B-Real is what you might call a renaissance man. Between distributing his own strains of kind under the Dr. Greenthumb label, designing the award-winning joint accessory Phunky Feel Tips, running his own 420-friendly web TV channel, and licensing his soon-to-be opening dispensary in Santa Ana, you might be prone to forget that, oh yeah, the dude is also the frontman of legendary hip-hop group Cypress Hill.
The man who’s made a big mark in both fields says, “I think music and marijuana go hand in hand,” in an interview with DJ Booth. He’s talking about a synergy between his music act and his projects in the cannabusiness, something that other celebrity stoner entrepreneurs like Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong have also taken to heart.
For B-Real, synergy means letting the music promote the dispensary while the dispensary promotes the music. Like this: “One way to talk about it is in songs, so we’ll have some songs that relate to the actual collective. Who know’s maybe, once in awhile, we might throw a special surprise ‘cheef and greet’ or a performance, if the layout allows.”
If marijuana is overshadowing music in his career right now, it may be because while the music industry is on the downswing financially, the cannabis industry is skyrocketing in newly legalized territories. So far, you can’t bittorrent a dab.
“The turn around on what you are making [in the medical marijuana business] is a lot faster than in music,” he says. “From studies of collectives, some turn over $50,000… a week, it just depends on the traffic. That’s how fast it happens. The music industry is rather slow. You get paid quarterly on your royalties and publishing and that depends on if you have successful records. Chances are most of your money is coming quickly via shows and merch. That’s the right away money.”
He goes on to say, “If you want to compare shows to dispensaries, both turn around fast, but the wear and tear on your body from doing 30 some odd shows every couple months as opposed to being behind the counter. There’s a big difference.”
As for the collective in Santa Ana, it’s not quite open, but it’s getting there. “It was quite a lengthy process,” he says. “We’re still going through it… Now, we’re playing the waiting game. We’re sitting on the runway waiting to take off.”
But just because Dr. Greenthumb is putting a lot of energy into distributing meds to California’s patients doesn’t mean the music is on the back burner. Cypress Hill has a new album called Elephants in the works. “That album is a new piece of work,” he says, “but it’s also to celebrate our 25 year anniversary as Cypress Hill. That’s the big thing. There’s a song called Reefer Man. That should be coming very soon.” The musician says he’s also working on a collaboration with fellow stoner rapper Berner, and a solo album as well.
Photo via Flickr user Selector Marx