As the 2020 summer-in-quarantine rolled out, Dizzy Wright & Demrick dropped their second cannabis-themed album, “BLAZE WITH US 2.” The release was celebrated in Dizzy’s clothing store, Still Movin, in Las Vegas.
The album was released and distributed by JohnnyShipes, Shieistbubz and Smoke DZA’s Smoker’s Club Records via Cinematic Music Group. The second installment of the west coast duo’s series (the first racked up over 20 million streams on Spotify alone) is bolder, more musical, and as eclectic as it gets, touching on reggae, old school hip hop, trap, and more.
In addition, the album features skits by legendary Tommy Chong, who makes a few guest appearances on the album, which were recorded while smoking with the rappers in the studio.
Seeking to better understand the album, their motivations, and their numerous business ventures, I spent some quality time with Dizzy and Demrick on a Zoom call – in a responsible COVID-19 fashion.
“We want to change the narrative of weed raps,” explains Dizzy. “We wanted to be the thinkers and we wanted to create the weed music that had the substance in it, that kind of represents the conversations we have, and also the growth that we’re having in the cannabis industry.”
Reminiscing about the recording of the first “Blaze With Us” album, Dizzy points out how cannabis was not legal in many of the places it is nowadays. “We were really, really pushing for it to be legal. Now we’re pushing for it to be federally legal,” he says. “And we’re also celebrating the wins that we’ve been having in the cannabis industry.”
For Demrick, it’s all about getting the right messages across: “There’s a lot of knowledge and information that’s given out on that album.”
And, with it being the first official LP out of The Smokers Club, the stakes were high, adds Matt Van Sol, project manager for The Smoker’s Club and Cinematic Music Group. Van Sol was under double the pressure, he says, being this his first time managing an artist project for Cinematic.
Fortunately, the results have been highly pleasing so far.
“The team, including Chris Herche, Mike Epstien and Ernest Noel, works extremely hard and Smoker’s Club Records will be a household name before you know it,” he continues, touting “Blaze With Us 2” as the perfect project for their debut. “The whole album is a vibe and the production is crazy, all 15 tracks definitely represent our culture at The Smoker’s Club. It’s definitely one of the best hip-hop albums of the summer.”
Two Gifted Lyricists
Dizzy and Demrick like to think of themselves as “a pair forged in the tradition of West Coast hip hop.”
Dizzy was an XXL Freshman; while Demrick was discovered by Kurrupt in housing projects in Philly, who flew him out to LA, where he put in 10,000 hours writing alongside the cream of the crop, including Cypress Hill and Xzibit, got to freestyle for Dr. Dre, and ended up on cuts and tours with Berner, Logic, AD and others.
Being cannabis aficionados, Dizzy and Demrick are always in touch with the latest developments in the industry and the culture. In fact, both rappers have created award-winning cannabis strains like Dizzy OG (Crown Genetics) and Demrick’s Gas-Lato (GasCo).
Dizzy and Demrick recorded the first “BLAZE WITH US” album in 2016.
“It was really just organic vibes,” says Dizzy, visibly rolling a blunt on camera. “Just getting in the studio and vibing off of each other, just seeing what we can come up with together. This one [Blaze With Us 2] was a little more thought out.”
While the process was basically the same, the duo went into the studio knowing they wanted to “elevate the sound,” in relation to their prior recording.
This time, they were after versatility, really showing their chemistry “by going back and forth on certain songs and things like that.”
The ultimate intent was to make them sound like a group, and not just two rappers randomly collaborating. And, damn, did they do it. From the very beginning, the album is heavily reminiscent of Eric B. and Rakim
“We definitely were strategic about being versatile, and I hope it came off like that,” Dizzy adds.
At the same time -Demrick jumps in- this was all very organic. It came up while touring and chilling with friends, looking for cannabis-friendly refuge as they drove across a country where cannabis is not legal in many states.
“We started making the music… inspired by Red, Meth, [Redman and Method Man]… They were solo artists, and they came together and created this special moment.”
The Tommy Chong Skits
As mentioned above, Tommy Chong was also involved in this stoner favorite.
“We had a smokeout session,” Dizzy discloses. “We just got the kick it, hang out, smoke with him, and talk… pick his brain a little bit.”
Only a few days after this conversation, I caught up with Tommy Chong, who said he’d had a lot of fun recording that day. While not really pertinent to this story, a colorful comment indeed.
From this hangout time, Dizzy and Demrick took some little moments, and embedded the conversation into the new album.
But meeting Tommy gave the rappers a lot more than a few hours of fun. As soon as they finished the meeting, they went right to the studio and created the song “Don’t Worry.”
“We were really inspired by some of the things that he was telling us and we wanted to incorporate that into the music. And yeah, I hope it shows,” Dizzy says laughing.
Let’s Get Down To Business
Both Dizzy and Demrick are more than just cannabis consumers and pot loving rappers. They are canna-businessmen.
“Being a cannabis lover, basically, my whole life, it was only right that we participate in the business,” Demrick says. But it’s all about being real, he adds. You can’t just hop onto the green rush and expect to come up with superior products.
Among Demrick’s projects is a partnership with DJ Hoppa and KushCo.
“It started there with Stony Point and that’s on the rec [recreational cannabis] market in Las Vegas. So, you know, it’s a trip to walk into some of these dispensaries out here and see bud that you chose on the shelves for people to enjoy as much as you enjoy,” he says.
Demrick also sells two cannabis strains in Southern California with GasCo. One of the strains was created to go along with the new “Blaze With Us” album.
Dizzy also has a weed strain of his own, Dizzy OG. It’s cultivated by Crown Genetics.
“I met them back in a day. I was just, to be honest, going to all the weed events being a weed lover myself… I would just pop up and show love,” he says. It was at one of these events where he connected with his partners to be.
The rapper is also teamed up with Redwood in Las Vegas, and offers six strains in that market.
“It’s all about doing it right,” Demrick adds, sharing some business advice for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs. “I feel like the game is getting more and more tight knit, and big business is coming in. So, the originators, the people that have been doing this, have been a part of the culture for so long, the big dollars will try to box these people out… So, this is our moment. It’s our opportunity to do it on a higher level, where it’s in stores, where there’s branding.”
So, be innovative, come up with new ideas, new ways to serve customers and patients, he concludes. “Start small, build up, figure out what it takes to get a license, or if you can’t get one because you have to have millions of dollars to get one, that team up with, and bring value to somebody who has one. And then from there, you build together… This is a fresh market, it’s going to be around hopefully forever, so plan for the long-term.”
Stream the full “Blaze With Us 2” album below.
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