Happy Easter! Happy 420! Both holidays, which fall today, seem almost equally accepted and mainstream, especially in states such as California, Colorado, and Washington. But it wasn't always that way. The first time I personally became aware of the symbolism of 420 and what it meant was back in the mid '90s when I was over in Amsterdam reporting on the High Times sponsored Cannabis Cup for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. During that week of events in the Dutch city long associated with cannabis, I noticed how at exactly 4:20pm each afternoon without fail everyone would stop whatever they were doing to spark one up. Of course, most stoners don't need an excuse or specific time to remind them to indulge in the sticky icky, but that doesn't stop folks from observing the hour of 4:20 (pm or am) as if it were a religious holiday. Weed lore has it that celebrating 4:20 dates back to the early 1970's when, somewhere in NorCal near Humboldt - longtime the epicenter of California weed-growing, a group of friends chose that time of the day to light up. Since then the time morphed into the date of April 20th as a celebratory time and nowadays it seems everyone, smokers and non-smokers alike, are well aware of the meaning of 4:20.
After releasing a series of sought after 10” singles, DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5 drops his long-awaited official long-player. The album pits Nu-Mark’s simple funky production next to a diverse range of soul and hip hop artists, including Charles Bradley, Aloe Blacc, J-Live, Quantic, and Large Professor! Soul with a twist. Broken Sunlight on Hot Plate Records is a triple disc release that includes a second disc with instrumentals, acapellas and clean versions and a DVD with a feature film on Nu-Mark’s life on the road. All in time for the holidays!
2) S3Supa Soul Shit (Melting Pot Music)
This new import CD/LP is the brainchild of Kansas City soul singer Miles Bonny and European beat maven Brenk Sinatra. Miles Bonny croons some smooth soulful tunes over Brenk’s equally buttery production, which mixes dreamy electronic beats with some nice soul samples. Fans of Frank Ocean will likely lose their shit over this one!
Thanks to Michelle at the Haight Street store for the above latest Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five chart which features in the number one slot the brand new release from longtime hometown rap hero Black C of RBL Posse fame whose new solo album is Still Ruthless on Rightway Productions. As you know RBL Posse, who hailed from the Hunters Point district of San Francisco, released some popular rap albums back in the nineties including their 1992 debut A Lesson To Be Learned on In-A-Minute featuring the hit and future dank anthem "Don't Gimme No Bammer" (Black C's brand new video below for the new album track "I Smoke" is a kind of sequel to that classic even referencing its lyrics), and RBL Posse's second album Ruthless By Law" on In-A-Minute in 1994. Their next album, An Eye For An Eye on Big Beat came out in 1997, a year after Black C's partner in rhyme Mr Cee was shot and killed in cold blood on New Year's Day 1996.
Today (4/20) the Kottonmouth Kings unveiled their weed celebratory video, "My Garden"
For marijuana activists and active cannabis smokers today, April 20th (aka 4/20), is a holiday of sorts; it's a day that is celebrated and recognized by tokers (whether medicinal or recreational) from Oaksterdam to Amsterdam and every other place around the world where the oft controversial plant is enjoyed, whether inhaled or ingested. Many of those who partake in the greenery are artists (lots of hip-hop, reggae, and rock) including the SoCal rock/rap/reggae group the Kottonmouth Kings who, in honor of 4/20, today are celebrating with the release of their video "My Garden," the relaunching of their website KottonmouthKings.com, plus playing a big concert tonight titled Ganja Dayz 420 Celebration in Pomona, CA at the Fox Theatre. They'll play two other gigs later this week too: Friday, Apr 22, at House of Blues in San Diego, and Saturday, Apr 23rd at Fremont in Las Vegas, NV.
The new video/song "My Garden" is taken from the Kottonmouth Kings' EP Legalize It which is a digital only release and prequel to their full-length studio album The Sunrise Sessions which will drop in physical and digital formats in July 19th on the band's Suburban Noize label. Other songs on the EP, which has the same title as the famous Peter Tosh pro-weed anthem, include the reggae flavored protest track "Soon Come." A little earlier this afternoon I caught up with Brad Xavier, better known by his stage name Daddy X, who is the front man for the Kottonmouth Kings and is a man who enjoys life and this holiday and what it stands for. He promised that at tonight's Pomona show, "It will be a great party, a massive celebration of freedom and positive vibes." Does he think that marijuana will ever be fully legalized in the USA? "Without a doubt," he replied. "This prohibition will come to a end and freedom will reign supreme." In honor of Daddy X's commitment to weed and the 4:20 holiday, below are videos for some of the best pro-weed anthems from a variety of artists. These include the Kottonmouth Kings' labelmates Potluck, Peter Tosh, The Toyes, The Luniz, RBL Posse, and Tha Alkaholiks.