pounds and twenty blunts ago, Meen Green released an album titled
The Smoking Section that told stories of Westside love and chronic
leaves. This album and his indo-morphed reputation made him a
household name in the streets of Los Angeles and the projects
of Atlanta, Georgia. His sophomore release Government Issue picks
up where the Smoking Section left off and takes us to the next
level of Tetra Hydra Cannabinol - in other words, higher than
you were the first time.
Meen Green is
a self-proclaimed hempaholic who lives the danksta way of life.
"I have 3 lungs and I smoke the most bud ever. I suffer from
a rare smoking disease called Indo-nemia, which occurs when the
level of THC in my body falls too low. I have to smoke weed at least
every 3 hours or my lungs will collapse." Government Issue
was completed with the help of various producers and artists in
his Los Angeles hometown, and showcases Green's love for good smoke,
high times, and good music. James Sumbi, founder of beatsandrhymes.net
and the Sunshine Shack Recording Studio, is the executive producer
of Government Issue and produced 11 of the 17 album tracks &
interludes. Sumbi also co-founded the Freestyle Fellowship, the
left coast underground hip-hop generals who made critical acclaim
with their albums To Whom It May Concern (1991) and Inner City Griots
Government Issue are Green's longtime friends and hustle mates Ganjah
K and SupHerb (Down Syndroam), notorious underground west coast
emcees who both hit turntables and airwaves worldwide while signed
to Wild West Records in the mid nineties. Lil Clown, another longtime
friend of Green's, produced 2 songs on the CD. "Lil' Clown
has a thousand tracks (not lyin'!) and 2 albums finished. I wanted
him to be a part of the album so he could get his shine." Lil'
Clown is featured on The Smoking Section", and Meen Green is
featured on Lil Clown's upcoming release on Underworld Entertainment.
R&B vocalist ShanDozia, previously signed to Quincy Jones' Qwest
Records, added his vocals to the album just before it hit the presses.
"We were lookin' for the right singer, and when ShanDozia came
in and laid his vocals on the tracks, it was as if the songs were
written for his voice. He hadn't heard any of the music before,
and did vocals on 5 songs in 5 hours."
Powers", "Make That Money", and "Tryin' 2 Come
Up" all tell stories of the importance of having and making
money and not letting it change you, see the big picture of what
you can get out of life by using it wisely. Ironworx producer Josef
Leimberg produced the latter two songs, which added more of a soulful
edge to the album. Both "THC" and "Hemp Cartel Love"
feature members of The Hemp Cartel: B Weazy (C Weed's lil' cousin)
and Marc Tha Murderah (MTM). The Hemp Cartel was founded in the
summer of 1992, consisting of 8 former City of Los Angeles Hemp
Distributors who came together to increase their earnings as a whole
without involving outside parties (translation: to cut out the middle
man), and set forth to mix the distribution of marijuana with music,
spawning what they call Hemp Hop - a form of rap that celebrates
and glorifies the use of marijuana. "We Smokin' Green"
and "Pass It 2 Da Homies (4:20)" are clear indicators
that Meen Green and The Hemp Cartel are connoisseurs of Humboldt's
finest yields. "Don't Trip", produced by M.D. Himself,
is another Hemp Cartel sing-a-long to let you know how the cartel
does it daily.
is a straight up dedication to the Westside, "cause there's
nothin' like livin' on it," says Green, who is also founder
of Greenhouse Records & the Infamous Green Gang. A diehard Los
Angeles Lakers fan, Green has always given love to the west coast
and the west side of things in his songs and his associations. He
began writing rhymes after seeing a number of friends go through
bad deals with various record labels. Green continued writing raps
and frequently collaborated with The Nonce, who produced their own
music and had a small 4-track studio in their house. Meen Green
was later featured on The Nonce's "The West Is
from their classic album, World Ultimate.
In 1991 Meen
Green met producer Bird & rapper/producer Vooodu through Gumby
(a/k/a Torche), another Wild West artist. Vooodu and Bird, two super
producers behind Ras Kass' mysterious underground rise, merged with
Meen Green to form The West Coast Avengers. Vooodu's friend Danny
Holloway produced a sampler for his label True Sound in 1992, and
Meen Green and Vooodu were featured on one of its tracks, Bird's
"Bird's Eye View". Danny later introduced the group to
Forest Whittaker, who in turn featured three of their songs in the
1992 HBO movie Strapped. The addition of Ras Kass in 1994 gave birth
to the Western Hemisfear. They were often featured at Bigga B's
Unity concerts in Los Angeles and rocked the west coast underground
at each performance. While working on Ras Kass' album, Meen Green
met Bob Whitfield, owner of Patchwerk Recordings in Atlanta. They
had a conversation on the phone, which lead to a meeting and later,
a record deal.
Meen Green was
signed to Bob Whitfield's Patchwerk Records in 1996 and spent the
next 4 years in Atlanta working on his music and growing as a producer
and independent label owner. He quickly built an Atlanta fan base
and got mix show play on Hot 97.5, V103, and was a regular guest
on The Panther Power Hour on college radio station WRFG. The Smoking
Section was released in January of 1998 and featured west coast
appearances from Western Hemisfear's Mykill Myers, The Hemp Cartel,
Aceyalone and Mikah Nine of Freestyle Fellowship. The Smoking Section
and its singles were featured in Vibe, Source, Rap Pages, Rap Sheet,
High Times, Black Beat and the Los Angeles Times. Defunct magazines
4080, Unsigned & Hella Broke, and The Flavor also featured the
rapper's works. Singles "In Da Wind" (featuring Jazze
Pha) and "Deep In The Game" (featuring Pimp C of UGKs)
both were in rotation in clubs and mix shows in the Dirty South,
and Meen Green's name spread further outside the boundaries of Los
Angeles and Atlanta. Featuring production from both the south and
west coasts, The Smoking Section had a universal sound and boasted
of marijuana escapades - a subject matter that at the time was too
controversial for the mainstream airwaves.
casualty to commercial radio's rules and regulations, The Smoking
Section remains an underground collection of classic hemp hop available
by name in head shops worldwide, and possibly the record store if
they know their hemp hop. Meen Green hopes that his fans and hempaholics
nationwide will keep Government Issue in rotation along with a few
good blunts. "Roll a few blunts, light one, and start the album.
It plays like a movie - it takes you from the hood to the weed spot,
and then to the club, back home, or anywhere else you gotta go.
That's the dope shit about hemp hop - the higher you get, the further
the music takes you." Smoke on...