Cleotrapa, Ice Spice’s ‘Baddie Friend’ Is Our New Stoner Bestie

High Times gets high with rapper Cleotrapa in NYC.
Photo courtesy of Scramz

Navigating through all of the new rap artists emerging out of NYC can be tough. Finding someone who is fresh, interesting, and likes to get stoned might even be a mission. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon Cleotrapa

Cleo being from Staten Island, which happens to be my hometown, made the assignment even more intriguing. Pair that with the fact that she’s Ice Spice‘s “baddie friend” who’s been by her side in most of the snippets and videos that have stacked up millions of views, this was undoubtedly someone who I had to meet. 

Initially, the first step was to talk to her team. I needed to know what this woman really smokes. Initially, her team led me to believe Cleo was smoking Sprinklez. This is a trend I’m seeing a lot in New York with the youth—they’re leaning towards premium flower with added terpenes. So, I did my due diligence and found her some new flavors of Sprinklez through the homies over at Pressure Paint. I let her team know that I was fully equipped with the bud of choice, and we made plans to get stoned and talk some shit.

Eventually, the game plan turned into a fashion week smoke out. It’s that time of the year in NYC, I’m linking up with Cleotrapa, and we’re going to get baked and hit up some events. Upon arrival at our meetup spot, I hopped in the car, presented her with my acquisition, and she went on to tell me how I was misinformed about her strain preference. Checkmate? I think not! I ended up coming extra prepared and traded her for some buds I had from a beautiful batch of Galactic Runtz courtesy of Wood Wide out of Mendocino and some delicious LA Pop Rocks locally grown by the homies Brooklyn Boys Cannabis Co. She was happy with the gifts, we ended up twisting up some fatties, and inevitably got the car so cloudy that we could barely see anything. Her song “Rockstar” had just dropped, racking up thousands of views in real time, which was why it ultimately became our soundtrack as she proceeded to make social media magic on our way to the event in the passenger seat.

Moments later, we arrive at Belaire‘s NYC headquarters. Cleo has been invited by one of my super-knowledgeable stoner friends, Trinidad James, to get an exclusive look at his Hommewrk line. With just a few clicks on Google you’ll quickly find that Trinidad James is a Grammy-award winner and behind the scenes contributor to some of our favorite artists’ projects. While it wasn’t exactly a smoker’s crowd, Trinidad and I compared rosin pods while he gave Cleo a full tour of his new line, along with some inspirational words. We nearly ended our night there, but I wanted to contribute to this evening’s vibes and give Cleotrapa the entire scope of cannabis in NYC.

Photo courtesy of Josh Nass

Last but not least, I took her over to the beautiful new dispensary in NYC’s Upper East Side, The Herbal Care (THC). THC is one of NYC’s premier legal spaces for cannabis. Overall, it was a lovely affair. Cleo’s energy was infectious as she legally dispensed bud to some of her adoring fans at the counter. At one point, I looked over and noticed THC’s owner, Markel Bababekov, shouting, “Let’s give it up one time for Cleotrapa!” as the legendary photographer, Johnny Nunez, snapped away and the crowd went wild. She officially became a celebrity guest budtender, and pulled it off like an absolute natural.

Photo courtesy of Telli Michaels

Furthermore, with fashion week and budtending case study a success, I decided to do my typical move and have my in-person interview back at the Astor Club. Cleotrapa and I already smoked outside, in cars, and she even got a taste of the legal business. So, it’s only right that I show her my favorite under-the-radar club with some of the best cannabis in the country. Taking advantage of one of the best menus I’ve ever experienced, we rolled joints of Maine Trees Blue Lobster, Archive‘s Moonbow, and some delicious Permanent Marker from Marijuantauk Gardens. With a proper sesh in motion, I was finally able to get some questions off to her. 

Photo courtesy of Scramz

What can you tell us about the first time you ever smoked cannabis?

[LAUGHS] I was in 7th grade. I went to IS 49, and my school was right across the street. I see my friend with a couple of kids and she was like, “Come walk with us to the store.” So, I was like, “Cool.” I figured we would just walk to school together. Then, they walk into this building, go into the staircase and stop. This boy pulls out some weed he was crushing in loose-leaf paper. He rolled up. We smoked, and I thought I was so high. I don’t even think we smoked that much. We walked across the street to school and I’m telling everybody I’m high. I’m thinking I’m the coolest just laughing OD in class. That was so funny.

Okay, so since you started young, how was the first time you got in trouble? 

My mom….She never knew I smoked. I had gotten some weed from somebody and I rolled it up in a regular loose-leaf paper. I did not know what I was doing. I did not know how to roll, and I think this was still middle school. I was really doing it for pictures, just making it look like I’m smoking it. I mean I wanted to smoke, but I didn’t roll it right. It’s a damn regular loose-leaf paper! I uploaded the pictures to Facebook, and my mom saw it. I lied and said there was no weed in there, it’s just an effects filter I used and showed it to her. I told her I edited the photo to have a blurred, smokey effect. And she was kinda believing it, but then she was like, “Why do you want people to believe that you are smoking?” So, I still got my ass beat for trying to look like I was smoking! 

Photo courtesy of Scramz

At what point did you become an everyday stoner?

When I learned how to roll. Actually, before I learned how to roll, I would still get mad high with my friends. I would be with my friend all the time in her room getting mad high. She knew how to roll, her cousin knew how to roll, so we would just buy weed and get high. Since I didn’t know how to roll and she did, I would only smoke with her. I would make sure I was with her all the damn time. I was sleeping over there partially just to get high because I could not do anything like that at my crib. So, we was smoking it down. And she would try to teach me how to roll, but that was so fucking hard for me.

Did you finally get the hang of it?

Not until I got a boyfriend, who was like, “If you’re gonna smoke, you gotta roll.” I’m like, “Damn what the fuck? Alright, fine.” He really forced me to start rolling. I started rolling with Backwoods, and that’s what I learned with. Now I think Backwoods are disgusting—I only smoke papers.

These days, when is your favorite time to get high? 

I love to get super high and hit the studio. I love to get high and start writing to music. 

So, your track “Rockstar” is doing great numbers and it is an independent release. With music being a serious venture for you, how have you been able to make yourself stand out?

I’ve never stopped making videos. It’s something that I can’t stop, because if I have some shit to say, I want to say it in a video. I’m gonna be way more animated and you’re gonna know how I feel. I like to talk shit and just say it in a video. I’ve been doing them since 2018. And even before that, I’ll look at my Facebook and realize I’ve been talking shit the entire time!

Photo courtesy of Scramz

You’re on a TV show and your music is buzzing, what else are you working on?

My clothing. So, before music or before anything, I wanted to go to school for fashion. I wanted to be a fashion designer, and it’s just so funny how the world works when you have a platform. My mom didn’t want me to do fashion design. She told me that fashion designers had it hard and it took a long time for them to make money. So, what I realized it came down to was me having my own personal brand. When you have your own personal brand, you could do what the fuck you want to do. So, with my clothing line, I know that I can do it and make a lot of money. My mom was really doubting me. She knew where she was coming from, but I know where I need to take this. I’m glad that I’m doing everything I want to do. I pushed myself, I stayed consistent.

Check out Cleotrapa’s new self-designed merch here: along with her new freestyle “Muggy Mcquire” here: 

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