Billy Ray Cyrus has found new life as an ass-kicking nug of weed in his latest video, “Angel in My Pocket.”
The one-time mullet king’s newest single and accompanying music video for the song is an ode to something every cannabis aficionado can recognize: an emergency joint.
The video brings Cyrus, aka Doobie Ray, to life as an animated cannabis bud, complete with the artists signature cowboy hat, boots, and beard. Cyrus voices the character who works at The Nug Nation gas station and breaks into jokes and street fights throughout the blues and country-based song.
The single comes off Cyrus’ latest album, The Snakedoctor Circus, out May 24. “Angel in My Pocket” is written by Don Von Tress, also responsible for the country star’s first chart-topping 1992 hit, “Achy Breaky Heart.”
The music video was co-directed by Potsy Ponciroli of Hideout Pictures and Mikey Peterson of The Nug Nation.
We spoke to Peterson about the process of creating the animation for the music video, and some of his favorite moments from it.
Peterson explained that “Angel in My Pocket” took two straight weeks to complete.
“The team got the green light to create the video on Easter Sunday and delivered it just four days before it premiered on Youtube on May 9,” said Peterson.
The process required “all hands on deck,” said Peterson, adding that The Nug Nation’s team of eight worked every day and night — sometimes for 40 hours straight hours — to create the animated enlivened nugs and storyline.
The hardest scenes to shot were the rocket landing, and the car jumping scenes. Peterson explained that maneuvering the smoke, and the weight and positioning of the car, made it a difficult undertaking.
One of Peterson’s favorites scene is the car’s landing in the hemp field, he explained, “there’s an abrupt stop to the song [and an ensuing joke] which makes it impactful.”
Animation projects like these — and the ones found on The Nug Nation’s website — are shot frame-by-frame, Peterson explained. One second of animated footages takes an average of 24 frames.“A lot of those images are then doubled depending on the scene and if any rigging is needed,” he said. “Rigging is the process of deleting stands and supports that hold up characters or props within a scene.”
The process took around than 10,000 still frames in total to complete the video, which is just over four minutes long.
“Animation is the most tedious form of production you can possibly do,” Peterson said. “Everything is done frame-by-frame.” All materials are hand-built, including the set and characters. After design and filming are done, it goes into post-production, where it’s turned into video and edited, “so the process is more extensive than anyone could ever imagine for one second of video,” he added.
All of the nugs in “Angel in My Pocket” and other Nug Nation creations are made from real cannabis. The cannabis is provided by Whole Meds Dispensary in Denver, Colorado, who select each for its photogenic color and texture.
Not to worry, though, no top-shelf buds were harmed in the making of the video.
“It’s not top-shelf, it’s only used for visuals. No need to waste the good stuff,” he laughed.
The Nug Nation’s collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus was rather serendipitous.
The company produces a series of stop-motion animated comedy clips. The Nug Nation is part of BurnTV’s original programming lineup. BurnTV is a lifestyle and entertainment network set to launch this summer1.
Each episode of The Nug Nation series takes place in Nugville, a fictional Colorado town. One of its main characters Diesel (named after the famous strain Sour Diesel) works at The Nug Nation Gas Station, which also appears at the beginning of “Angel in My Pocket.”
When asked if Cyrus’ song — whose lyrics include “I lost my job at the station” — was in homage to the comedy series, Peterson said it was a coincidence, one that started a conversation and a collaboration between the video’s co-directors and Cyrus’ management team.
Part of the enjoyment of this project, and animation in general, said Peterson, is the ability to go off script, and “throw in some funny gags.” One example of this is in the video’s fight scene.
“Our lead animator, Jamey Jorgensen, thought it would be funny if the joint just pops up in someone’s mouth [during the fight],” Peterson said. “It’s fun to add little surprises or scenes within a scene that were not originally written. Animators are actors themselves in the sense that they become these characters during the animation process and are given the freedom of improving when they feel the need to.”
Keep an eye out for more Nug Nation collaborations in the near future. While Peterson remains tight-lipped about details, he hinted at an upcoming project which will feature an Instagram series and a well-known artist.
Tyson 2.0 Launches New Mike Bites Cannabis Gummies
Nearly 25 years after he was disqualified from the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Championship for biting his opponent’s ears, Mike Tyson’s Tyson 2.0 cannabis brand has just released ear-shaped edibles, Mike Bites.
The new ear-shaped edibles are complete with a missing chunk where Tyson removed a portion of Evander Holyfield’s cartilage in what became known as The Bite Fight. After Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear, the 1997 match resumed. However, after attempting to snack on Holyfield’s second ear, Tyson was disqualified and his boxing licence was withdrawn. The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed Tyson a a $3 million fine for his actions and he didn’t fight again for over a year.
Wiz Khalifa Debuts New Taylor Gang x Stündenglass Collab
Wiz Khalifa and his entertainment company Taylor Gang Ent. have collaborated with Stündenglass, the world’s first gravity-powered infuser, to introduce the iconic gold and black Taylor Gang x Stündenglass.
“I’m honored to have collaborated with long time friend Wiz Khalifa, who is as passionate about this product as I am. Our mutual admiration for Stündenglass made it a natural collaboration,” Stündenglass CEO Chris Folkerts said via a press release.
Taylor Gang x Stündenglass is an authentic collaboration developed after the multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, Golden Globe-nominated Khalifa discovered Stündenglass and began enjoying it regularly as seen on his Instagram.
“I love my Stündenglass, and I’m pumped everyone gets to experience this with me now,” Khalifa.
The infuser features a patented 360-degree gravity system that elicits a powerful and immersive experience. It generates kinetic motion activation via cascading water, opposing airflow technology and the natural force of gravity.
The Taylor Gang gravity bing comes in an exclusive black and gold colorway and features two glass globes on a metal base made of aircraft-grade aluminum, surgical grade stainless steel, and high-quality Teflon seals.
Taylor Gang includes artists Ty Dolla $ign, Juicy J, and Berner among others — the former of which has his own line Stündenglass collab with his Cookies brand.
“We’re very excited to launch the official Taylor Gang x Stündenglass. We use glass in our everyday lives, so it only made sense to team up and create an exclusive Taylor Gang collaboration for the fans,” Taylor Gang said.
No Super Bowl for Brock Ollie
With medicinal marijuana being legal in 37 states and recreational cannabis allowed in 18, we should be seeing commercials for companies, products, and services almost as frequently as commercials for sports betting, which is permitted in 30 states in some form.
However, mainstream cannabis advertising continues to be non-existent, as demonstrated in the recent news that NBC has rejected an ad by cannabis e-commerce and advertising platform Weedmaps from being shown during the Super Bowl LVI event his coming Sunday.
Weedmaps reportedly approached the network late last year about airing a Super Bowl commercial that would be “similar to a PSA,” according to reports. Execs volunteered to present some of their earlier educational-based programming, assuring NBC executives that it would not contain any direct-sell messages, which are still forbidden under federal law.
“The answer was a hard no — they wouldn’t even entertain the conversation,” Weedmaps Chief Operating Officer Juanjo Feijoo told Adweek. “We see ourselves as trying to be trailblazers in the industry and making new inroads where others haven’t gone before in cannabis advertising. So it was disappointing.”
The contentious ad personifies cannabis as Brock Ollie, a head of broccoli, the veggie emoji commonly used as a visual representation of cannabis in marketing. The 30-second ad takes viewers through a day in the life of Brock Ollie, whose superfood identity is in jeopardy as he is repeatedly misidentified as cannabis. The ad offers a lighthearted take on the industry’s issues, such as social media censorship and a lack of clear advertising standards, which limit cannabis-related commercials during nationally televised events like the Super Bowl.
“Despite three quarters of the country having legalized cannabis and the bipartisan enthusiasm we continue to see in support for change at the federal level, the industry continues to face roadblocks that inhibit competition in the legal market and stifle opportunities to educate,” Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps said. “There’s an irony in the fact that the biggest night for advertising will feature an array of consumer brands in regulated industries, from beverage alcohol to sports betting, yet legal cannabis retailers, brands and businesses have been boxed out.”
The game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams will be played Sunday in L.A.