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Thelonious Martin lets us inside the head of a creative who uses cannabis

Digital collage art of Thelonius Martin
(Digital art by Greg Dubois)

Cannabis connoisseur Thelonious Martin tells us about his creative process and how he went viral for smoking loud.

Malcolm Martin goes by the stage name “Thelonious” because when he was a baby, he couldn’t get enough of jazz legend Thelonious Monk’s records. His lifelong love of music has since blossomed into a career as a producer that includes work with some of hip hop’s most respected artists. 

“I’ve worked with Curren$y, Mac Miller, ASAP Rocky, Mos Def, Freddie Gibbs, Freeway,” he remembers fondly. “I’ve been blessed to be established at this point and somewhat garnished the respect of other people. It kind of bugs me out. I bump into people and they’re like, ‘this project means a lot to me.’”

“Every TV show did the episode where somebody gets high, and had the worst experience of a f*cking lifetime. They be seeing shit. I know I’ve never smoked some shit that made me see some shit. I done smoked some shit that made me sleepy, happy, or hungry.”

As a teen he didn’t smoke or drink, but as an adult Martin has discovered the creative and personal benefits of marijuana and proudly shares them with his fans and followers. 

“I’m a very anxious person. So I overthink a lot, and smoking weed definitely slows me down a little bit… If I’m listening to records all day, I’ll burn one, and I’ll look up and two or three hours have passed. Just ‘cause I’m not thinking about external things. I’m just focused on what I have to do. It’s funny because all the DARE advertisements we had growing up made it seem like you will be slow as hell or dumb as hell after the weed, but in actuality, I think way more clearly and am way more focused on the task at hand.”

Cannabis and creativity

Cannabis has long been linked to creativity, and Thelonius is one of many who use cannabis to spark their thinking.

The best cannabis strains for sparking creativity

Along with his music, Thelonious has both a penchant for explanation and a genuine sense of humor. He’s comfortable talking about cannabis in the same sense as many others in the Black community.

Time spent with this cannabis-fueled creative revealed an intimate knowledge of cannabis in his local area and his artistic process.

Thelonious’ thesaurus

On local cannabis shortages in the pandemic:

“I’ve switched plugs during the ‘rona. I just got a new delivery service from my homegirl. They got a schedule. They let you know what strains they got for the day. They also got shrooms.” 

See the definition for plug in Leafly’s glossary

On price fluctuation:

“My boy recently asked his followers, ‘How much is 3.5 in your city?’ If I’m paying anything more than $40 for the KD, I’m upset.”

See the definition for KD in Leafly’s glossary

On recognizing bad weed:

Mid is some bud might look like it needs something to eat. Like it may look a little malnourished. It won’t be as frosty as other weed. Some weed looks like Gucci Mane in the nighttime; little trichomes, frosty tips. It looks like it got ice on. That’s good weed. If your weed looks like it got took for its chain, and ain’t got no frostiness to it, that’s probably some mid.” 

See the definition of mid in Leafly’s glossary

On creating Me vs. The Weed:

“I was just high as shit one day and wanted to encapsulate what the weed was doing to me. So the very first picture in the thread is Malcolm X baptizing Tupac. I was like, ‘This is accurate. This is accurate as hell.’

So I said, ‘Bet, I’m gonna make a thread of it to keep it going every time.’ And then eventually it kind of grew legs to it. Almost like too long of legs. It became too much, really fast. People were sending me memes to go in the thread. Like, ‘Look, I did one like you!’ The kids that came up on Tumblr are the ones making memes now. We’re the O.G.’s of that shit. 

“So I enjoy making memes. I feel like when people start imitating is when you know you have something of value. Or in a comedy sense, you know that it’s really funny.”

The nature of memes makes it hard to trace origins and even harder to give credit where credit is due. We thank Thelonious for his contributions to cannabis culture by being exactly who he is.