The Individuals, from left: Ando Tha Don, Big Lou a.k.a. Fatt Joejoe, T.C.O. Onedaman, Raw Bizness
Chicago-based rap/hip-hop band The Individuals have already made a huge impact on both the music world and the cannabis reform community. The band’s music was used in the second and third seasons of the smash Showtime series Weeds, which led to The Individuals covering the show’s theme song “Little Boxes” for a third season episode.
Their previous albums, Something To Smoke To and Something To Smoke To 2 took the toking community by storm, serving up a potent mix of musical styles, all steeped in delicious herbal goodness.
It’s not every day that I can say “this band wrote one of my favorite weed songs,” but with The Individuals it’s totally true. Their potently catchy staccato track “High Daily” is a frequent play on my iTunes, and in fact, just talkin’ about it, imma have to bump it right now.
The band has won an incredible 12 Marijuana Music Awards and has, unlike some acts, never shied away from embracing the 420 subculture of which it is an integral part.
We got a chance to talk with Ando Tha Don, Big Lou a.k.a. Fatt Joejoe, Raw Bizness, and T.C.O. Onedaman about their activism, their love for cannabis and their soon-to-be-released upcoming new album, Marijuana Music.
Marijuana Music was originally scheduled to drop on 4/20, but the band told me its release has been somewhat delayed due to their search for environmentally friendly hemp packaging for the new album. That’s the kind of guys The Individuals are.
“The Marijuana Music release will be pushed back because we couldn’t get it packaged in hemp,” the guys told Toke of the Town on Sunday. “We went beyond the date that the CD needs to be turned it, trying to find hemp packaging.
“We tried everything,” they told us. “We don’t want to use plastic with Jack Herer on the album. We may just use an Echo Pack and place ‘This CD Should Be Made Of Hemp!’ across the CD.”
Toke of the Town: You guys have been at the forefront of speaking out for marijuana legalization. Can you tell me why you believe the cannabis issue is one of the most important facing us today?
The Individuals: The most driving force behind our push for legalization is the people we know personally who are ill and really need marijuana just to be able to go through the day.
We know people who, after having chemotherapy, really need weed to be able to eat. Why should they be denied their medicine and be subject to doing jail time?
The second thing that gives us drive is the amount of people who get arrested for weed — including us. At first we were making the music just for fun and to be different, but after doing some research and being able to meet Jack Herer, Dana Beal, and Eddy Lepp we figured it was our calling to do this shit!
Toke of the Town: How long did you work on the new album, Marijuana Music?
The Individuals: We been working on it on and off for over a year.
At first we were asking people to send us songs to put out a compilation, but many of the songs we received were not very good, so we took the two songs we were going to put on the project and added more for an album entitled Marijuana Music.
Toke of the Town: Tell me a little about the feel of the new album, and how it compares to Something To Smoke To and Something To Smoke To 2.
The Individuals: Something To Smoke To and Something To Smoke To 2 are really like one long double album. They were designed to play as background music for smoking sessions.
The new album, Marijuana Music, has solo songs from each of us, and is more hip-hop.
Something To Smoke To and Something To Smoke To 2 had a variety of reggae, blues, and hip-hop on them. We still go international on the new album by making songs for our friends in Italy and Bulgaria, along with a few other surprises, and on this album we add a little rock flavor.
We also asked Jack Herer (R.I.P.), Keith Stroup, Ed Rosenthal, Casper Leitch, Radical Russ Belville, The King Of Pot Michael Malta, and Richard Rawlings to be on this album to make it activist approved!