#cannabisaficionado

Culture

Watch Billy Ray Cyrus as a Nug of Weed in His New Music Video

Published

on

Billy Ray Cyrus
PHOTOS | Courtesy Nug Nation

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.

Early stage storyboard cells by artist Jake Fairly.

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.

Billy Ray’s car smashing through the Salt Creek Hemp sign was tricky to shoot.

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.

Creator and Director Mikey Peterson gives the girl nug a salon-worthy cut.

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.

Billy Ray Cyrus and his new love take to the stars.

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.”

Billy Ray Cyrus gets fired from the Nugville petrol station.

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.

Lead Animator Jamey Jorgensen works to move the Billy Ray Cyrus nug frame by frame.

“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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Culture

Why Jay-Z’s Stand on Social Justice Makes His Move Into Weed Important

Published

on

jay-z
PHOTO | @JayZ

Rap superstar Jay-Z has announced his partnership with California-based cannabis company Caliva, serving as their Chief Brand Strategist on a multi-year deal.

Per a statement released to detail the partnership, Jay-Z’s duties on the job will include outreach efforts, brand strategy and creative decisions, giving him a further outlet to focus his efforts in “advocacy, job training and overall employee and workforce development.”

In his new role, Jay-Z plans to shine a spotlight on social injustices when it comes to cannabis, particularly in the realm of criminal justice, cannabis use and legalization.

“Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level,” said Jay-Z in the statement. “With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos make them the best partners for this endeavor. We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.”

Jay-Z’s Push for Justice

While it’s clear that the billionaire musician has always been about good business and making money, this is more than just a financial choice for Jay-Z.

Having long been dedicated to social justice initiatives before entering the cannabis business, this is another outlet for him to advocate for and boost the black community in an area they’ve suffered disproportionately, the criminal justice system.

This isn’t his first foray into addressing such issues either.

Jay-Z was named as an executive producer on a series about Kalief Browder, a young black man from the Bronx who died via suicide after three years of imprisonment without a trial, has been outspoken in his support for fellow rapper Meek Mill during his legal troubles and partnered will Meek Mill to launch the Reform Alliance, a group dedicated to criminal justice reform.

When it comes to social justice, this isn’t the rapper’s first rodeo.

A Closer Look at Caliva

Already big fish in the ever-growing legal cannabis pond, the San Jose-based company has a tight grip on the Bay Area’s legal cannabis industry. Carried in over 250 retailers in California and in charge of about 150,000 square feet of space between their cultivation, manufacturing and retail facilities, it’s no wonder the company is Jay-Z’s pick when it came time to ink a deal.

Caliva was all for the opportunity to bring the rap mogul onboard, with CEO Dennis O’Malley heaping praise on the rap superstar in a statement.

“For Jay-Z to seek out Caliva as a partner is humbling and confirms our mission of being the most trusted name in cannabis,” said O’Malley. “To find that we were in complete alignment around our values and ethos was just a home run. We believe this partnership is unparalleled in this or any business and we could not be more pleased to be working with him and have him as our Chief Brand Strategist.”

Celebrities and Cannabis: A Likely Match

While this deal is huge for Caliva, Jay-Z isn’t the only high-profile celebrity to play ball with them. Earlier this year, Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Joe Montana was among a group of investors who locked in an impressive $75 million in fundraising for Caliva.

Montana said at the time that he hoped “Caliva’s strong management team will successfully develop and bring to market quality products that can provide relief to many people and make a serious impact on opioid use and addiction.”

Jay-Z is also one of the many rappers that have jumped on board the legal cannabis money train, joining the likes of Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and Cypress Hill. Smart investors all have their money in the legal cannabis market, and Hov seems to be no exception.

After all, the guy who rapped “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,” seems like the type of guy who knows a good deal when he sees one.

Continue Reading

Culture

76-Year-Old Calvin Robinson Has Terminal Cancer — and is Still Behind Bars

In 1988, Calvin Robinson received a sentence of life without parole for his involvement in a Bay Area drug smuggling conspiracy.

Published

on

Calvin Robinson
PHOTO | Supplied

I don’t know if you can remember where you were or what was going on in your life 31 years ago. Most of us would have to stop and think about it. But Calvin Robinson remembers it well.

In 1988, Robinson was a tugboat captain on the Intrepid Adventure in the San Francisco Bay. In the spring of that year, under the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, he was arrested for pulling a barge loaded with 43 tons of hashish and 15 tons of marijuana. At the time this was the largest marijuana arrest in U.S. history.

For Calvin Robinson, time stopped that day.

Crime and Punishment

When the dust settled after a drama-filled trial, Calvin Robinson received a sentence of life without parole for his involvement in the drug smuggling conspiracy. Calvin spent the next 34 years working, without any outside help, sending appeal after appeal to the courts. To no avail.

He watched murderers, rapists, and thieves come and go, all of them serving less time then he had been given for a non-violent marijuana offense.

From inside the walls of the federal penitentiary in Victorville, CA, Calvin watched the world change. The marijuana industry was booming. Laws were changing. Public stigma was slowly fading and people were beginning to understand that marijuana is not a harmful drug. The public could even go into a store and legally buy marijuana and hashish!

Yet Calvin remains behind bars.

The Calvary

In 2014, I saw a Facebook post about four men, all part of the same marijuana conspiracy, all serving life without parole sentences for marijuana: Calvin Robinson, John Knock, Claude Duboc, and Albert Madrid.

I decided to send them each a card to cheer them up and let them know they were not forgotten. At the time I had no idea how that one card would change my life, and how it would lead to an enduring and deeply meaningful friendship with Calvin Robinson.

I made a Facebook page for Calvin and asked him to send me a picture. That was when I saw the miracles start to happen.

Soon after I met writer and activist Cheri Sicard, and Calvin not only received more exposure, he found a new friend. Then, attorney Cait Boyce began to help. Then Tracie Gloor-Pike, whose son Lance Gloor’s incarceration for cannabis had turned into a prison activist, joined in.

Calvin was still incarcerated, but for the first time since he had been locked up, he knew he was not alone and he was not forgotten.

Calvin had been battling cancer for five years without medical treatment and it was spreading and getting worse. We started protesting and through a letter writing campaign were at least able to get him transferred to the prison hospital at Butner Federal Medical Center in North Carolina.

Sadly, it might be too little too late, as after having gone untreated for so many years, Calvin’s doctors at Butner predicted his cancer would take his life within 18 months. But if anyone believes in miracles, it is Calvin, whose rock-steady spiritual conviction and large stature earned him the prison nickname of “The Gentle Giant.”

The New Prison Reform Act

In 2016, President Trump passed the new First Step Act. Calvin meets the requirements because of his age, declining health, and the amount of time he had already served. He should have been first on the list for a reduction in sentence.

In reality, Calvin has been stonewalled by the prison system. Despite countless letters and pleas to prison staff, they have done everything in their power to keep Calvin from coming home.

Calvin and I have spoken many times. He knows that the fight for freedom is not just about him. It is about the stigma of marijuana and a judicial system that makes money off every marijuana arrest and conviction.

The bottom line is, Calvin, and every prisoner like him is worth at least $35,000 a year to the prison. They don’t want to lose that money.

There is some hope, however, as Mary Price of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) just wrote Calvin to let him know that his new request for a reduction in sentence is currently in the DC office of the General Counsel. We pray the counsel does the right thing and quickly.

I don’t know what will ultimately happen to Calvin. Maybe he will die in prison. Maybe he will be released, although that would have to happen soon.

What I do know is that over the last five years I have been a first-hand witness to the incredible strength and resiliency of the human spirit and how that spirit can come alive and thrive when its flames are fanned with love.

In essence, at this stage of the game, Calvin’s story really isn’t about Calvin any more. It is about all of the activists and members of the public who have reached into prison to give the only real thing they own: their time, their love, and their concern. That and his unshakable faith in Yahvah is what has kept the Gentle Giant going, even through times of utmost adversity.

Write to Calvin Robinson

If you would like to send a letter of encouragement, please address it to:

Calvin Lyniol Robinson # 83327-011
FMC Butner
PO Box 1600
Butner, NC 27509

Please note, BOP rules only allow for ink and paper in white (only) envelopes. No greeting cards, nothing can be stapled, attached, or glued to the letter, ink and white paper only. Photographs are OK.

We encourage you to follow Calvin Robinson’s Facebook page and support Families Against Mandatory Minimum’s work.

Brad Schluter is an advocate and activist who remains committed to those serving prison time for marijuana.

Continue Reading

Culture

Blunt Talks Brings You the Best and Brightest in the Industry

Published

on

Blunt Talks
PHOTOS | Courtesy Blunt Talks

Legal cannabis is big business. The post-legalization boom following California’s passing of Prop 64 in November 2016 has seen rapid growth in cannabis business opportunities.

With the “Green Rush” have come an unprecedented increase of brands, businesses, and products around the world. In fact, it is predicted that the global cannabis market will be worth $16.9 billion this year.

Events like Blunt Talks bring together the best and brightest minds in the industry to help you navigate these new and exciting waters.

Each month, Blunt Talks host Sam Zartoshty is joined by industry innovators who present insightful “Ted” style talks that focus on networking, education, and creating community. Tonight’s event, in partnership with L.A. Weekly, is set to be the biggest so far.

“We are looking forward to bringing together both newcomers and veterans of the cannabis industry to learn and network in a historical venue in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles,” Sam Zartoshty told us. “With over 350 confirmed attendees, this is going to be our biggest Blunt Talks yet!”

To date, 33 Blunt Talks have taken place in eight cities, with 95 speakers imparting their knowledge. This month’s speakers are Mario Guzman aka Mr. Sherbinski of SHERBINSKIS, Jackee Stang of Quarter Brands, Nichole West of Inclusive Cannabis, Ted Lidie of Alien Labs and Bill Levers of Beard Bros Pharms.

“Blunt Talks is a vital tool to the success of the emerging industry for a multitude of reasons,” said Bill Levers of Beard Bros Pharms. “We feel like it provides a safe, inclusive space that helps networking, education, and collaborative efforts to flourish in a social setting. It gives operators who’ve had to hide for years a chance to tell their stories, and new entries a unique perspective on the industry that you don’t get at large trade shows.”

Head to Blunt Talks tonight, 7 PM – 11:30 PM at Exchange in Downtown Los Angeles. Chef Rudy of Cannabis Catered Events and Chef JJ of Ayur Ras Healing Foods will be serving up delicious (non-infused) treats while Jeff Welsh plays some sweet tunes at the afterparty.

Get your tickets now from Eventbrite.

Continue Reading

Trending

Join The Cannabis Aficionado Community!

Copyright © Cannabis Aficionado