The world of rapper-owned weed brands features more smoke and mirrors than a Miami megaclub. While there are some bangers in the genre, most of these “brands” aren’t really brands at all. It’s far more common for a rapper to work with a preexisting company and drop a limited line of products or bag up some janky shit in mylar through a white-label grow operation, than it is for them to launch an autonomous cultivation project of their own. Half the time when you search for brands owned by rappers, the websites are defunct, the Instagrams don’t exist, and the products aren’t available. It’s as if, aside from the press release, a handful of blogs, and a lone lavish launch party, the brand ceases to exist at all.
Most rappers launch weed “brands” for clout rather than wanting to actually enter the cannabis space. And who could blame them? The weed industry is an expensive headache for entrepreneurs. It is ironic, though, because rappers are the celebrities most likely to be accepted by the discerning consumers of the cannabis community. Not only were they some of the earliest vocal proponents of cannabis in mainstream culture, but some famously sold weed prior to fame (and have served time for it).
If any genre of celebrity deserves to be in the weed space, it’s rappers. Period.
So today, we’re checking out some rapper-owned brands that actually exist and don’t totally suck (I don’t like them all, but none are fully trash). From the many rapper-weed collabs, we’ve chosen five strains to smoke, rank, and rant about from the floor of my living room. Sound fun? Let’s get stoned!
5. China White Preroll from Saucey Extracts by Jim Jones
I attended the launch party for Saucey Extracts a few years ago. It was insane. At a Beverly Hills mansion, giant glass candy jars full of nugs dotted sprawling gardens to the pool. The weed literally overfloweth. I ran around with a celebrity stoner’s daughter stuffing branded tote bags to the brim with nugs. Jim Jones made an appearance. It was everything the launch party of a rapper weed brand should be. Wish I could say the same about the weed itself.
First of all, I always feel a little wary when an extracts brand launches flower, because that usually means they didn’t grow it themselves. White labeling is a huge issue in the cannabis community, a super common practice because the overhead of cultivation itself is so massive. Most brands, especially the big ones, don’t grow their own flower. That’s why they’re rich. It’s way cheaper not to. However, what you gain monetarily, you lose in quality.
For this test, I popped open the Supreme-esque plastic packaging of the China White pre-roll pack. Four joints of mechanically trimmed flower burst forth, smelling like hay. I took a dry hit, which is when you take a hit of an unlit joint to experience the flavor of the flower, known as the terpene profile. It was pretty mild, fruity, a little citrusy. Not mad at it, but it could have been more flavorful for sure.
I lit up. The flavor wasn’t bad. Delicate, citrusy, fruity, but overall pretty mids. I immediately felt upbeat, and definitely wanted to give them props for the integrity of the joint structure. These burned cleanly and evenly, not too tight or loose.
The high was upbeat, spacey, and a little trippy. I felt cerebrally invigorated while my body relaxed. Definitely a good daytime work weed, which is not usually the kind of flower that rapper brands deliver. A welcome change.
This weed is not bad, but it’s not great either. I think the price is a little high, but we love Jim Jones and will blindly support anything Dipset does.
Buy it here: $55 for a pack of 4 prerolls
4. Monogram #3 by Jay Z
Monogram is Jay Z’s weed brand. I’m not a huge fan of their sleekly packaged, overpriced mids. But some people seem to like them, so let’s check out their #3 strain.
The first red flag here is that this flower is 35% THC. Not only is that physically improbable, but it’s also just plain silly. No one needs that much THC, and when you get a number that high you are totally destroying the natural balance of the chemicals within the plant. I’ve always felt that this brand has a weird air of being out of touch due to the fact that Jay Z has never been part of the cannabis community. He doesn’t publicly smoke weed or advocate for its use prior to entering the legal space in the most corporate way possible. Maybe if he had, he’d know better than to jack his THC up that high.
Anyways, the flower looks pretty good. Chunky, green, orange with little violet leaves. It doesn’t really have much of a smell and seemed a little dried out, but often you can’t really blame the cultivator if the weed shows up a little dry — it’s often a distro issue.
Based on the THC percentage, I was afraid to smoke this at all and be rendered useless for the rest of the afternoon. But I took a bong rip anyway. For journalism!
The flavor wasn’t strong, but it wasn’t bad either. Fruity, a little floral, grape forward. Immediately my head became swimmy as I felt a wave of far too much THC sneak into my mind and crash over my eyes from behind. Relaxed, euphoric, the colors seemed brighter. It’s definitely very potent, but not a particularly nuanced high. That’s the problem with these absurdly high THC cultivars. They make you feel high on THC, but that’s about it.
Then, the stupor hit. Staring into the horizon beyond the window, limp, my mind moved slowly. Even in writing this single sentence, I drifted into a world unknown for about four minutes. Some people may like this kind of high, but it’s not for me, a high functioning, all-day stoner.
It’s not terrible, just overpriced and way too juiced up with THC.
Buy it here: $70 for 4 grams
Khalifa Kush by Wiz Khalifa
I like Wiz Khalifa because he’s a fucking stoner. He’s so in the mix that it’s not uncommon to see him at weed parties around LA. Also, he has BDE, minds his business, and gets high on stage. Vibes.
Unlike most rapper weed I get sent, I was actually looking forward to trying Khalifa Kush because you can tell this man truly cares about flower. I imagined it would be good. And it was!
The dry hit was so impressive! Super mango diesel flavor, it had that kind of syrupy dry hit quality where you can taste that the terps and chemical compounds are alive on the plant matter. I lit it. There was a fantastic smell-to-flavor translation, which is another sign of good weed. It kind of had a fruity sage flavor that I was super into. Smooth smoke, great joint overall.
I was thinking there was not a lot of head change, and then BOOM BITCH that shit hit. And it hit hard. I got suuuuuuuper languid and dreamy feeling, and it made this difficult to write (again). This is high quality dreamy daytime weed — euphoric without being sleepy.
Perfect for taking the day off work to smoke weed in public like Wiz Khalifa.
Buy it here: $20 for 1 gram preroll
2. Plane Jane by Fiore x Roy Woods
Plane Jane is a strain collab by Fiore and rapper Roy Woods. Fiore was started by the owners and head cultivators at Cookies (rapper Berner’s megabrand) and is the only Cookies micro-business. So this is actually a rapper weed squared strain collab. And a perfectly executed one at that.
I popped open the bag, and was punched in the face by gas, pine, and tropical fruit. Though I’m not usually the biggest fan of indoor flower, Fiore fucking crushes it everytime. Unbelievably pungent, soft nugs were easy to break apart, unlike those mechanically trimmed balls of THC everyone seems to be hawking these days. This flower was beautiful in every way… so I smoked it!
The flavor was as pungent as the smell, but less gassy, with more notes of pine and fruit. Immediately I felt focused, dreamy and upbeat. This is the kind of weed you can smoke to calm down and beat depression or anxiety when you still need to get shit done. It’s actually really nuanced and vibey. It has a holistic healing effect, tingly in the body and the spirit, and the mind.
Elevating and exciting, it’s not the kind of indoor that gets you dumb for 30 minutes then tired. This weed is vibrant and alive, and really, really good. Definitely worth a cop!
Buy it here: $42 per eighth
Insane OG by B-Real
And now, the love letter begins. I have been a massive fan of Insane by Cypress Hill’s B-Real since I first tried their flower a year or two ago. This dude has been in the weed game forever and facilitated a lot of what we know as modern cannabis culture prior to entering the industry. He was on Hits from the Bong, bro! Idk if there is a higher stoner accolade than that.
I think this Insane OG strain is some of the best and strongest weed on the market. When I say strong, I don’t just mean high in THC. This is a fully immersive stoner experience. You feel so much with this flower. It’s full-body, full mind.
The bag opens to a rush of powerful terpene smell waves. Diesel, pine, and lemon. Deep pine forest energy. The nugs are crunchy and sparkle with trichomes. Frosted and cute, I felt as if the nugs were staring back at me.
I took a large hit of the bong, as instructed. A rainbow burst of forest flavors overcame my palate and I felt filled with joy immediately. The high is cerebral and fun. The body high is euphoric and relaxing. Together it’s a balanced high that leaves you feeling floaty, elated, and ready for anything.
This weed is simply a must-have. It’s perfect in every way, and there is no one more qualified to sell it to you than B-Real.
Buy it here: $50 for the eighth