2 Chainz doesn’t see the need to dedicating a day to smoking weed. For 2 Chainz, weed is part of his life — every day is 4/20. He smokes when he wakes up, he smokes before work, he smokes before defending weed culture live on FOX with Nancy Grace, he smoked while talking to The Denver Post over the phone last week.
Many people, and artists in particular, let cannabis take over their identity. They post their joints on Instagram, they send out tweets at 4:20 p.m., but 2 Chainz doesn’t see the need to advertise something that’s another part of his daily routine. And it has been, since he was first exposed to the plant while growing up in College Park, Georgia.
Some people might not have the luxury of being able to smoke or afford weed on a daily basis, and for those people, 2 Chainz said he’s looking forward to making 4/20 memorable.
We caught up with 2 Chainz over the phone last week to talk about the significance of 4/20, his interview with Nancy Grace, and who the ambassadors of weed culture are in music.
More 4/20 music
HeyReverb.com: What significance does 4/20 have for you?
2 Chainz: I mean, it’s not that significant because smoking is something I do every day. I was already smoking when you called. It’s a part of my lifestyle. It’s a part of me. You know, it might be a celebration for someone who doesn’t understand what it means, but for me every day is 4/20. So it’s not like I send out a tweet and tell everyone to roll up a joint at 4:20 p.m. I’m real organic with it. I don’t need a camera to take my meds.
Reverb: I like to see that, because so many artists are needlessly forward about it. But for you it’s just part of your life.
2 Chainz: It’s just personality, man. It’s how they was raised, it’s where they come from. It could be a number of things. Some people didn’t have money before and now they do, some people didn’t smoke before and now they do. What I’m saying is some people can get into something and be so engulfed in it that it can take over their lives. That’s not me. I’m a natural user, like my dad was and my mama still is. It’s been in my family for years. This has nothing to do with TV or a show. I do this because I do this. Every day I do this. Maybe a younger guy might be like, ‘oh we gonna take shotguns and sit on the floor and smoke weed.’ For me I’ll go out there and have a joint with Uncle Snoop, which is what I would do if it was 4/20 or Jan. 1. That is what it is for me. I represent truth the real you, like I’m smoking a joint right now and I don’t give a f*** about trying to impress anyone or trying to look cool. I get so much support in Denver and it’s nice not having to worry about having a sack in your pocket. It’s real mellow out there. It’s
Reverb: I think it’s interesting that you say that, is because that’s the attitude here. People just smoke weed, it doesn’t need to be this big showy thing, but do you think the celebrations on 4/20 are necessary?
2 Chainz: I mean it’s how you feel about it. Some people celebrate the darndest things. I think it’s cool because it’s a cultural holiday. It’s something that cannabis smokers can adapt to. They’ll tell you, cannabis smokers will tell you, they smoke 4/19 and 4/21. You need an occasion to celebrate, and I’m sure it will be building over time until all the states legalize it. For the most part, man. I don’t really need an occasion. As a real smoker, I wake up and smoke, I don’t need an excuse. It’s something I need to get my day going, being involved with different artists and personalities and it helps my mood. I’m elated to be part of 4/20 but even if it wasn’t 4/20 I would do the same exact thing. But I am honored to be thought of in the same sentence of Snoop Dogg.
Reverb: So what is your first experience with 4/20?
2 Chainz: I remember smoking weed for no reason. My daddy gave me a joint when I was a kid. It wasn’t his birthday, it wasn’t my birthday, it definitely wasn’t 4/20. It’s a cultural thing. The younger people get excited for it because it gives you a reason to do something that you don’t normally do. I think that’s what 4/20 does for a lot of people. It’s like, ‘what are you going to wear.’ I think it’s for people who want to get really high and normally don’t and they’re looking forward to repeating it again. Then people can always say they celebrated with me and Snoop and it will be memorable for them.
Reverb: You grew up with it and it’s been part of your life for a long time. What’s your earliest memory smoking it — you said you did it with your dad.
2 Chainz: It was socially relevant in my community, coming from a neighborhood that I came from, it was important. It was always thought of as something that wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t like the white stuff. Weed didn’t seem that bad, nobody OD’d on it, it didn’t kill you. It was just part of me and part of my upgrining. My earliest memories were just chillin with the homies, and just having sessions, and back then 4/20 was a celebration for me because I couldn’t do it every day — I couldn’t afford to do it every day.
Reverb: You’ve played here a handful of times since Colorado legalized weed, what has been your experience in the state?
2 Chainz: Ever since the legalization you can tell people are a little happier and they move around a little different. With the opportunites to go to dispensaries. You could tell the atmosphere changed a lot. People move more freely, they seem a little less uptight.
Reverb: I wanted to talk a little bit about your interview with Nancy Grace. Tell me why you chose to be on the show.
2 Chainz: It just came across the desk. And I figured like it would be cool to do, you know, I’m 2 Chainz, I feel like I can do anything I want. For me it’s almost good that I don’t look at anything but ESPN, I don’t know some of these other shows. So when I told my aunts they thought I was crazy, they were like, ‘Do you know who this lady is?’ So I approached the situation as I would approach any situation. I was there to charm her and she feel for it.
Reverb: What I liked most about the interview was how you were able to represent yourself and hip-hop and weed smokers in a respectable way.
2 Chainz: Like I said, the whole thing about weed isn’t about Instagram it isn’t about fans, the whole thing is organic and I think that’s what people can appreciate.
Reverb: You kind of defined yourself as a cultural ambassador for weed. Do you see yourself as that, do you want to be that?
2 Chainz: I mean, that’s nothing that I signed up for. I’m smart enough to have an analysis of the things that I do. I’ve done enough research and reading to know that weed has never harmed anyone. I look at it as something to relax. You know, getting on the show and being able to express that and tell my side of the story, it definitely wasn’t planned. And some things are better when they’re not planned. The whole interview was straight improve. I’m glad I smoked a joint before I went on and talked to her, because it kept me calm and I was able to really listen and dial in, and I think that’s the reason I did well. I’m a smart guy and I feel like I figured out her ways of cutting people off in the middle of the conversation. Nothing but respect for Nancy Grace, but I really don’t think she realized the kind of guy that I am. I’m on top of things.
Reverb: Yeah, it really seemed like you surprised her. And that kind of gets to my next question, what misconceptions do you think the rest of the country and people like Nancy Grace have for weed smokers.
2 Chainz: I look at it like a neighborhood. One house can do one thing and one house can’t do it on the same street. It’s something that we need to address, it would be beneficial to the government and beneficial to the communities. With the research that we have, I think we’re able to see the pros of legalizing marijuana.
Reverb: How do you think we can overcome those misconceptions?
2 Chainz: I think it’s going to take time. People will start realizing that it’s more beneficial for tax payers and wasting time in court deciding something as minute as marijuana. It’s a waste of time and money. People will appreciate the legalizing marijuana thing once it happens. It’s starting to spread one state at a time. But it’s moving very slow. In order to get to one state that has legalized it you have to go through another that hasn’t and you’re breaking the law. It’s very confusing right now.
Reverb: I kind of wanted to ask just in general, who would you say are the cultural ambassadors to weed and in music? Who will carry this torch to the next generation?
2 Chainz: I know Wiz is an organic smoker, that’s what he does. That’s the first name that comes to mind. Wiz, maybe Curren$y really knows what weed is. And people like us where they find the good weed and find the good conversation, because you have to have one to have the other. Wiz and definitely Curren$y.