Arguably more than ever before, passing the blunt is fast becoming a norm in Cameroon. Be you in support or denial, its impact and universality makes it a discourse to not be easily shelved.
We hardly look past dreadlocks and abandoned buildings when the blunt is mentioned. The conversation sometimes ends at the peripheries: over whether a fervent consumer robbed us on our way home last night, or which kid in the neighbourhood is beyond redemption because he rolled his first blunt.
A finer set of intellectuals and artists have through their works been acknowledging it’s rising use. They acknowledge awareness of its prevalence and the need to curtail use or at least, harness it for better purposes.
Whether tapping from its inspiration or simply advocating freedom of expression (and consumption) for others, these are four instances where our artists made us rethink blunt culture.
“my men them dey for bush d roll inside benz, some other men them dey for bush d roll benz” – Tata Lunga
Tata is no stranger to fire references. But he also knows how substance abuse can leave a person dejected and frustrated.
On Jovi’s ‘Rupee Flow’ (YVAMS Mixtape), Tata makes a reference to a substance consumer retroceding in life while all his friends make it. His friends are abroad (bush) riding posh cars like the Benz while his other friends are in the bush wrapping benz (blunts). Witty line there.
With thousands of youths going down the drain due to substance abuse, Tata’s cry is timely. It also goes through the most popular channel to influence youth behaviour today – music.
“Let me roll a blunt and let us smoke it baby!” – Gasha
Gasha has never been shy to express her feelings and emotions in song. On the track ‘I’m sorry’, she goes all out playing the role of a lady making amends with a lover. Apologising and seeking to have her lover back, she urges him to join her consolidate their love.
Sharing a blunt is often an expression of love and solidarity. Be it between ‘brothers’ or lovers, the puffs are like cords that twist in unison, strengthening the bonds of love.
By the way, Gasha recently released a new album titled Love, Gasha. Regular copies sell at 2,000 FCFA. Gold copies sell for 100,000 FCFA, and come with among others, a blunt rolled by the Queen herself!!!
Her track ‘Fire’ off the album spells nothing short of that good old smoke. Puff puff puff…
“We was hoping we could smoke but they don’t legalize it” – Jovi
Like most hip hop rappers, Jovi remains very intentional about the brand and its tenets including bravery, self-confidence and expression. He hardly shies from making phrases or using words others would fear to blurt out on the mic. Curse words, perceived obscenities, street talk, these are not new to his person. Throwing in a line for the blunt rollers simply adds to the list.
The advocacy may be or not be for him. But what Mboko God realised and definitely sheds the light on, is that the movement for legalising the substance is gaining steam.
Jovi on “Very Badly” tells us about his flow but also ‘the flow’ and how its consumption remains illegal. This is just one of his multiple references and word plays around the blunt.
“mariwana fi di soul nuh hurt nobody” – Bwoy Dezz
Kush Life Music remains discreet, with its music doing the talking. Kush Life’s flag bearer, Bwoy Dezz emits what he terms “positive vibration” taking Cameroon reggae dancehall to another level.
Now, how about a song for kush culture? Dezz in his song “Mariwana” gives the plant effeminate qualities, describing ‘her’ “so precious and so pure”.
He applauds ‘her’ for standing the test of time and being resilient despite all attempts at suppression. While the song itself obviously is about the plant, ‘mariwana’ as he calls it could also be viewed as a representative figure for the Kush culture and Rastafarian movement in general.