One of the most oft-explored weed stereotypes deals with the inescapable small talk that comes with committing the USA's favorite non-violent, increasingly-legal crime.
"What do you mean?" balks a utilitarian. "You show up. You spit out an amount and some dollars. And you leave."
Ah! Anyone who has ever copped knows that patrons are forced -- between each of those seemingly innocuous phases -- to free improv converse with black market clerks with whom they likely have little in common with besides, well, dope.
Some would argue this situation is one of the foremost reasons decriminalization and/or legalization need(s) to happen, like, yesterday. But County Grind advocates a more humanistic approach to your purchase of marijuana.
Don't you think its time you started considering your dealer and their chit-chat as something more than a necessary hurdle to overcome in order to obtain that which you most desire? Haven't you ever stopped to wonder, "Hey! I wonder what kind of music my pot dealer loves?"
As you approach the room at the end of the hall, the first novel stimulus you encounter comes via your nostrils. Your olfactory system processes the following cornucopia of sordid delight: Weed, body odor, and body odor that smells like weed. You traverse down a hallway crowded with party garbage, fixed gear bicycles, signs advertising vegan potlucks, and a single round table supporting a fairly large mound of dry, brown, vaporized marijuana. This is definitely the right dorm. You knock on the door of the room number you've been instructed to seek out, but it takes a few minutes before anyone notices.
And that's because all of the mooks inside have tattooed themselves to the smoking sofa positioned in front of a fairly super-sized home entertainment system pumping out lugubrious plumes of thick-as-fuck stoner metal. Maybe it's Bongzilla's Amerijuanican. Or perhaps the iPod has queued up the entirety of Dopesmoker, the hour-long reefer homage by perennial potheads, Sleep. There's even a chance that one of the droopy-eyed ex-skater video gamers has some of her pops' old Sabbath records.
But no matter the medium, the meat of the matter remains honoring the Sweet Leaf with music that is as slow, lumbering, and fucking heavy as you feel after taking a few gargantuan rips off the gravity bong. Stoner metal aims to represent the weight of actual stones tied to your torso pulling you down into the depths until you are lower than low, in the best way possible.
When it comes to THC, the main difference between stoner metal and rap is that while the former is almost exclusively concerned with consumption, the latter is more often than not preoccupied with the act of slanging. And that's why you can be sure your boy on the corner in the white-tee and baggy pants isn't listening to the new High on Fire record.
More likely than not, the smartphone he shares with his "co-workers" is loaded with the latest Gucci Mane, an A$AP Mob mixtape, and whatever other trap star anthems have dropped on Datpiff.com that week.
Sure, there are other controlled substances in his life. He probably also deals blowcaine (a.k.a. benzoylmethylecgonine). And in 2014, hood rats are more inclined to pop a Molly and rhyme about LSD than ever before. But you can bet a fat bag of shake that at the end of a hard day hustlin', the corner boy longs for ol' reliable: a fatty boom batty and some gritty hip-hop about fatty boom batties. Shit, odds are he probably learned how to roll a blunt from Redman's classic joint about joints, "How to Roll a Blunt."
Ya know the Deadhead and/or Phish Phanatic that you need to hit up before they go on the the road for another "Vision Quest?" (For the record, such Quests often begin with following a band like the String Cheese Incident around on tour and end with body painting at Burning Man). Is there any doubt as to what cassette is on deck in their flower-adorned VW van? Its probably Phish covering the Grateful Dead being too high to remember how to end the damn song.
Which brings us to our crux. Due to its dependence on the complete warping of time as we know it: Jam band rock is potentially the weediest music of all time, and, subsequently, a mighty default for many dealers, pushers, and guys who know a guy. Never before has an argument against recreational reefer been so potently rooted in the plant's ability to thwart one's decision-making processes and usual sense of judgement.
The decor adorning the lair of your festival hippie dealer's bedroom looks like a wholesale catalog for headshops looking to diversify their stock with some accessories. Day-glo, black lights, lava lamps, fake concert posters for Hendrix gigs that never happened: All of it would make you run screaming for the hills (assuming the hackey sack tunes have not already) if the cheeba wasn't so damn fresh.
There are two kinds of guys who sell weed and listen to reggae.
The first is an actual Rastafarian, with a lifetime of dreadlocks cultivated upon his head and the love and wisdom of Haile Selassie in his heart.
While always appreciating the classics, the music most likely to be bumping when he controls the playlist are new instrumental his DJ has sent him to fill out with lyrics about Babylon and Pan-African social justice.
The other is a fool caught tragically (and forever) in the jabrone zone. Maybe he's got one of those "Jamaican Me Crazy" dread-hats. His most listened to tracks on iTunes are all on Bob Marley's Legends. He is the frontman of a Sublime cover band and he pulls off an incredible impression of both Bradley Nowell and Nowell's infamous ska-punk pet icon, Lou Dog.
Video Game Soundtracks
Some pot dealers only see the light of day when they run out of ramen. And some only hear music when they cue up the Super NES emulator on their laptop. Sure, there is a select cast of green grocers that deliberately and intentionally curate a specific selection of sonic compositions embedded within electronic gamescapes.
But the majority of delegates representing this flavor of dealer are more concerned with leveling up and unlocking achievements than they are with the background sound scoring their dragon slaying. Which is a shame because the potential for cross-marketing when it comes to weed and media (formally known as weedia) is as vast as it is sorely underexploited.
Basically, we're asking why has no one invented some kind of weed video game yet? It could be like Paperboy. But, like, with pot. And 8-bit renditions of Bongzilla songs.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.