BoB 2

My First Time Getting High

Rapper B.o.B. and other artists share stories about their early experiences with Mary Jane.

Stories about smoking weed for the first time are usually pretty eventful — that is, if you can remember them. Extra props if you can remember the steps leading up to your initial toke, such as how you acquired the weed, where you smoked it, and who with.

Rapper B.o.B.’s first time getting legitimately stoned happened on his first day of high school, and he almost got caught when a security guard on campus noticed his red eyes. Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel from Beats Antique played Black Sabbath on drums with a bunch of older kids during his first time getting high, and Nathaniel Blum from Hot Flash Heat Wave left his cell phone at a McDonald’s. Atlanta rapper Dae Dae fell asleep for 30 minutes after his first hit, while East Bay emcee Azure binged on In-N-Out and had an awkward encounter with a fellow classmate.

Fortunately, none of these artists got into too much trouble from their illicit activities. B.o.B. was able to weasel his way out of detention and/ or suspension thanks to some quick and clever thinking, and Dae Dae has since learned he only likes smoking blunts made with Backwoods.

No matter how disastrous their first smokes were, most musicians on this list still use the plant to this day. Even singer Eric Bellinger, who claims he used to tell people, “if they smoked weed, they had to step outside of my studio,” is now a convert, with a marijuana-themed tattoo on his arm.

So there you go. Weed might get a bad rap, but all it takes is one inhale for you to realize how freaking awesome the stuff is.

B.o.B., rapper
My first successful experience getting high was when I was 14 or 15. I had smoked a couple times before, but it just didn’t work. I wasn’t hitting it right. On my first day of high school, I was riding the bus with my homegirl and we pulled up to the school and we were about to walk in.

But before we walked in, she pulled out a little Ziploc bag with some smoke in it. She was like, “You want to go smoke real quick before school?” I was like, “Hell, why not?”

So we went to the cut in between the woods, and as we’re smoking, this cop car pulls up and we just take off running. I don’t think the cop even got out the car. I think he was just trying to scare us.

We walked back into school and the campus security was like, “Hey! Hey! Get back here! Where are you coming from?” So I’m high and paranoid and I start walking fast. He follows me all the way in and says, “You! I know you’ve been smoking. I can see it in your eyes.”

When you’re high, you’re so paranoid [and think that] “everybody knows.” So he takes me to the administration office, or whatever it’s called where they punish kids. They’re saying to me, “I can tell you’re high. Let me smell your hands.”

So I wiped my hands in my armpits so it would either smell like deodorant or funk — whatever’s better than weed. It worked, because they smelled my hands and were like, “You have won this round.”

[In the end,] I think I just got in trouble for skipping class, but when you’re in school and you are high for the first time, you swear that everybody knows, everybody’s talking about you, and everybody’s conspiring against you.

And, when you first get high, it’s hard to stop smiling, man. People look at you like, “What’s wrong with you?” and you just start fuckin’ grinning. So yeah, that was my first experience getting high.

Eric Bellinger, singer and producer
I remember telling people if they smoked weed, they had to step outside of my studio because I hated people ashing everywhere or leaving blunt tobacco all over the table. Now, I don’t even record in studios unless I’m able to work in the cloudiest of clouds.

The first time I got high, I was in a New Jersey garage after one of my closest friends had passed. He smoked so much, the name of his company was “UpLife.” I was at his repast with so many friends and family and, of course, someone said, “Let’s blaze one for K2.” I had nothing to do for the rest of the day — plus I was on the opposite side of the country — so I figured, “Why not?”

A few puffs and a few coughs later, I had entered a realm I never knew existed. I hit the ground running after that day and was proud to be a stoner. I really fell in love with the weed culture. I started collecting cool grinders, lighters, and anything else that had to do with weed. I even got “UpLife” tatted on my arm.

Problem, rapper
I don’t remember the first time I smoked because I smoke too much. But I’m going to tell you about this really cool time I got to smoke with the editor- in-chief of High Times magazine [Dan Skye] in N.Y.C.

It was around my birthday, and I was about to make my 106 & Park debut, so I was excited. My manager scheduled an interview with me and the editor- in-chief of High Times, so we go to his house — a nice brownstone. We walk in, start the interview, and it was going cool with this older white gentleman.

Then the interview is over and he goes to me, “You know what? I want to smoke a joint with you.” And I was like, “Yeah, I want to smoke a joint with you.”

So I roll this big-ass joint and he rolls this itty-bitty one. I go to light mine up and it ain’t acting right, it’s underperforming. So he says, “You know, I don’t smoke with everybody. I smoked with Snoop, he’s cool. And Willie Nelson. But you know, I like you.”

So he passes me the joint and I take a hit. So much smoke went in my body and I started coughing and I thought I was going to die. He asks if I was OK, and I was like, “Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that little joint to have so much power.” And he goes, “It’s not about how much you put in the joint. It’s how you put it in the joint.” Then he wished me well and I went off to do my first appearance at 106 & Park.

Ron Pope, singer-songwriter
My friend’s dad is a pretty famous musician. The first time I smoked weed, my band was jamming in his studio. I walked into the house and said, “Um, uh, excuse me, sir. The boys and I are playing some blues up in the studio. You wanna sit in?”

He didn’t say a word, just shot me a look that explained his position quite clearly. The look said something along the lines of, “Bitch, I played with Jimi Hendrix.” In silence, he picked up his little dog, turned his back, and walked out of the room. At the time, it was sort of embarrassing, but now it’s hilarious.

Aaron Olson, L.A. Takedown
The story of the first time I got high is perhaps better titled as “The First Time I Didn’t Get High.” I was pretty young — somewhere in the vicinity of the sixth grade — and I was hanging out with my super-cool, more-advanced buddy.

He had heard that smoking oregano would get you high like weed, and being young dummies, we thought we’d give it a go. We smoked it and, to our disappointment, we did not get high at all.

However, my mom came home not long after and smelled the smell of smoked-something-or-other and she just assumed we’d smoked weed. She was pissed, and I was in trouble. I tried to explain that it was only oregano, but she wouldn’t believe me.

For years, she would bring it up as that time she caught me smoking weed, and I would always insist that I hadn’t smoked weed! But she would never believe me.

She brought it up again at some point when I was deep into my 20s and I insisted, begged her to believe me, that it was oregano and, relenting, she believed me. I had finally clawed my way out from under the rock of false accusation! But then she added, “But if there had been weed there at the time, you would have smoked it, so…” Touché.

Steven Mathews, Neonderthal
The first time I smoked I was about 12 or 13. I went to a friend’s birthday party at the Russian River. It started off like a regular birthday party with cake, a piñata, and games.

Then my friend Jojo pulled out a bag of what I remember being shitty- ass sticks and seeds, and he passed it around in a little aluminum pipe. About 10 of us walked around town finding ominous little corners to smoke in until we found an overpass by a Safeway. We ended up camping out and smoking a chunk of hash there until like 10 p.m. I remember it feeling like I was in some sort of movie trailer, and drinking like 20 Safeway Select grapefruit sodas.

Afterward, we made our way back to the party where all the parents were drunk and equally as stoned as us, so we went unnoticed. We played Seven Minutes in Heaven and passed out.

Nathaniel Blum, Hot Flash Heat Wave
The first time I got high, my friend and I bought some weed from a Jamaican dude named “T” who lived at the park. The herb had a suspicious white powder coating but we were too young to ask questions.

After getting the weed, we went to a water pipe in the outskirts of our hometown of Davis, where we would often graffiti dumb skulls and slogans on the walls. Having not thought out how we were going to smoke the weed, we decided to roll the joint in a Safeway receipt. It didn’t really work very well — as you can imagine — but I was able to take a couple hits and felt the euphoric rush come over my body and mind.

I observed the surroundings and we laughed uncontrollably for what seemed like days (but, more realistically, was probably only 10 minutes). Then we went to McDonalds.

I was so burnt that I finished the meal and left my cell phone on the table as we were leaving. When I came back, my phone was gone. Luckily, that was back when phones didn’t cost $1 million to replace.

Azure, rapper
I was 17 when me and Mary Jane first met. As a Bay Area native, it was only correct that we used a Swisher Sweet, probably strawberry or grape, because that was still popular at the time. It’s funny how weed has fuzzed up my memory over the years, yet I still remember the name of the strain: White Widow. We got it somewhere in Hercules, and left a $20 bill in a mailbox after taking two dime bags out in exchange.

For whatever reason, I always saw myself rolling my first blunt, so I went to my homie’s room alone, and after using a box cutter, watching a blurry YouTube video, and spending 30 frustrating minutes, I assembled a loose, lumpy blunt.

With three of my friends, we smoked on a Native American burial ground in El Sobrante (because we’re mad mystical like that). After a cough marathon, we sat in the car and stared at the CD deck changing colors for like 20 minutes while arguing about Lupe Fiasco songs until we collectively decided In-N-Out was a requirement for life as we knew it. On the way there, we all blinked our eyes as fast as we could because the lights were trailing and the insides of our eyelids looked something like stained-glass windows when we closed them.

When we got to the burger Messiah, I recall bumping into Andy Wilke (he played horns on my last project) and talking with him about high school, while trying to seem like I wasn’t high as fuck. Everything he talked about was white noise as all I could do was picture a cheeseburger flying into my mouth. I think he was surprised I was high because I wasn’t much of a drinker, so smoking seemed even stranger at the time.

I ate until I felt like throwing up and then was handed a cellphone with my friend on the other line. I remember screaming to him about how Bart was on the freeway for like 15 minutes and how we needed to do something about it. He just laughed at me the whole time. A few more hours of delusional driving around happened after that, until we all went home and crashed.

Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel, Beats Antique
The first time I smoked weed, I was about to play rock music with some older musicians that my guitarist knew. They were living in a house decorated with Bob Marley and punk band posters, Fugazi fliers taped on the wall, bongs on the coffee table, and a big red couch (which is why the place was dubbed, appropriately, The Red Couch).

The older guys had long hair and were super-cool, and I was maybe on the short side of the experience meter. I stuck out like a sore thumb, and my body language must’ve revealed my secret that I had indeed never smoked marijuana before. I learned that I needed to play it cool around older people, so I acted like it was no big deal when they passed me a joint. I inhaled, long and deep, like I saw in a movie. I had never coughed so much. As I passed the joint to the next person, the guy with the longest hair and the tightest jeans taught me the term “puff, puff, pass.” So I quickly obliged and took another long and deep hit. As I handed it over I started to wonder if I had made a big mistake.

A few uncomfortable minutes later, we found ourselves at our instruments playing [Black Sabbath’s] “War Pigs.” I couldn’t remember anything, and I was nervous of messing up. Once it started, I felt a wave of emotion and energy coming from every hit of the drums and every guitar chord rang of teen angst realized and expressed. The song meant more to me [than before] and made me feel like I was a part of something special.

We moved on to [Cowboy Junkies’] “Sweet Jane,” [Fugazi’s] “Waiting Room,” and [The Rolling Stones’] “Sympathy for the Devil.” We soared through every song with an excited fury of passion — a rock dream lived in that moment.

The night changed my life forever. I felt connected and I started to see my dreams expand into creating sound that inspires people.

Rexx Life Raj, rapper
The first time I smoked weed was with a cousin who shall remain nameless. I was maybe 12. I was in the backseat, while my cousin, and who I assume was his girlfriend, were in the front. It was like 10 p.m., and we were leaving Hilltop Mall on the way to my house in Vallejo. We hopped on the freeway and he sparked up. I remember him handing the blunt back to me like I was a smoker. I wasn’t. But I was no bitch either. Plus, I thought I was a grown man. Boy, was I fucking wrong.

I grabbed the blunt like a G. It was purple weed in a peach Optimo cigar wrapper. Real hood shit. I hit it like I knew what I was doing. I hit it hella times to the point where he snatched it from me.

All I remember was looking out of the window at the lines on the freeway and they were moving in slow motion, all blurry and shit. I started tripping. It got so bad that my cousin pulled over to a random liquor store. He thought it was a good idea to get me some Hostess cupcakes but no liquid for my dry-ass mouth.

We hopped back on the freeway, and I remember trying to eat them but failing because my mouth was so dry. I was based-out to the point that I started to pull the cupcakes out of my mouth with my hands. Real nerd shit. I remember being hella dizzy and feeling my heartbeat in random parts of my body when I got to the house. I was shook.

My cousin snuck me in and I went directly to bed, fell asleep, and woke up the next afternoon still high. I told myself I’d never smoke again. I smoked again the next weekend.

Clyde Carson, rapper
One of the first times I got high was at my partner Dewy’s house. It was like four us in his room. I had to be 11 years old. I just remember the high hitting me and me falling back into the corner laughing for like 30 minutes. Later, my partners said it was only three minutes.

Dan Lotti, Dangermuffin
We were pretty young. I had a friend who had some bud. The first thing I remember was a lot of coughing. From there, some significant laughing fits ensued. I recall being suddenly hungry and eating dry oatmeal and/or cereal whilst my friend began shredding on his Marshall Half Stack. I began to sort of space-out, and then remembered that I had to get to work at the pizza shop. Shit!

From there, [for] the entire evening, I was on a different planet. At one point, a customer asked me for a fork and knife, and I opened them a Miller Lite. I was totally confused.

Cadien Lake James, Twin Peaks
The first time I got high was behind Hoagie Hut, an abandoned sub shop by my elementary school, across from Waveland Bowl [in Chicago]. My buddy Luke rolled up on a textbook in the bowling alley’s bathroom. We smoked it, just me and him. I coughed, he told me that was good, because I’d get higher. I remember turning my head and feeling as though my eyes took a moment to catch up.

Mihali Savoulidis, Twiddle
The first time I got stoned I was 14. My older brother and his friends were smoking, and two of his friends pulled me aside and said they would give me a bong rip for a dollar.

So I ran upstairs and stole five or six dollars in quarters from the change bowl, and proceeded to get stoned. Looking back on it now, a dollar a bong rip is actually a pretty good deal.

Dae Dae, rapper
I most definitely remember my first time getting high. I can’t forget it. I was about 22, and I was with my friends at this club. We were so turnt, because my first record was just going up. So we was in the club and everybody was knowing us. I was drinking a little bit — and I don’t even drink. I was just feeling it.

One of my partners was next to me and was like, “Smoke this weed.” And I hesitated, but I still hit the weed. Next thing you know, all my friends were around me passing their blunts. I got high, my eyes were red, and I was sweaty and exhausted.

We got out of there, and went to the crib where my friend rolled up another blunt. So I hit that one. By that time I’m feeling really, really hot, so I step outside with a friend. We start talking and next thing you know, I’m slumped over the step asleep. When I woke up, he told me I had been sleeping for like 30 minutes. So then I got up and started throwing up, a lot. I was like, “I ain’t smoking no more.”

But the next day, I started smoking again. And every time I see that friend, we tell everybody about this story. But now I know my limit. I only smoke Backwoods now, and only one at a time.