When cannabis and hip-hop come together, it can make for a truly unforgettable creative dynamic. For an authentic display of this, look no further than Atlanta MC Big Cheeko, particularly in his upcoming, commercial debut album entitled Block Barry White, executive produced by acclaimed underground hip-hop phenom Mach-Hommy.
No stranger to consuming boat loads of weed and making captivating rap songs, Big Cheeko provides listeners with a conceptual and elevated experience with this project, which is incredibly refreshing to witness in this current musical climate.
This masterpiece of an album is a certified, smoked-out collection of Cheeko’s most prolific work to date. Block Barry White boasts soulful, hard-hitting production from Matic Lee and memorable features from iconic stoner MCs Styles P, Smoke DZA, and none other than the legend himself, Devin The Dude, who appears on this brand new single and video “Watchin’.”
To gain more insight on this record and his personal affinity for cannabis, Big Cheeko lent his time to answer some burning questions for High Times readers:
With this Block Barry White project on its way, what can you tell the people about the concept you are going with?
Block Barry White is smooth, street, soulful and Southern but also very hip-hop. We grabbed inspiration from blaxploitation films, ‘90s Southern hip-hop, and old Barry White songs/arrangements.
How much cannabis consumption took place during the creation of Block Barry White, and how did it help the process?
To me, there is no process without weed. I have never recorded a rap song without smoking, but if I had to calculate and give it a weight amount, it would probably be a pound a half for Block Barry White.
What is your favorite strain and method to consume cannabis?
Runtz is my favorite strain—the real Runtz. I’m a traditional type of nigga; I like to roll my weed in joint papers, specifically RAW papers.
If you could create a strain from scratch and give it a name, what would it be?
I actually already had my own strain called “SoulGod.” My strain was a mix between Cookies, Lemonati, and OG.
As a Southern MC who enjoys cannabis regularly, linking up with Devin The Dude for this new single must be incredibly fulfilling. How did this record come together?
While we were creating the record, Mach and I were thinking of feature ideas, and we both thought of Devin The Dude. I mean it’s Devin The Dude. Mach sent the record to Devin, and we got the record back almost immediately.
The music video to this song feels timeless, and the fact that you ended up getting Devin The Dude to pull up for the video and even do some performance scenes in a strip club is legendary. How was it having him on set, and what was the smoke session with him like?
Dev is one of the coolest rappers I’ve met. Bro is super chill and genuine. Honestly never thought I’d be smokin’ weed with Devin The Dude on a video set of mine, but it happened … and yeah, we smoked hella weed. Even gave him some of mine.
What was your involvement in the creation of this video, and how did you link up with Daily Gems to ultimately bring this video to life?
Mach-Hommy is responsible for casting Daily Gems to direct the video, and they did an amazing job.
You guys shot in various locations around the ATL area, including a strip club and what appears to be a car meet with some really dope-looking, old-school cars. What is the significance of these various settings to you and the project? Are you into cars?
We really just wanted to capture some real Atlanta shit. The cars in the video were my uncle and his car collective called ATLlacRiderz, and yes, I’m very into cars.
What’s the best way to get the kush smell out of the car?
I always make sure I smoke with my sunroof cracked or open. I also make sure I always have something nice to spray when I’m done, like some Creed or Meyers room spray. I think the key to not having your car smell like weed is always being able to air it out… gotta let the smoke out.
Do you have a story you can share about riding dirty with bud and how you may or may not have managed to get out of a bad situation?
Disclaimer: I do not smoke cigarettes anymore, and I do not encourage anyone to pick up the habit. So, I was going to the movies with my girl later that night but wanted to meet a friend at Kroger to smoke weed with him before I met my girl… and this is back when I did smoke cigs, but I didn’t have any at the time, so he gave me two.
After we smoked, I left and smoked one of the cigs on the way to my girl’s and put the other in the glove compartment. After picking up my girl, we decided to smoke weed in the car on the way to the movies. Well, I was so high I thought this stop sign was a yield sign so obviously I didn’t completely stop. To my surprise, right after I turned, I saw blue lights behind me. I immediately told my girl to give me the joint; I crumpled it up, and threw it out the window. At this point, there’s smoke coming from all the windows, because I knew that before I stopped, I had to let some of the smoke out because it smelled like a fresh smoke sesh.
Well, before the officer walked up to the window, I remember I had the cig in the glove compartment and lit it. As the officer is asking me for my license, I’m blowing cig smoke in his face to try and throw his smell off. He asked me to stop [laughs]. He went back to his car, ran my info, came back, and said, “You know you didn’t make a complete stop back there.” I said, “I thought it was a yield sign.” He gave me back my license and told me to be more careful. Yeah… that cig saved me.
Did you smoke a lot with Mach-Hommy?
I have smoked with Mach-Hommy. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make the video shoot.
He has been known to be a relatively mysterious and intriguing character; what is he like from your experience?
Believe everything you’ve ever heard about him [laughs].
What was it that led to the two of you ultimately getting together and collaborating to this level, and what exactly does that process look like?
Me and Mach go back to days when we were both “in the streets.” That’s my nigga for life. And if you could imagine total freedom and creativity at its best, that’s exactly what it looks like.