While other record labels may have some hot artists, those signed to the industry’s newest imprint are smokin’ … literally.
High Times, the 28-year-old counterculture magazine, has launched its first record label, High Times Records, a marijuana-friendly venture with plans to release a series of compilation albums, as well as sign new artists, according to the label’s publicist. The imprint’s maiden release, due April 16, will be THC (The Hip-Hop Collection) Vol. 1, featuring 14 new tracks from Cypress Hill’s B-Real, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and the Pharcyde, among others.
“RZA’s signing on really got things going,” said Devin Horwitz, a High Times graphic designer who handles A&R duties for the label. “Everyone was really happy to have a reason to do a weed song.”
It’s currently not known which of three upcoming projects will be next for the label, Horwitz said. A reggae compilation seems appropriate, as does a stoner rock collection for which Clutch, Nebula and Unida have each expressed interest. The third prospect is an electronic dub album by Mad Professor and Scientist that stemmed from the pair’s performance at November’s Cannabis Cup and is currently being retouched in a studio.
High Times Records isn’t the magazine’s first foray into music. In conjunction with the now-defunct Capricorn Records, High Times released two compilations featuring covers of classic stoner anthems, such as Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It,” Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35″ and Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf,” to benefit the pro-pot NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws): Hempilation: Freedom Is NORML (1995) and Hempilation II: Free the Weed (1998). The magazine’s latest musical joint venture was last year’s High Times Presents Rip This Joint, a jam band compilation with King Biscuit Records.
THC (The Hip-Hop Collection) Vol. 1 track list, according to High Times Records (sequence not final):
- The Pharcyde – “Sticky Green”
- RZA – “So High (G-13)”
- Defari – “Bomb Tree”
- The Beatnuts – “Sweet Dreams”
- Black Moon (featuring Ruck, Strang and Top Dog) – “High Times”
- The High & Mighty – “Bart Burnt”
- J-Ro of Tha Liks, Phil Da Agony, Chocolate Tye – “Big Green Buds”
- Serial Rhyme Killas (B-Real, Son Doobie, Mellow Man Ace) – “Mary”
- Ripshop – “Escape”
- MF Doom – “My Favorite Ladies”
- Shabaam Sadeeq (featuring Steele of Cocoa Brovas) – “Roll Up”
- Afu-Ra – “Get Your Head Right”
- HOM – “Put Your L’s Up”