For Bug-Z, cannabis is a healing plant, an alternative to negativity and crime and something that needs to be shared with the masses. As a self-assured and confident rapper, Bug-Z knows he is destined for greatness, and is enjoying the journey as well as the destination. CULTURE spoke to him about spreading the good word of cannabis and making music no matter what.
How did you get started making music?
I’ve always been into music since I was a child. My mom was a bartender at nightclubs; she would take me to work with her and the DJ would make me custom mixtapes. I would learn the lyrics word-for-word and perform for my mom’s friends. When I got older I was placed into group homes. I would be punished and have to sit in the hallway from morning until bedtime with nothing but paper and pencil, and I couldn’t draw. I’ve always been into writing. I loved writing short children’s stories, and that was the beginning of my musical adventure. All my lyrics sounded like the Slim Shady LP. Eminem was big influence on me as a child; 8 mile came out when I was in poverty, in foster home.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
I really look up to Fetty Wap, and I have studied his marketing strategies for his first hit single “Trap Queen,” and that’s how I am pushing my new single, “Sake,” relentlessly. I’ve worked with his label in the past. I obviously look up to Eminem; I wouldn’t be a rapper if weren’t for him. I always tell people I’m gonna make a movie and call it 9 Mile.
How do you describe your style?
I’m an east coast rapper with west coast ambitions and a heart in the Rockies I’m also very funny and witty. I strive to be original, and I like to make fun, clean, radio, club-ready songs that can be listened to and enjoyed by the masses. My goal is for a hit single like the “Thong Song.” I just want that one time-tested hit single.
How do you feel about the hip-hop scene locally and nationally?
In Colorado Springs I feel there is such a small hip-hop community that I’ve been black-balled by local acts, since I’m a transplant to Colorado and came here for the “Green Rush.” A lot of local acts don’t like me because I work with national, platinum recording artists; I’m on a higher caliber than most. I’ve got a quarter million-plus invested into my music career. My goal is to take my marijuana industry knowledge back to other states.
What are some of your major lyrical themes, and why do you feel they are especially relevant or powerful?
Each song is different; I have a set feel and tone I’m going for. I’m a very conceptual rapper; the concept is very important to me. It is key over everything else. I put a lot of time, money, blood, sweat and tears into my music.
How has cannabis affected your life and/or your creative process?
Cannabis is essential in my creative process. Each phase is a different step. I strongly prefer sativa to help my creativity and indica to help me enjoy it all at end of the project and relax and smell the roses.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Do you think anything could be done better or differently?
I’m glad you asked! I have family in Florida. Getting a medical marijuana card there requires doctors’ records, as well as $250 for consumption and $75 for the card. Every 10 weeks [requires] another nearly $100, and the dispensaries aren’t supposed to sell flower, only edibles and oils, although some sell flower with instruction to vape only.
I do not like having to give up Second Amendment rights to be a medical marijuana patient or use recreational marijuana. I feel it needs to be legalized on a federal level at once. Don’t tread on my pot!
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
Yes, all the time. I have filmed music videos in multi-million-dollar grows. I have a 420-friendly animated, South Park-themed cartoon music video. The concept is loosely based off of the “Medicinal Fried Chicken” episode of South Park, where Randy Marsh gives himself testicular cancer for a “red card,” demonstrating the pure nonsense one must go through to be able to self-medicate with a plant.
Band Name: Brian Weston AKA Bug-Z
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado