Smoking Through Art Basel Featuring The Yutes

At Art Basel Miami 2022, I did not see much art, in the conventional sense. I went for the mediums that most interest me—those being rap artists that still have respect for the craft and exceptionally grown cannabis.
yutes
Courtesy of UnkleLuc

With that being my objective, my week was destined to be a huge win. In fact, this was my opportunity to link with The Yutes, two brothers named Chris and Santris (or Tris) who are making quite a buzz with their music. These youngsters have been on my radar since they landed a prime slot on a SXSW Takeover showcase in Austin, TX. I’ve had my hand in producing this event over thee years and it’s proven to be a valuable platform for artists to develop and break their careers. This was the circumstance for The Yutes, and continuing on their growing momentum, they dropped a single entitled, “Trap Don Dada,” ultimately scoring a deal from Babygrande Records. I had the chance to check all their music out and was captured by their unique way of incorporating their youthful insights and mashing it up with trap and reggae sounds. During my discoveries, I found that they were not only natives of Kingston, Jamaica, but their dad is the iconic dancehall legend Mr Lexx. Needless to say, my mind was blown and they haven’t left my radar since.

While it could be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the events going on during Art Basel, it was a no-brainer to clear my schedule for a night out at SkateBird, who converted their skatepark into a full-blown concert venue featuring performances from none other than The Yutes and stoner rap legend Curren$y—courtesy of Clockwork Music. I knew that this was my chance to link up with The Yutes and get them really really high. 

On my way out of town, I wanted to make sure I had some official New York pack on me, so I stopped by The Astor Club and grabbed a few 8ths of the Sour Power for me, and a couple Sheist Bubz to gift to The Yutes. I also snatched a Punch Bar for my flight. After consuming a combination of my goodies, I arrived at the airport feeling like I could float to Florida without the plane. 

Somehow, I made it to Miami and the mission was to head straight to the show. I arrived, rolled up some of the Sour Power, and proceeded to find The Yutes and hand over the packs I brought them. We chopped it up, then immediately started to Chong out in their green room. Upon venturing out, we realized that there was a whole other cannabis pop-up event upstairs at SkateBird called Terp Basel. Cookies was in the building; they now have a location in Miami and it’s cool to see them support events like these. My New York homies, 167 Exotics, were there and they hooked us up with some with some powerful Cherry Poppers buds. We also ran into the TerpHogz gang and they let us try two new strains from their latest pheno hunt: Lava Cake X Zkittlez and Hindu Zkittlez x Papaya x Zkittlez #28. Eventually, it was show time. The Yutes had a tremendous performance, gracing the stage alongside Smoke DZA and Curren$y. After the crowd was rocked to its fullest potential, we ended the night smoking some more astounding weed and declared it a successful evening.

Courtesy of UnkleLuc

Things went so well that we cliqued up the next day and hit the Basel streets together to stop by various events. We pulled up to Coi Leray’s event, launching her new strain with TheTenCo, which was great because we were blessed to obtain a few packs of that delicious Pink Zushie. The rest of the day was spent at an indoor/outdoor arcade venue called FunDimension where an event called Dab Day: Art Basel Edition was held by Dab Day Productions.

Courtesy of Digi Dave

As you may assume from the name, it was certainly a terpy affair, filled with hundreds of Art Basel-goers ripping dabs, playing arcade games, and congregating over the love of cannabis. Of course we did even more smoking there: endless pre-rolls from the homies at Blazy Susan, some more fire from Buddys Bodega, and ran into Shaggy Brown with that extremely potent Shaggy OG (which is not to be slept on unless sleeping is a goal). 

Casa De Cristal, the headiest location for functional glass art in Miami, had a full-blown pop up with super rare pieces from the likes of Mothership Glass and Toro. This was where Tris took his first dab ever in life, using a Puffco Proxy. Later on, I had the honor of introducing them to one of my cannabis heroes, Richard “Uncle Rick” DeLisi. Rick, who runs his own family cannabis business called DeLisioso, blessed them with some wisdom and some merch from their booth.

yutes
Courtesy of UnkleLuc

As this night was coming to a close, it was time to hydrate, eat, and recharge, because at some point in my haze I needed to ask some burning questions to my new stoner pals.

High Times: I saw Curren$y really embrace you guys. He mentioned wanting to work again. What can you tell us about your song with him?

Chris: Making “High Grade” with Curren$y was an amazing feeling. It’s a stoner song. We live that everyday, so it was only right we tap in. Reggae is also something that we’re interested in because we come from Jamaica. We made a dope vibe and Curren$y added his flame to it. Plus he rapped a different style on it—definitely one of my favorites. 

HT: Do you remember how you were turned on to him as a fan? 

Tris: When we was 13 or 14, Wiz [Khalifa] put out a video for a Waka Flocka freestyle, called “Reefer Party.” We was tuned into Wiz because he was poppin’ out there, you know, with “Black and Yellow” and all that. Wiz was just going so hard in that video… smoke everywhere and everything. So Curren$y was not on that song, but he was in the video, and so was Nipsey Hussle. There were a lot of cameos, and us being students of the culture, we just soaked it all up. Listening to Wiz put us on to all of that.

yutes
Courtesy of Fulani Jabari

HT: What was it like to attend a pure Cannabis event like Dab Day? 

Chris: Being able to smoke so free and open like that was an experience for us. 

Tris: Whole event was crazy. We grew up with cannabis getting so much bad publicity—a lot of people in jail for the wrong reasons. Just the fact that we are at this point, where events like this exist, is beautiful. 

Chris: I was stoned as fuck, that’s why I missed out when Tris took a dab. I’m still mad about that!

yutes
Courtesy of Christian Hernandez

HT: What about meeting Rick DeLisi? 

Chris: Uncle Rick is a very intriguing and interesting person.

Tris: Everyone needs to read up on Uncle Rick’s story. But basically he was a cannabis smuggler who just got out of prison after 32 years. That is longer than both of us have been alive. It is great that he is free and happy, and smoking big.

HT: With Mr. Lexx being your father, has cannabis always been a part of your life? 

Chris: Yes, having a father in the music industry, he would always have his joints around. He would hide it from us, but we knew what it was. We figured out that it was a part of the music and his way of creating. 

Tris: And not just the weed, we found his whole lifestyle inspiring: the way he would interact with other artists, be in the studio and go to events, really made us want to go for it. He wasn’t always there, but when we do get to link it’s always an unforgettable experience.

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