow Makes Getting Money Music

Weed plants sandwich a stop sign in the center of the Brooklyn Made stage. The DJ is playing a random assortment of half-decent rap music while Tony Shhnow is on stage pouring a drink into a red Solo cup. It’s Tony’s first tour with Cousin Stizz, and it’s his first time in Brooklyn this past April. The Cobb County rapper sports eyeglasses that have gold semi automatic guns on the sides, a green army jacket, a black Louie Vuitton belt, and a pair of clean white Air Force 1s. Tony opened with “EVEN ON A SUNDAY,” a track built entirely by plug-in style beats. When asked to define plug on a Zoom call, Tony replied, “It’s player ass trap music. It’s a player ass hustle Music. Getting money music. Sometimes your girl don’t want to hear you playing gangsta ass shit all the time. Sometimes she wants to be serenaded.” With plug, the instruments are synthetic and digital with compositions of tinkering bells, woozy flutes, and slow drums. “Plug is super chill, relaxed stoner-type stuff. But also super street Atlanta turnt. I feel like there’s a duality,” ATL producer Popstar Benny says over the phone.

Plug music results from Atlanta street tapes bootlegged on peer-to-peer sharing sites like Limewire and Frostwire and hosting sites like Datpiff and LiveMixtapes. “It was built on traditional Atlanta. It was mixing traditional Atlanta with the internet age,” Benny adds. Taking inspiration from the elegance of Zaytoven’s piano work, Plug adds a pop spin jam-packed with explosive digitized synths and video game sound bites. 

Plug Motivation is Tony’s new project, 24-tracks of money hustling, designer flexing, and drugs come entirely produced by the most prolific producers of the plug sub-genre: Big Emm, Cashcache, DJ YoungKash, Fashion Kor, GameBoomin, IceWater Black, JBand$, Mexikodro, Polo Boy Shawty, Popstar Benny, StoopidXool, and Youngstill. Plug Motivation is hosted by DJ Yung Rell, returning the days of vintage Gucci Mane in ‘08. Tony carries the spirit of old Atlanta with tracks like “Dats Me” and “Work Like This.” Flutes and snares come together with dreamy synths on the latter, with Tony showing pride in his swag and coming clean about his “bad bitch problem.” The entirety of Plug Motivation was recorded in Tony’s kitchen, no fancy studio equipment required. Tony takes inspiration from Gucci Mane’s Bird Flu 2, Lil Wayne’s No Ceilings and Carter III projects, as well as Zelda: Breath of the Wild while making the tape.

He seems excited to talk about the making of Plug Motivation over our Zoom call. For High Times, Tony discusses plug music, its purpose, the songs of his new project, and the difference between mixtapes and albums in 2022. Throughout the call, he smokes Metro Bloomin’ branded flower in a blunt, puffing between responses. 

High Times: Last week you just dropped Plug Motivation. When did you start recording that?

Tony Shhnow: I started recording what I felt as soon as I got off tour. Because Reflextions was damn near done when I got off tour. So Plug Motivation was definitely music I had fresh off tour trying to go into transition to the next project.

HT: Plug Motivation is a play on Jeezy’s Thug Motivation. What made you want to use that as the theme?

Tony Shhnow: Well, Mexikodro came up with the title. I got to attest that to him. I just applied my own style to it. I applied the theme to it. He picked the title and I just made it, I brought it to life.

HT: What I like about the tape a lot is that it brings back that old ATL mixtape aesthetic. What’s the difference now between a mixtape and an album? And I feel like Plug Motivation distinguishes that.

Tony Shhnow: For sure. I feel like a mixtape is raw music. It’s raw. It’s not really looking to be polished type shit. It can be, it’s music recorded in a kitchen or it can be in the trap. It could be, it’s something that it’s not meant to be pop or be on the billboards, necessarily. I’m not looking to be on the radio. I’m looking to be in the trap. I’m looking to be in the streets. It’s not a project aimed to please the average listener. Mixtapes aren’t aimed to please your fans. That’s what I feel like the major difference is.

HT: You also dropped the ShadowBanned mixtape before Plug Motivation. Rappers don’t do that anymore where they rap on each other’s beats for a whole project. It’s a lost art. 

Tony Shhnow: Yeah. That’s why… It’s hip hop to me though. That’s why I did the BBC project. I ain’t going to lie to you. I’ve been one to do the rapping on other people’s beats that were my peers. But I felt like I had to wait a second until it was the right moment. And right now I feel like it was definitely a good moment to do it.

HT: Do you think this whole streaming era ruined the identity of mixtapes nowadays?

Tony Shhnow: Yeah. It did a little bit. It did a little bit. But I still feel like there’s a space for it. I feel like just people have to, we got to adapt to it type shit. You don’t really see the premier artists doing that. People, the rap game normally imitates whatever the premier artist is doing at the time type shit. At the time when Lil Wayne did that, Tyga was doing that or Jacquees was doing that or Young Dro was doing that. It was multiple artists doing that at a time. But you don’t see the premier artists, which is Drake or Kendrick or J. Cole, you don’t see them doing that. They’re not going to imitate it.

HT: What is the big significance of having someone host your mixtapes? Because DJ Yung Rell hosted a few of your tapes.

Tony Shhnow: Yeah. I feel like that role is a lost art form in hip hop. So it’s important to me to keep pushing him or keep pushing that narrative type shit because I feel like hip hop needs that. That’s what I grew up on. That’s what a lot of these kids don’t get to see. You know what I mean? It’s almost like a narrator.

HT: I think it definitely is a lost art form because you don’t hear DJ Scream or Evil Empire as often anymore.

Tony Shhnow: Because a lot of them guys that’s older, they’re successful as fuck now, they not doing it no more, they just successful as fuck. So they don’t have time to do it. They changed ventures. They might have a label now or they might have a clothing line now. They just aren’t into it. Because like I said before to go back into the main, nobody’s calling them to come do something. You feel me? Tyler was the last big dude I saw doing it.

HT: On Plug Motivation, you kept the sound with strictly plug producers. So why’d you keep it so inclusive? What inspired that?

Tony Shhnow: I was already planning on making a plug project. Nah. When ‘Dro gave me that title, I feel like I had to keep it true to being plug. I had to keep it true to that. I feel like it’s a misconception about plug music. I just made the project to clarify what it is. I even used the old plug. I tried to show y’all exactly what plug was and what plug is now.

HT: How important was it to get everyone’s contributions for this project?

Tony Shhnow: I feel like it was very important on the producer end to make sure I tapped in what each producer that was a part of the Beats Plugs type shit and as far as the new culture. I feel like I can do the rapping. So I leave everything else to them, I try to make sure I work with the best producers, or the best DJ, the best director.

HT: One of my favorite songs is “Hell’s Hot” because I never heard you so angry before. Why were you so mad?

Tony Shhnow: I was dealing with this girl and really, it was a response to her. She just text me, “Hell is hot. I hope you burn, nigga.” I was like, “All right. Bitch, fuck you.

HT: That’s a mean text.

Tony Shhnow: On God. So I responded. I just use music as my therapy sometimes. So that’s just what that was. I honestly didn’t even know I was going to keep that song. People just started liking it.

HT: Based off the few drill songs you have on the ShadowBanned mixtape, how do you feel about drill music and how do you feel about the culture?

Tony Shhnow: It’s cool. I like it a little bit. I ain’t going to lie to you like I’m a super big fan of it because I’m not really into rap that talks too much about guns or violence type shit. I’m just super not heavy on it. The drill wave in Chicago was cool to me but I didn’t look at it that much. I just ain’t, I’m more of a fan of just player music. Talking about getting money or smoking weed. I like Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y or Lil Wayne. I like Gucci but I don’t like his songs when he talking about just shooting shit up all the time.

HT: That’s understandable. I can tell you’re on the fence with drill music.

Tony Shhnow: Yeah. I’m like, eh. Like I said I want to do it but just a little more player. I really fuck with, I fuck with, what’s that dude name? Damn, what’s that dude name? They dropped the Too Slizzy Too Sexy tape.

HT: Cash Cobain and Chow Lee.

Tony Shhnow: Yeah, bro. I’m fucking with them. Something that make the hoes move. Don’t get me wrong. The drill shit is cool. But I like the songs that the hoes get to moving with the girls. You know what I mean? I want girls to dance. I don’t want to shoot; I don’t have a stand-off [laughs].

The post Tony Shhnow Makes Getting Money Music appeared first on High Times.

From the Archives: New Year’s Dead (1991)

I had neglected to tell my friend Ed a little dark secret of mine. I figured it wouldn’t matter. I was absolutely convinced that, miracle of miracles, we’d find a way to get in to the New Year’s Eve Grateful Dead show at the Oakland Coliseum—despite arriving without ducats.

But we failed, and so there we were sitting in our rental car in the parking lot, listening to the show on the radio. There was only one word for our collective state: bummed. I decided to confess.

“I probably should have told you that I generally don’t have very good luck on New Year’s. In fact, I have a history of bad New Year’s Eves—ever since the parties we had. Those were the best New Year’s Eves.” (Ed and I grew up together in New York. We threw a series of deranged New Year’s parties when we were in college.)

“You’ve had bad New Year’s Eves since?” Ed asked.

“Ever since,” I said. Ed couldn’t hold back a big laugh. “Can’t remember a good one.” And he laughed again.

“Since you were 17?”

“Right. Forgot to tell you that.”

“Now you tell me.”

We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I came up with the plan to hop the airbus and join our Deadhead family in Mecca for the New Year’s shows. Ed immediately fired out a money order for tickets. I called another friend who lives in the Bay Area and asked him to make ticket inquiries on our behalf. Then I went to HIGH TIMES editor Steve Hager and suggested the magazine send me out to California to cover the shows. “Got tickets?” Hager wondered. “Not yet,” I said. “We’re taking care of that. Don’t worry.”

Ed’s ticket request came back empty, but my friend was able to score a pair for the Friday night show. (New Year’s Eve was Monday.) We were in. We were booked.

Friday morning, December 28, Ed and I took off for Cali. It had snowed pretty heavily the night before, but the runway was clear. We landed in Oaktown three hours before showtime. It didn’t take long for us to run into the hemp folks on the vending lot—Jack Herer in one corner, Cannabis Action Network in the other, both doing their own thing.

The highlight of a rather laid-back show was “China Cat Sunflower,” which opened the second set (amazingly, Maria and Rick of CAN both predicted this would happen). We hung out in the hallways with the space dancers and spinners, with children and their folks at a makeshift Rainbow-style Kid Village. The mellowness—quite a change from East Coast harshness—was contagious.

The news that Branford Marsalis—the brilliant jazz saxophonist who guested with the Dead in April ’90-would be opening the New Year’s show topped off our heady day. I’ll keep this story short. A few years back, I interviewed Branford for an article about his more-famous brother, Wynton.

Since then we’ve become friends, chatting at Knicks games, even throwing a football around one Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn. When I heard Branford was in town, I figured I was in. Miracles do happen.

The next day, I tracked Branford down at a nearby jazz club where his quartet was jamming nightly. After staring at me quizzically (like, “What the hell are you doing here?”), he asked, “What’s wrong with the Knicks, man?” In between sets, Branford explained that “Dark Star” is his favorite Dead song and the main thing he likes about the Dead is “their vibe.”

About the upcoming New Year’s gig, Branford told me, “We go on sometime around eight. Other than that, I don’t know jack. I think I’m playing with [the Dead]; It’s up to the cats.” Would Branford be my miracle passage into the Coliseum?

“It’s gonna be tight,” he cautioned. “I’ll help you if I can. If I can’t….”

On New Year’s Eve day, Ed and I visited HIGH TIMES’ Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal, who lives in Oakland.

He gave us a tour of his magical cactus garden and some words of advice about attending New Year’s shows without tickets. “I won’t do it,” he said. “It’s too depressing if you don’t get in.” What bothered me as we searched for the freeway was if the Guru of Ganja couldn’t cop a New Year’s ticket, what made us think we could?

We had two plans: The Branford plan, and another that involved hooking up with Brett, a friend’s brother who had promised me his spare ticket. Both fell through. Apparently, I didn’t make Branford’s ticket cut. Adding insult to injury, Denis McNally, the Dead’s publicist, scolded me for relying on a musician for tickets. “There isn’t a spare ticket in the house,” he said, walking away. As far as the other plan was concerned, we never did find Brett.

Depression quickly overcame us. Slowly, we walked back to the lot, where thousands of ’heads were celebrating the beginning of the show. Suddenly, it dawned on me that we weren’t exactly going to miss the concert. Every colorful car, van and bus in the lot was tuned to KPFA, the local station broadcasting live New Year’s Dead to the entire country and probably a few others. The squeak of Branford’s soprano sax tweaked my brain. We walked on.

There was only one way to salvage the situation: acid and burritos. We surveyed the lot, checking for the familiar sight of Lee’s double-decker, veggie-chow wagon. It didn’t take long to spot it. Lee, Keith and others inside were partying hard. They invited us in (we stayed for most of the night). As the seven-hour show progressed, we drew solace from the ’heads around us. They too had been shut out, but “bummed” and “depression” didn’t seem part of their vocabulary—at least, not on this special night. We banded together—as those inside undoubtedly were doing—raising our spirits to rare heights.

The music certainly helped. After a surprising electric set that featured guitarist Robin Eubanks, Branford joined Jerry, Bobby, Phil, Bruce, Vince, Mickey, Bill and guest drummer Olatunji for two spectacular sets. “Eyes of the World,” “Dark Star,”

“Drums,” “Space,” “The Other One,” “Not Fade Away” (great tribal dance/chant, closed the show), “The Weight,” “Johnny B. Goode” (encores). Jerry, Phil, Branford and Bruce got lost in the stars, improvising most of the night. An unwieldy, complicated fusion of styles, New Year’s Dead reveled in the past, present and future. It left me hopeful that this sort of musical summit can happen more than once a year.

But I still wished we’d gotten in. The CAN crew didn’t even bother trying; they went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers show in San Francisco instead. Now I know that acquiring New Year’s Dead tickets takes almost fanatical advance planning. There’s something painfully democratic about having to compete for tickets like everyone else. If only I’d listened to ticket maven David, who advised me to start scouting for tix the moment we touched down in Oakland….

Well, that’s all bongwater under the wharf now. Wish me better luck next year. Even if it is New Year’s Eve. 

High Times Magazine, May 1991

Read the full issue here.

The post From the Archives: New Year’s Dead (1991) appeared first on High Times.

Nota por Javier Hasse publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

Síguenos en Instagram (@El.Planteo) y Twitter (@ElPlanteo).

Tras adquirir la famosa discográfica Death Row Records, Snoop Dogg lanza una nueva marca de cannabis, Death Row Cannabis.

El lanzamiento se anunciará en las redes sociales en @DeathRowRecords y @DeathRowCannabis este jueves a las 11 am ET/8 am PT, acompañado de una animación del logotipo mundialmente reconocido del sello discográfico y una revelación de un tubo pre-roll de la marca.

El vídeo ha sido creado por el artista MylarMen, y la banda sonora, por Kevin Gilliam aka DJ Battlecat.

Death Row Cannabis: un nuevo giro para una marca tradicional

Durante más de 30 años, Death Row Records ha sido responsable de apoyar a algunos de lxs músicos más importantes del mundo, desde Dr. Dre a 2Pac. Con la reciente adquisición de Snoop Dogg, la discográfica recibió un cambio de aire, y resurgió como una plataforma cultural de múltiples categorías a través de la música, la moda, el entretenimiento y, ahora, el cannabis, todo ello conectado por la blockchain.

Contenido relacionado: EXCLUSIVA: Snoop Dogg Explica qué Tienen en Común la Marihuana y las Dietas ‘Plant Based’

Como explica el equipo, todos los elementos de la antigua marca se están adaptando al público actual y a la evolución de sus gustos.

En este sentido, la primera entrega de esta marca de cannabis llegará en bolsas metálicas conmemorativas, de edición limitada, con la icónica figura del preso encapuchado sentado en una silla eléctrica en la parte frontal. A diferencia del preso clásico que representaba a la marca, este nuevo logotipo muestra a un hombre con una mano libre, que la utiliza para fumar un porro bien gordo.

El encargado de la marca de cannabis será AK, un cultivador con vasta experiencia de la Costa Oeste y conocedor de la industria, que fue elegido por el propio Snoop. AK es conocido por su trabajo junto a su antiguo socio WizardTrees en la germinación, selección y cultivo experto de las variedades RS11, Studio 54 y Shirazi del criador de cannabis exótico DEO. AK es el hombre detrás de la marca IYKYK SMKRS y también es bien conocido por ser el vicepresidente de cultivo de TRP LLC, empresa que posee la mayoría de las tiendas Cookies en todo el país, incluyendo las instalaciones en Florida. La reputación de AK de cultivar marihuana espectacular y su paleta a la hora de seleccionar cepas ganadoras mantienen a la gente acampando en las colas frente a sus dispensarios.

Contenido relacionado: Anécdotas Fumonas: Snoop Dogg Recuerda el Día que Fumó Porro en la Casa Blanca

Death Row Cannabis, que saldrá a la venta la semana que viene, no quiere hacer esperar a sus fans: la marca pronto anunciará una fecha exacta y lugares para el lanzamiento debut. Algunas tiendas seleccionadas de Cookies de California (Brentwood, San Bernardino y San Diego) serán las primeras en ofrecer Death Row Cannabis, y pronto lo harán en otros lugares y estados.

Fotos cortesía de Death Row Cannabis

Más contenido de El Planteo:

The post appeared first on High Times.

Smoking Through Art Basel Featuring The Yutes

With that being my objective, my week was destined to be a huge win. In fact, this was my opportunity to link with The Yutes, two brothers named Chris and Santris (or Tris) who are making quite a buzz with their music. These youngsters have been on my radar since they landed a prime slot on a SXSW Takeover showcase in Austin, TX. I’ve had my hand in producing this event over thee years and it’s proven to be a valuable platform for artists to develop and break their careers. This was the circumstance for The Yutes, and continuing on their growing momentum, they dropped a single entitled, “Trap Don Dada,” ultimately scoring a deal from Babygrande Records. I had the chance to check all their music out and was captured by their unique way of incorporating their youthful insights and mashing it up with trap and reggae sounds. During my discoveries, I found that they were not only natives of Kingston, Jamaica, but their dad is the iconic dancehall legend Mr Lexx. Needless to say, my mind was blown and they haven’t left my radar since.

While it could be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the events going on during Art Basel, it was a no-brainer to clear my schedule for a night out at SkateBird, who converted their skatepark into a full-blown concert venue featuring performances from none other than The Yutes and stoner rap legend Curren$y—courtesy of Clockwork Music. I knew that this was my chance to link up with The Yutes and get them really really high. 

On my way out of town, I wanted to make sure I had some official New York pack on me, so I stopped by The Astor Club and grabbed a few 8ths of the Sour Power for me, and a couple Sheist Bubz to gift to The Yutes. I also snatched a Punch Bar for my flight. After consuming a combination of my goodies, I arrived at the airport feeling like I could float to Florida without the plane. 

Somehow, I made it to Miami and the mission was to head straight to the show. I arrived, rolled up some of the Sour Power, and proceeded to find The Yutes and hand over the packs I brought them. We chopped it up, then immediately started to Chong out in their green room. Upon venturing out, we realized that there was a whole other cannabis pop-up event upstairs at SkateBird called Terp Basel. Cookies was in the building; they now have a location in Miami and it’s cool to see them support events like these. My New York homies, 167 Exotics, were there and they hooked us up with some with some powerful Cherry Poppers buds. We also ran into the TerpHogz gang and they let us try two new strains from their latest pheno hunt: Lava Cake X Zkittlez and Hindu Zkittlez x Papaya x Zkittlez #28. Eventually, it was show time. The Yutes had a tremendous performance, gracing the stage alongside Smoke DZA and Curren$y. After the crowd was rocked to its fullest potential, we ended the night smoking some more astounding weed and declared it a successful evening.

Courtesy of UnkleLuc

Things went so well that we cliqued up the next day and hit the Basel streets together to stop by various events. We pulled up to Coi Leray’s event, launching her new strain with TheTenCo, which was great because we were blessed to obtain a few packs of that delicious Pink Zushie. The rest of the day was spent at an indoor/outdoor arcade venue called FunDimension where an event called Dab Day: Art Basel Edition was held by Dab Day Productions.

Courtesy of Digi Dave

As you may assume from the name, it was certainly a terpy affair, filled with hundreds of Art Basel-goers ripping dabs, playing arcade games, and congregating over the love of cannabis. Of course we did even more smoking there: endless pre-rolls from the homies at Blazy Susan, some more fire from Buddies Bodega, and ran into Shaggy Brown with that extremely potent Shaggy OG (which is not to be slept on unless sleeping is a goal). 

Casa De Cristal, the headiest location for functional glass art in Miami, had a full-blown pop up with super rare pieces from the likes of Mothership Glass and Toro. This was where Tris took his first dab ever in life, using a Puffco Proxy. Later on, I had the honor of introducing them to one of my cannabis heroes, Richard “Uncle Rick” DeLisi. Rick, who runs his own family cannabis business called DeLisioso, blessed them with some wisdom and some merch from their booth.

yutes
Courtesy of UnkleLuc

As this night was coming to a close, it was time to hydrate, eat, and recharge, because at some point in my haze I needed to ask some burning questions to my new stoner pals.

High Times: I saw Curren$y really embrace you guys. He mentioned wanting to work again. What can you tell us about your song with him?

Chris: Making “High Grade” with Curren$y was an amazing feeling. It’s a stoner song. We live that everyday, so it was only right we tap in. Reggae is also something that we’re interested in because we come from Jamaica. We made a dope vibe and Curren$y added his flame to it. Plus he rapped a different style on it—definitely one of my favorites. 

HT: Do you remember how you were turned on to him as a fan? 

Tris: When we was 13 or 14, Wiz [Khalifa] put out a video for a Waka Flocka freestyle, called “Reefer Party.” We was tuned into Wiz because he was poppin’ out there, you know, with “Black and Yellow” and all that. Wiz was just going so hard in that video… smoke everywhere and everything. So Curren$y was not on that song, but he was in the video, and so was Nipsey Hussle. There were a lot of cameos, and us being students of the culture, we just soaked it all up. Listening to Wiz put us on to all of that.

yutes
Courtesy of Fulani Jabari

HT: What was it like to attend a pure Cannabis event like Dab Day? 

Chris: Being able to smoke so free and open like that was an experience for us. 

Tris: Whole event was crazy. We grew up with cannabis getting so much bad publicity—a lot of people in jail for the wrong reasons. Just the fact that we are at this point, where events like this exist, is beautiful. 

Chris: I was stoned as fuck, that’s why I missed out when Tris took a dab. I’m still mad about that!

yutes
Courtesy of Christian Hernandez

HT: What about meeting Rick DeLisi? 

Chris: Uncle Rick is a very intriguing and interesting person.

Tris: Everyone needs to read up on Uncle Rick’s story. But basically he was a cannabis smuggler who just got out of prison after 52 years. That is longer than both of us have been alive. It is great that he is free and happy, and smoking big.

HT: With Mr. Lexx being your father, has cannabis always been a part of your life? 

Chris: Yes, having a father in the music industry, he would always have his joints around. He would hide it from us, but we knew what it was. We figured out that it was a part of the music and his way of creating. 

Tris: And not just the weed, we found his whole lifestyle inspiring: the way he would interact with other artists, be in the studio and go to events, really made us want to go for it. He wasn’t always there, but when we do get to link it’s always an unforgettable experience.

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An Ode to the Edible King, Perry Farrell

I want what Perry Farrell is smoking. More accurately, what edibles the Jane’s Addiction frontman is consuming. “I’m down to drink good wine and do weed,” he explained. “Well, I can’t smoke or it fucks up my voice, so I do edibles. (Dramatic Pause) EDIBLES!” At The Hollywood Bowl, Farrell spouted unconventional and conventional gold during song breaks. Even when music wasn’t filling up the bowl, Farrell didn’t let the show stop for a second.

It was the final stop for The Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction. There’d been a few bumps in the tour, but it all ended with splendid rock and a whole lot of Perry Farrell quotes we couldn’t get enough of hearing, pondering, and wondering, how can we get high with Perry Farrell one day?

“Let’s Go Motherfuckers!” – Mr. Farrell 

The two iconic rock groups delivered more than trips down nostalgia lane together. Yes, “Jane Says” or “Tonight, Tonight” ignited a flood of feel-good memories of bright summer afternoons or lazy school days. However, even the band’s classics are gifts that keep on giving in the present. The two bands gave their fans more fond memories that’ll hit them like soft bricks when their songs hit the radio or, more accurately, Spotify in the future. 

Poppy set the tone for the night well—a mixture of rock and comedy. She’s got a lovely voice, especially when she screams, “Fuck the world, it’ll just fuck you back!” She followed that song with a brief silence and a pleasant, soft-spoken, “Thank you,” which had me howling. She just radiates rock—an artist just doing her own thing.

Jane”s Addiction / Photo Credit: Randall Michelson/Hewitt Silva-Live Nation

“Wine, weed, can’t stop, can’t stop.” – You Know Who

Once Poppy left the stage, it was Jane’s Addiction time. Queens of the Stone Age’s guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen filled in for Dave Navarro, while original bassist Eric Avery was welcomed back with love and Stephen Perkins kept the energy high on drums. Everyone on stage was playing at an 11, but Farrell, he’s just from another planet, isn’t he? 

Farrell was happy to be back home in Hollywood. The city was equally as delighted to have him back. He is a showman of his own making, although his infectious joy on stage did call David Lee Roth. Just an energizer bunny with a graceful voice to compliment his high-wired movements. 

He is almost always on the move. 

Now, I could go on and on about everything Farrell said in between songs, because really, what other frontman says during a show at the Hollywood Bowl: “It’s a good day when you have a fucking hard-on.” The memorable quotes kept on coming, but his voice was just as entertaining. 

Farrell’s voice always had a hypnotic effect.There’s a gentleness to it, kind of an innocence that can clash with or compliment his more hard-edged songs in a way that’s rich in dynamicism. That voice along with the rest of the band can send you down a nice lazy river with “Summertime Rolls,” which I really wish they played, or a rollercoaster of rock, like “Three Days.” It’s a voice and band that knows how to tell a story. 

On the last night of the tour, Perry’s voice sounded practiced, not tired. He was in lockstep with the band. The group kept the electricity on full blast. It was a show. “What goes good with wine?” Farrell asked. “Sex.” He shared this around the time Ferell’s collaborator, wife, and vocalist, the one and only Etty Lau Farrell, danced and rocked back and forth on a plastic horse. The presentation and dancers match some of Jane’s sexually charged lyrics, but there’s also romance there! It was sweet watching a couple create art together and go nuts for one another. 

By the end of Jane’s Addiction loaded one-hour set, Farrell had a bottle of wine in hand and didn’t want to leave from the look of it. The band behind one of the all-time great rock albums Nothing’s Shocking was warmly embraced. As they deserved.

“You guys like spanking? Come see me after the show.” – P.F.

Billy Corgan reminded us all that the band is now about 35 years old. There was a collective sense of, holy shit, it’s been that long? After over three decades, Corgan keeps exploring new pathways with The Smashing Pumpkins. The Pumpkins recently released ATUM – Act 1, part one of a three-part rock opera that is… divisive. Instead of delivering more of the same, why not polarize, right? Flaws and all, at least the Pumpkins are still exploring.

The Smashing Pumpkins / Photo Credit: Randall Michelson/Hewitt Silva-Live Nation

The band isn’t completely focused on the past when they play live, either, but of course, songs from Gish, Siamese Dream, and Mellon Collie And the Infinite Sadness completely rock and sometimes even wreck—in a good way—the crowd. Together, Corgan and guitarist James Iha, who could barely move on stage and yet was so charismatic, do a version of “Tonight, Tonight” on two acoustic guitars that, I’ll say, was moving. 

The Pumpkins are now a well-oiled machine live. The setlists are tight and flow organically. The band knows when to go quiet or, often in spectacular fashion, go big. Whenever Corgan’s voice wailed and Jimmy Chamberlin gracefully bashed the shit out of his drums, the crowd was on their feet. Such a treat watching Chamberlin at work, as well as seeing Corgan, Chamberlin, and Iha together after years apart. It’s special, and Corgan recognized that when he thanked the crowd. 

One Last Word from Perry Farrell

If it’s not obvious by now, I want to walk down the corridors of this man’s mind with a joint and, just in case for protection, a wiffleball bat. Half-kidding aside, Farrell wasn’t all jokes when he wasn’t singing. In fact, at one point he showed more support for the women of Iran than far too many public officials in the United States. Farrell for 2024, am I right?  

“Our hearts go out to them,” Ferell said. “I just want to let you all know, if you look at the world as a paradox, this is a sign. A sign that the Iranian people they’re not going to take that shit anymore. They’re going to go to the streets. One day, I hope we can meet at God’s mountain and celebrate life and humanity.” 

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Moneybagg Yo, Gumbo Shut Down Miami for ‘Shot Off’ Launch

In the month of December, brands usually choose to activate during the highly popular Art Basel week in Miami. But the hottest cannabis buzzing in the street right now, Gumbo Brands, and chart-topping hip-hop artist Moneybagg Yo, waited for the dust to settle to celebrate the announcement of their partnership for Bagg’s new Gumbo strain “Shot Off Gumbo.” In a more intimate affair, they shut down the Black-owned restaurant, Playa Miami, for about 50 guests including a few celebrity friends of the brand, Caresha of The City Girls, Amber Rose, N.O.R.E. Moneybagg Yo, label mates, tastemakers, media, and the Founders of the Gumbo Brands Karim Butler and Alexis Major themselves. 

The amount of dripped-out ice in the room for such a small amount of guests was astonishingly mind-boggling. Wall-to-wall bling-off! If you’ve never been to a Gumbo event, let me warn you, they like to do everything big for the culture. The drinks were flowing with a full open bar… definitely shots of 1942 were being passed frivolously around the tables. The food was incredibly amazing. I suggest anyone in the Miami Beach area or planning to visit to make a reservation immediately… highly recommend the mouth-watering lamb chops, calamari bites and the yummy mac & cheese. Thank me later! The vibe and the networking was on one thousand, especially with DJ Wrecky who totally kept the hype going while mixing in a healthy amount of Bagg’s hottest hits all night. By the end of the event no one wanted to leave, they literally had to turn the lights on. Every guest was gifted the signature Gumbo pens and plenty of gas to go around. 

Courtesy of Gumbo

Not only did Gumbo show Moneybagg Yo major love at the announcement dinner, but they also gifted him a 150 carat chain with VS diamonds and a 90 carat VS diamond watch, which is one of 18 in the world, from Pristine jewelers. The Black-owned cannabis and lifestyle brand has been buzzing like crazy in the streets, especially gaining more attention with their collaborations with today’s hottest in entertainment including Meek Mill, Lil Meech, N.O.R.E., Fabolous, and brand sponsor for viral podcast, Drink Champs. 

The “Shot Off Gumbo” strain will be a Hybrid with an earthy sweet pine undertone and euphoric and stoney experience under the Gumbo Brands Umbrella.

Courtesy of Gumbo

Gumbo Brands is a revolutionary new cannabis and lifestyle company, founded by the Black-owned entrepreneurial power-couple, Karim Butler and Alexis Major. Unlike some of the corporate brands that swoop in and try to take advantage of cultural equity in this industry, Gumbo Brands’ major focus is making a difference, building wealth, and sharing knowledge within the Black and Brown communities. Black ownership accounts for only 4.3% of all cannabis businesses. This couple is breaking down that barrier by bringing more people within the community into the cannabis business and giving them the resources and career opportunities to succeed. Gumbo Brands is utilizing creative cultural initiatives in this space to encourage entrepreneurship while also supporting racial justice outcomes and inclusion, including working with the formerly incarcerated to gain licenses, who oftentimes don’t have the financial means or proper information to secure one. 

Gumbo is currently a leading brand in the cannabis space and sold at top dispensaries across the nation, and on its way to global expansion with their products, which includes flower, G-pens, exclusive merch, and lifestyle products. They recently announced a partnership with the global empire Cookies that will give the brand access to 22 states and 15 countries as the cannabis takeover grows within legalized areas of the world. If you’re looking to get your hands on some of this new cannabis strain, be sure to check out www.thegumboshop.com.

Courtesy of Gumbo

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