"I Got That Weed": A Song For Our Times
It's been a big month for marijuana-rights activists. Colorado and Washington become the first two states to legalize the drug for recreational use. And, perhaps more importantly, rapper Mighty Casey (of "BET Un:Cut" and "White Girls" fame) and his new band Knight Blade released "I Got That Weed." The stars have seemingly aligned for the single, whose casual conversational approach to the subject has come to mirror much of how the media's framed the first visages of a marijuana-friendly American society. We caught up with Casey, who has also been busy of late writing a book about the Jamaican C.I.A. and helping launch a streaming music app where he aided in assembling the bulk of the reggae playlist, to discuss "I Got That Weed" becoming a telling song of our times.
Raised Fist Propaganda Mighty Casey and Knight Blade
"I Got That Weed" begins with explaining that the track is a love song. Do you recall your first experience with marijuana?
Yeah, I was 14 and with my friend Tony, a Bluegrass musician. We had stolen a joint from his mother who was a dance instructor at the time. I don't recall it doing anything to me, but I think it may have made him extra paranoid because he kept telling me to stop looking high.
Why did now feel like the right time to release "I Got That Weed?"
Obviously, with Colorado and Washington and weed becoming more socially acceptable, I think it just happened off-chance that the song's coming out now. But, I think it is a great time for it to come out, specifically with Obama saying it isn't any more dangerous than alcohol and with medical marijuana springing up everywhere. I think the taboo has kind of faded away, which is really great. It seems like a big waste of our legal system and money that we could be taxing. I think we could get rid of our overcrowded prison system and help people get rid of criminal records for doing something the President said is no more dangerous than alcohol. I wasn't sitting on the record, it just came together at the right time.
Do you remember where you were when you first heard about the legalization?
I was probably in New York. I was in Seattle in November and my friend had the medical card, so coming up for January, I was already reading about it. The Seattle papers had all sorts of articles about people buying licenses for medical marijuana. Before that, I was in Los Angeles and in the LA Weekly, all these back-ads, where the Village Voice has all the sex ads, were medical marijuana ads. When I saw that, I definitely saw it becoming more socially acceptable. I think a lot of that contributed to the idea in the video where we had an informercial for marijuana, because it seems that's the direction it's going. When I say "Gram to an eighth to a quarter ounce," and this was entirely unintentional, but the ads had the same amounts for marijuana with the prices like I do in the song.