highTunes: Perfect Weed Pairings for Chance the Rapper, Radiohead, and Ricky Hil

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Chance the Rapper’s highly anticipated third project begins with a sound very familiar to his fiercely loyal fans — a blaring trumpet. The resounding, joyous, chest-puffed-out sound is standard Chance, symbolic of his superhero-like persona. Kanye West and the Chicago Children’s Choir join Chano on the intro “All We Got,” a fusion of gospel and funk that follows up the pair’s “Ultralight Beam” intro on West’s The Life of Pablo. The song sets the tone for the rest of Coloring Book, which plays like Sunday Service, if your church’s choir also had fire rap verses from Chance and some of his buddies (the guest list is insane).

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eedeXTWZUn8]


I wanted to pair the powerful tape with a strain that fit a number of criteria; it had to be uplifting, euphoric, and strong. Chance proudly releases all of his music for free, so our pairing would have to be known for being outdoor-grown, not restrained in any way. My search led me to Nebula, a sativa-dominant strain that took home the gold at Copa la Bella Flor Spain in 2005. Nebula is known for its vibrant greens and oranges– perfect for your
Coloring Book.

You’ll catch yourself humming the melodies to songs like “Mixtape,” “Angels,” and “Smoke Break” for hours and hours after your initial listen. This effect is similar to the long-lingering flavor of Nebula, whose smoke leaves a sweet blackberry coating in your mouth that’ll hang around for all 58 minutes of Chance’s audio homily. Both Nebula and Coloring Book are perfect picks to start your day off, so wake-and-bake yourself right up to the heavens (the next pairing will bring you right back down, don’t worry). If you want to cop some Nebula of your own, Green Valley Collective in North Hollywood has some hash right now that’ll get you right for sure.

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Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is proficient in cynicism and sarcasm as a songwriter, if you couldn’t tell from the band’s new album, titled A Moon Shaped Pool. The title could be an observation on our society’s tendency to overanalyze, always trying to find deeper meaning when sometimes there isn’t one. I wanted to pair Radiohead’s ninth studio album with a strain that would provide as wide-ranging a high as the album’s eclectic track listing. From AMSP’s frenzied opener “Burn the Witch” to the soothing “Daydreaming,” and back to the suspenseful “Decks Dark,” the album introduces a myriad of feelings right from the jump. It’s part carnival fun house, part haunted hayride, keeping you guessing at every turn– will it be a butterfly or someone chasing you with an axe? For something as weird as this, we need a strain that packs a punch but also opens your brain up for exploration.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI2oS2hoL0k]


I set off on my journey to the nearest dispensary with a large selection of flower, simultaneously entering the middle “Ful Stop,” “Glass Eyes,” and “Identikit” portion of the album. Those three songs were the last I heard before stepping foot in
Class of 420, making for an indica-influenced decision. After telling my super friendly budtender Kat my extra specific request, she quickly recommended the Animal Cookies. This private reserve hybrid is sweet and sour, symbolic of the album’s reserved paranoia; you’ll look longingly at the sky during certain points but nervously over your shoulder at others. The Animal Cookies will help ease you into deep relaxation, while not completely putting you to sleep — a perfect limbo state to enjoy Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTAU7lLDZYU]

Music doesn’t get much more “indica” than Ricky Hil, one of the originators of the modern melodic trap movement. He was early on the scene, developing dark and gloomy themes with thunderous beats that shake you to your very core. Back in 2011, the sonic style wasn’t the behemoth it is today, but the unique crooner was undeterred by industry trends and dropped the heavy 500 Grams project anyway. Produced in its entirety by 808 Mafia co-founder Lex Luger, who pioneered the thumping, synth-filled production style used throughout 500 Grams, the project is a certified banger. Recently the pair remastered their way-ahead-of-its-time project, re-releasing it on Soundcloud to enjoy while you sink to new couch depths.

Though I wouldn’t be picking up five hundred actual grams, I still wanted to get the perfect strain to pair up with Ricky and Lex’s dripped out classic. I looked for a strain with a sky-high THC count, with heavy relaxation characteristic traits. After much consideration, Ogeezus was the bud of the ball. Clocking in at over 31% THC and packing an uppercut that’ll leave you slumped for hours, it’s no shock the reviews at Santa Ana dispensary From the Earth are littered with comments like “OGEEZUS IS AMAZING!”

Be very careful with the Ogeezus, as she’s a “day-changer”– as in all your plans for the day are quickly changed post-puff. Listening to Lex Luger’s music can carry similar ramifications, changing one’s mood to match his vibe, which I described in my “research” notes as  OUTERSPACEBOXCHEVYBANGSHIT. Committing to 500 Grams means you get quite the “first-time patient deal” as well, the project packing early verses from Smoke DZA and Ro Ransom in the bag very casually. Bottom line, next time you have a bad day or just want to hit the eject button on real life for a few hours, run this pairing. Make sure to roll your tree real fat, and turn your music way up.

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highTunes is a weekly feature where music is paired with specific strains of weed to create a uniquely enhanced experience. If you’ve created some of your own great pairings at home, please share them with us in the comment section and you may just see it in a future edition of highTunes.

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Used to write about music for XXL, Elevator, Complex, Genius, and a few other outlets. Follow @LongLiveTheDuke on Twitter if you'd like to read way fewer words by me.

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