Any road to a dream is filled with sacrifice and for musicians this means long hours hustling on the road in small venues. One out of ten tour stops might be a famous club in LA, while the other nine are guaranteed to be swampy outdoor summer festivals somewhere in the midwest. Willy J Peso sets himself apart from most by performing like he’s playing to Madison Square Garden every night. His tie dyed trap tunes and big personality are the reasons he tours consistently with acts like Devin The Dude and Smoke DZA. Peso keeps the crowd and the joints lit with the carefree authority of a natural performer who just loves smoking with his audience. As part cannabis rapper and part hip hop performer, he has infused a his own cannabis vibe into the music scene. I call him a tie dyed trap star. Peso serves the streets with love and cannabis instead of pills and hoes. He carries loaded hemp cones instead of loaded guns, packs 30 grams organic instead of 30 rounds automatic. Okay, you get it.
I met Willy in the middle of his forty city tour with Devin the Dude where his shows included an Electric Forest Festival full of fairies and elves, sold out nightclubs in LA, and outdoor suburban festivals packed with sweaty fans soaking up the cannabis inspired melodies from the giant bass speakers. During the song, Funky Hippie Shit, Willy and Devin croon with the crowd, “If you got a problem with weed, you got a problem with me”. Each audience ends up the same, all smiles and enveloped in a massive kush cloud created at Willy’s request. I sat down with Peso after the show to talk about being a positive force in cannabis and music.
Tell me about your childhood?
I grew up in metro Detroit. My childhood was good, my parents kept me around music and sports. I was real active as a kid in basketball and baseball until I got to high school and started doing rap more.
When were you first exposed to cannabis?
I was first exposed to cannabis as a teen, with friends making music in the studio.
What was your first rap album to wear out listening to?
The dynasty album by jay z.
What is your favorite strain and how do you prefer to smoke it?
My favorite strain is called Blue Lime Pie, genetics come from Sin City Seeds. It’s a cross of their Blue Power and Key Lime Pie, tastes and smells amazing. We grow it in my garden in Michigan. My favorite way to smoke is using organic hemp papers to roll big joints.
What are your goals as cannabis goes through the changes of legalization?
My goal is to educate my community on the benefits of using cannabis over alcohol for recreational pleasure, making my music the go to pick for listeners who use cannabis, and hopefully become a big player in cannabis related entertainment. I want to destroy the misconception that people who use Weed are unproductive or lazy.
Do you change people’s minds about the medicinal benefits of cannabis with your music
Yes, I’m a huge advocate for medical cannabis and the benefits of using cannabis over Big pharm pills. My latest music was centered around the difference between cannabis and knowing how to choose which type of cannabis for a certain experience. My entire music career is built off making music to play while or after using cannabis. Each album has a cannabis related theme. I feel my music career grows like a cannabis plant, with time and proper attention can be the best product on the streets.
What are your favorite venues to smoke out?
My favorite venues to smoke out are in LA, Detroit, and Colorado Springs. Ironically, I have smoked out more venues in Texas than I would have expected.
Who are you touring with currently?
Currently I am on tour with Smoke Dza and Bodega Bamz out of Harlem, previously in the year I did a 40 City tour with Devin the Dude.
Who would you dream to smoke and perform with?
My dream would be to smoke and perform with Bob Marley.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2018 and beyond?
More shows across the world and new music just in time for back to school.
Where can readers find your music?
Willyjpeso.com or search Willy J Peso on YouTube, Spotify, ITunes, SoundCloud or any other digital streaming platform. I make really good music to smoke cannabis to and I put on a great live show.
Thank you so much for sharing your time and those fat torpedo joints with me during the interview. Check out some Willy J Peso albums including Euphoria, Sativa, Indica and his 2018 release, Hybrid. Smoke to the song ‘Funky Hippie Shit’ right now. Then, go to willyjpeso.com and buy some ‘Stoned Like Willy’ gear. Peace.
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