“I just fell in love with weed, the texture. Now I like to learn more about it and when to use it, how to feel relaxed when smoking it,” says rapper DeMario DeWayne White Jr., better known as Moneybagg Yo. Despite this renewed interest in cannabis, DeMario has been consuming marijuana since he was a teenager – even though he obviously recognizes the perils of using pot at a young age.
“Before I perform or before I do interviews, I don’t smoke weed, I like to stay focused. But when I record, it’s a must-have. So I feel like it just is all-around,” he adds.
“I feel like you need to have discipline, everybody needs discipline. But I feel like you also have to smoke weed, bro; it’s a part of life. I feel like there aren’t a lot of dangers associated with smoking weed; it’s all about how you do it. For instance, I didn’t smoke before this interview, I don’t smoke before I do shows, I like to be fully focused on the work I do. I smoke when I’m in a studio and I want to think, I want to create or I want to relax. I know how to use cannabis.”
NFT Stands For New Found Trust
Moneybagg recently partnered with Trufflez Inc., a vertically integrated cannabis company that’s very focused on customer loyalty and user experiences, and droppLabs,a holistic Web3 solutions provider. Together, they launched the TrufflezNFT, a project that uses NFTs to register and fractionalize the intellectual property rights inherent to the trademarks and copyrights of new proprietary cannabis strains.
In layman’s terms, what this means is that people can partner with a fully licensed cannabis company through the purchase of a non-fungible token. In addition, the NFT carries a suite of additional benefits like discounts, access to exclusive products, profit sharing, private events and more.
The artist decided to jump into the cannabis NFT world after meeting Leo Hairapetian, CEO and co-founder of Trufflez. “We bonded tight,” the rapper says. “Leo was always telling me stuff that I didn’t know much about, so it just made it interesting.”
In fact, Moneybagg had partnered up with a couple more people prior to Trufflez. “I thought it was cool at the moment. But then, when I got with Trufflez, Leo and all the staff, I felt at home, I felt like, ‘this is where I belong.’ It just didn’t feel like anything else. I fell in love with the whole thing.”
And he adds: “Trufflez and Leo really introduced me into this world [NFTs]. Like, I really don’t fully understand it yet, but I know they do. They fully understand it, and I know they’re going to get me to the point… I listen, I learn quickly, so I feel like I can catch on to it quickly. Also, I just trust Leo, whatever he’s got going on, I’m bagging it 100% because I already know it’s going to speak. And I just feel like it can be a new way, a new world, for the digital world of NFTs.”
Trufflez NFT – COURTESY
As Leo explains, Trufflez’s attention to detail has a lot to do with the rapper’s view of the brand. “Initially, when the brand started, our whole core fundamental concentration was to make sure that the public and whoever was smoking was extremely happy with whatever we had. And, we built on those building blocks by making sure that we take every opportunity within the industry to give back to the public.”
“That’s why the NFT project came so swiftly into place because we saw an opportunity to bring the NFT project for the general public to get involved and benefit from the company’s growth, get more involvement and feel like they’re part of something that’s vastly growing.”
Kyle Kneubuhl, CFO of Trufflez, further elaborates on the rationale behind the decision to launch an NFT: “There’s a lot of taboo still within the industry due to the federal government still has not legalized marijuana… That prohibits us in a lot of fashions from going public and issuing out stock, because we cannot go on the stock market.”
In Kneubuhl’s view, “The safer and more lucrative alternative route is more on the crypto and NFT, which serves the public in the same fashion, or more, on a Web3-based platform. So we don’t want to actually wait to provide these benefits to the public until the federal government passes the laws and legalizes it. We want to do it more exclusively now. And we feel that the Web3 and NFTs and cryptocurrency and Tokenomics are the future The digital world is coming swiftly and quickly, as you can imagine. And I think that is going to be the new base platform and the future.”
Nowadays, Moneybagg’s role in Trufflez is not at all minor. The musician is involved in a bunch of things, from marketing to strain selection and even breeding. In fact, the team recently co-developed a new strain called Truffle Bagg, a cross between Purple Trufflez and While Trufflez. good
Moneybagg Yo – COURTESY
“Bagg is being a little modest in reference to his expertise in cannabis,” Leo interjects. “One thing that he obviously never speaks of is his immaculate palate for the taste of exotic cannabis, and that comes naturally for him. It’s been a seamless integration for us; it’s not that difficult because he knows good weed when he smokes it.”
But “good” weed is a very subjective term. So, what defines good weed for Moneybagg?
In true Goldilocks fashion, he responds, “The taste has to be there, this is where you begin. But you also can have weed that tastes good, but you don’t ‘levitate’ with it, it don’t put you where you need to be, high. So I feel like you need all in one package. It has to taste good, it has to hit right, it has to break down nicely… It can’t be too soft or too hard, it has to be in the middle.”
Legalize It Already
In Moneybagg’s view, cannabis should be legal in the U.S. Period.
“I think weed should be legal for a lot of reasons. Everybody don’t use it for the stuff they think people use it for. Some people really need it, to focus, go get they mind right, to calm them down… I’ve got a brother who’s hot-headed, but if he smokes, he’s thinking, he’s levelheaded, he’s cool,” he discloses.
But, doesn’t weed “fry” your brain? Doesn’t it make you a stereotypical “lazy stoner”?
For the artist, the answer is “no.”
“Man, get up, get you some money, stay focused. Know how to use cannabis, know when to do it; don’t let it throw you off,” he recommends. “Some people get high and totally distracted or lazy. But you just gotta get up and you just got to know how to use it, bro. You just got to stay motivated in the same process.”
As the conversation gets deeper, Moneybagg starts sharing some more personal stories. In the last few years, he’s had the privilege and honor of sharing a joint – or several, with two of his idols: Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg.
“I went on tour with Wiz and he introduced me to his friends. We smoked together and he’s actually just a good OG, you know what I’m saying? So I’ll learn a lot from him, about cannabis, about all the different flavors. What he smokes, what he likes, is just a strong O.G. that makes you feel good, uplifted, but it’s also very exotic.”
Snoop also shared a cannabis-infused moment with Mr. Bagg. It was back at his studio, The Compound. “We smoked a few blunts, I gave him a couple of pounds of Trufflez weed and he loved it. He’s still calling right now like, ‘Nephew, I need some more of that fire.’”
This article was originally published on Forbes and appears here with permission.