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.
Psychonauts Celebrate Magic Mushroom Day
September 20 is Magic Mushroom Day. Similarly to stoners celebrating 4/20 and 7/10, and LSD enthusiasts celebrating 4/19, entheogenic communities around the world celebrate the psychedelic renaissance on 9/20.
The concept was coined in 2015 when Nicholas Reville, a mushroom advocate from Providence, Rhode Island, declared September 20 as an “educational day of action,” apparently citing the spirit of 4/20 as an opportunity to talk about psilocybin reform, regulations and, of course, rejoice in the magic of psychedelics.
“9/20 was chosen because it is at the beginning of autumn, when mushrooms are most plentiful; because it is close to the equinox, representing a change in direction; and because it echoes 4/20 and the successful movement for marijuana decriminalization and legalization,” said Reville in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Magic Mushrooms: The Next “Green” Wave?
Interest around the benefits and effects of psilocybin, the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been steadily growing over the last number of years, with legalization closely following.
At the last election in 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin with Measure 109 for mental health treatment in supervised settings.
At the same time, the District of Columbia decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances with the passage of Initiative 81.
Peep the Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection
Pepsi has partnered with Harlem-based designer and streetwear legend, Dapper Dan, to create The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection.
As part of the Pepsi “Made for Football Watching” NFL campaign, the iconic collaboration brings the football fan apparel game to the next level with this limited-edition capsule collection created for fans to show up in style, no matter where they’re watching.
The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection features fashion-forward football-watching pieces including a lounger, hoodie, bucket hat, and custom-patterned Pepsi can to ensure fans are fitted and geared up for every touchdown, sack and fumble.
Power & Collaboration Are the Name of the Game at WEIC Women’s Leadership Summit
In 2019 women held 37% of senior level positions in cannabis. Alarmingly, less than 8% of CEOs are women and only 38% of all positions in cannabis are held by women. This statistic and much more will be the topic of discussion at the Women Empowered In Cannabis (WEIC) Power & Collaboration summit on July 21, 2021, from 10 am PST – 5 pm PST.
The one day summit is WEIC’s first virtual Women’s Leadership Summit and will address the rapid loss of female leadership and power in cannabis and question how the community can address and stop this trend.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to build an industry from the ground up that is inclusive, diverse and just, and yet women are losing ground at a distressing rate,” said Kyra Reed, WEIC founder and CEO. “The summit is designed to help women elevate our voices and establish real power in the global cannabis market.”
Meet the Speakers
The Women’s Leadership Summit: Power and Collaboration brings together a diverse group of influential women. This virtual summit offers opportunities for women to learn and interact with each other, irrespective of their location.
Andrea Brooks, Founder and CEO – Sava; Annie Holman, Founder and CEO – The Galley; Christine De La Rosa – The People’s Ecosystem; Kate Lynch, SVP Marketing – Curaleaf; Khadijah Adams – Girl Get that Money; Franny Tacy, Founder and CEO – Franny’s Farmacy; Helen Gomez Andrews, Co-founder and CEO – The High End; Katie Pringle, Co-founder – Marigold Marketing; Kendra Losee, Founder and CEO – Mota Marketing; Lelehnia DuBois – The Humboldt Grace; Dr. Lola Ohonba, WCI Health, Clinical Pharmacist, Certified Medical Cannabis Specialist – WCI; Mara Gordon, Founder and TEDx speaker – Aunt Zelda’s; Mskindness Rivera; Nancy Whiteman, CEO – Wana Brands; Rosie Mattio, Founder and CEO – MATTIO Communications; Scheril Murray Power, Cannabis and Agricultural Attorney – Doumar Allsworth Laystrom Voigt Wachs Adair & Dishowitz LLP; Susan Soares, Founder and CEO – The State of Cannabis; Tiffany Yarde; Valda Coryat, CMO – Trulieve
“Pursuing inclusion and diversity in business is not just a way to encourage goodwill. It is a strategic business decision that can literally make or break a company. This is not a wishful, feel-good attempt to make news or have people speak well of the industry. It is truly how we survive — and maybe how we change the world a little bit.” – Nancy Whiteman, Wana Brands CEO
“This quote from the late Helen Keller says it all – ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.'” – Mara Gordon – Founder Aunt Zelda’s
“Women are the “Pillar” of the world but are being left behind in major sectors of our economy especially after the pandemic. It’s time for us to come together as one to claim our spot at the decision-making table!” – Dr. Lola Ohonba PHARM.D.
“It is well known that women are more than good enough to run companies. We need to recognize if we are good enough to do the work, we are good enough to own the work. We need to empower one another, create financial opportunities and invest in each other to become owners and make sure there are women in the C-suite of the companies we work with. This is why.” – Chrystal Ortiz – CEO/Founder Herb & Market Humboldt, High Water Farm
Power & Collaboration Event Topics
The day’s schedule will be broken into ten categories:
- Keynote: EXECUTIVES: How to Use Power in Leadership
- Keynote: MESSAGING: Developing a POWER message for women in cannabis
- Keynote: FINANCE: Women, Money & Power
- Panel: CULTIVATION: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: MANUFACTURING: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: SCIENCE & RESEARCH: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: RETAIL: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: INTERNATIONAL: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: CBD: Power & Collaboration
- Panel: HEMP: Power & Collaboration
Join the all-day live virtual conference on July 21, 2021, at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST – 5 pm PST / 8 pm EST
Don’t miss this incredible event! Register here to attend.