Rapper Wyclef Jean Talks Cannabis, Psychedelics And Hip-Hop: ‘They Were Counter-Culture For A Long Time’

June 19, 2023 · Benzinga

“My mind is constantly racing every second, a new thought or a new idea. Sometimes it feels like a million voices at once, but I have learned… cannabis helps calm the voices down and I get more focused,” says the Grammy-winning musician and producer Wyclef Jean in an exclusive interview.

The artist shared his thoughts on cannabis, its connection to hip-hop culture and his own journey with the plant during an interview before performing at The Grass Is Greener Gathering in Hadley, Massachusetts.

As it has been widely discussed in this column, the connection between cannabis and hip-hop culture in undeniable. But for Wyclef, the connection is deeper than many assume: cannabis and hip-hop alike have faced uphill battles for acceptance, he argues.

“Both cannabis and hip-hop were counter-culture for a long time,” he explains. “Now you have hedge fund managers at cannabis events with the hip-hop culture enjoying both, where they used to just smoke a ‘J’ on Thanksgiving ‘walking the dog’ and bump the hip-hop banger on their Sunday drive alone. It’s come full circle, I think. Inclusion and acceptance are the future.”

Wyclef’s personal journey with cannabis began as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. However, the artist also believes that cannabis offers a more enjoyable and relaxing experience than alcohol, pointing to the human endocannabinoid system and the long history of human cannabis consumption. “Some people want to have a drink after work, some want to have a ‘J’. As long as you are responsible, enjoy.”

Beyond enjoyment and medication, Wyclef uses cannabis for creative purposes. The herb helps him focus by calming the racing thoughts and multitude of voices in his mind. This mental clarity has influenced his work and allowed him to harness his creativity more effectively.

Wyclef’s Journey In The Cannabis Industry

Back in 2020, Wyclef announced a partnership with the cannabis lifestyle brand Cali Life to create his BOOM BAP cannabis collection. The product line featured pre-rolled hemp blunts infused with dried flower, flavored distillates and kief.

“I didn’t just wake to decide to launch a brand; I’ve been working on first educating myself on the plant and its derivatives for years, the actual science,” he says. “After that, I have spent time learning the market because I did not want to be another hype brand. I have acquired and rolled in multiple cannabinoid pioneer companies and built on that.”

But this is not Wyclef’s only venture. “My first roll-up in 2020 was Mr. Birdsall’s Wonder Elixirs. He started making CBD and other cannabinoid tinctures back in 2014 then with the 2018 Farm Bill.” The line featured more than 100 infused products, specifically formulated for veterans and children with developmental disabilities and epilepsy.

“The base of my cannabis company is built with heart, it’s not just a cash grab for me,” he says. “He [Mr. Birdsall] loved my vision so much that he even donned me with his nickname ‘Weedy Wonka’ because of my passion for healing. I guess that means I’m Charlie and I’ve got the golden ticket.”

Wyclef emphasizes the importance of inclusion and ensuring that those who were incarcerated due to cannabis have a seat at the table in the growing market. “The POC who were incarcerated due to cannabis deserve a seat at the table. I’m grateful to be at their table,” he voices.

Federal Cannabis Legalization And Its Implications

Wyclef is also a proponent of federal cannabis legalization, citing safe access, quality control and lab testing as potential benefits. “Safe access to cannabis is paramount. A lot of the negative stories from cannabis come from the fact there’s been prohibition for so long and it’s a sellers-market. People deserve the choice and top quality. The main benefits going to be the diamonds will shine and the citizens will be able to get consistently get safer, reliable products with quality control that are lab tested.”

On the downside, he jokes, “Maybe Door Dash and Insta Cart drivers are going to be working double time.”

Wyclef also believes in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, particularly microdosing, for conditions like depression, PTSD and addiction. “The current studies are showing a lot of potential for treating a variety of illnesses and injuries,” he says. “Microdosing might have the potential to help a lot of our brave veterans and our people who want an alternative treatment, I hope.”

A Celebration Of Cannabis, Music And Culture

At The Grass Is Greener Gathering, Wyclef performed alongside a diverse lineup of artists, with the event also featuring the annual “The Greenskeeper Cup” for cannabis cultivators. The artist believes that such competitions inspire growers to come up with the best product, having a positive impact on the industry.

The festival also included attractions like pro wrestling and a car show. All of this caught Wyclef’s attention. “I have one of the best car collections in my generation and continue to do it by launching ‘Attucks,’ a mobility company that I founded, focusing on green vehicles to flying cars and the future of what the EV cars should sound like. I am right at home on the grass,” he says, sharing his interest in cars.

“Also, anyone that wants to question my wrestling skills, might want to watch a few of my music videos where I do my own stunts! Again, I am right at home,” he adds.

Looking Ahead

Looking forward, Wyclef has big plans for his involvement in the cannabis industry, with a new product line set to launch in the coming months.

He encourages fans to keep an eye out and stay tuned for what he has been building over the last four years. “You’ll see what I’ve been building over the last 4 years,” he assures.

By means of conclusion, Wyclef looks back at his collaboration with Shakira, who broke all kinds of Guinness World Records with the track she dropped with Argentinian producer Bizarrap earlier this year.

“Well, I always say what’s done is done. I never try to repeat the past but would love to work with Shakira again,” he ends. (Full Story)

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