Article by Jeff Weiss, Billboard
“Some people that smoke with me get lazy. But I’m a mature hustler, an executive boss. I’m rare,” says 2 Chainz. “I’ve always smoked while I’m working. This happens every night, whether the cameras are on or off. This is the lifestyle that people have to accept from me.”
Like plenty of rappers, 2 Chainz can easily call himself a “boss”: He has multiple clothing labels, a restaurant (Atlanta’s Escobar), even a new line of luxury beds. But he’s also one of rap’s best-known cannabis connoisseurs at a moment when marijuana is as mainstream as it has ever been, thanks to the increased decriminalization across the country — most notably in California, where Proposition 64 legalized recreational use in November 2016.
Back when Dr. Dre rapped with Snoop Dogg on The Chronic, rhyming about weed had an outlaw quality. Twenty-five years later, it’s far from taboo: A chart-topping song referencing pot (D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli”) feels lighthearted, and Snoop is rap’s lovable stoner godfather with a line of heirs including Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz, who is as comfortable rapping about “smoking California weed with California hoes” (in “Feds Watching” from 2013’s B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time) as he is seriously discussing legalization’s merits on national TV.
Today, the 39-year-old rapper born Tauheed Epps is perusing the array of THC candies,
tinctures and “snake venom goji cream” in the backroom of the Alternative Herbal Health
Services dispensary, his local in West Hollywood. Inhaling deeply from a joint (“It keeps the
reefer honest and enables you to taste it”), the lanky, dreadlocked Atlantan exudes the
serene stoicism of a guru.“It calms my nerves, gives me stress relief,” says 2 Chainz, who’s working on a new album,
Pretty Girls Like Trap Music (out April 7). He’s currently exploring getting into the
cannabis business, and he has a medical prescription. (His ailment? “Between me and my
doctor,” he says with a laugh.) He explains that smoking helps him organize his thoughts:
“It’s easier for me to deal with the things I face as a rap artist.”