This weekend, Humbolt County, California, rap duo Potluck play the Fine Line. Fresh off their tours with R.A. the Rugged Man and Johnny Richter, the 420-friendly duo will be joined by Wrekonize and Prevail of Swollen Members this Sunday.
We spoke to Potluck member 1Ton about their new mixtape #StonerProblems, how touring has changed in states where marijuana's been legalized, and the misconceptions that come with being a "stoner rapper."
Gimme Noise: You've been touring the country long before the beginning of legalized medical and recreational marijuana in America. Have you noticed a difference performing in states where marijuana's legalized?
1Ton: You know, the funniest thing about that is it turned out different from how I expected when weed started getting legalized. We'd hit states where marijuana hasn't been legalized, and then we'd hit Colorado and Washington for the first time after it'd been legalized and thought, "When we get there the fans are all gonna smoke and it's gonna be a crazy thing." But, you know how the world works, when the government gets involved, everything gets messed up.
When we'd go around all the growers and stoners and smokers would get together and there was an underground hippie vibe to it. Once we got legalized marijuana, we'd get to those cities and there would be no smoking in the venue because now they have all these smoking regulations, and alcohol and beverage control and the fire department. Now, it's like, there's so many different government agencies involved that they took the whole "everyone get together and be friends" vibe out of it.
You mention that on the new mixtape as well, how you don't trust weed if the government's selling it. Why is that?
It's a combination. The vibe of marijuana brings people together and was the last resource we had that was truly a free market. Supply and demand. There were no outside agencies that were affecting pricing, distribution, and all that. Once that happened, "you have to have a license to grow," "you have to pay this tax to your local cities." They add all these layers of regulations, and whenever that happens there's money involved, and money and power possess the soul. I don't think it's at quite that point yet, but it's getting there.
Do you recall the first time you heard marijuana referenced in a rap song?
The first time I heard weed referenced in a rap song was Total Devastation's "Many Clouds of Smoke." That was after the first time I smoked weed. I really liked the song because you could tell they were really about the culture, and they referenced Humbolt County, which is always a good thing.
Your new mixtape #StonerProblems has some fun with Twitter culture. Do you enjoy Twitter, or is it just something you enjoy satirizing?
I like Twitter. Twitter can be fun. I feel all social media outlets have different things that are entertaining in their own way. If everyone's watching the Super Bowl, everyone's doing the same thing at the same time, so I can scroll through and see what Krizz Kaliko thinks about the Super Bowl in Kansas City, what R.A. thinks about the Super Bowl in New York, what some of my family in Nigeria think about it in Nigeria.
Do you think there's any misconceptions about Potluck from people who only know of you?
Well, the two things in terms of us making music, being called Potluck and being from Humbolt. People misunderstand stoners and think all stoners are stupid. Me and [Potluck member] Underrated are both college graduates. Not that graduating from college makes you smart, but you can still be a productive member of society. Owning your own business like we do, graduating from college, being a family man. It's not the old perception of marijuana where you're an airhead who doesn't really know what's going on. I think people who are anti-marijuana still look at us like that.
The second thing, from more a musician ego stand point is, people think when you rap about weed, they assume it's a gimmick. Like, "these guys are just rapping about weed, trying to get on." We came from Humbolt County. If we started doing music in Compton, we'd might have been gangsta rappers. If we started making music in the South, we might have made crunk music. Wherever we came from, we'd rap about our environment. We love hip-hop, we started out with four turntables, battling and filling out clubs. We have a strong hip-hop foundation.
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