Conway The Machine on Using Cannabis to Heal, His New Strain ‘Scatterbrain’ and Magic Mushroom Mimosas | Turn 420
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Conway The Machine on Using Cannabis to Heal, His New Strain ‘Scatterbrain’ and Magic Mushroom Mimosas

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“I use it in my healing process,” Conway says while puffing on a tightly rolled blunt at home, following a nearly three week stint in the hospital and two surgeries on his leg. “It helped with both my injuries…when I broke my leg and when I got shot. And it helped with dealing with my mom’s open heart surgery.” 

Throughout his career, Conway has overcome physical and mental challenges and cannabis has always been there to help him heal.

After charting number one on the iTunes Hip-Hop charts with his latest album Won’t He Do It in May and just days before he was set to embark on a national tour, Conway The Machine’s summer plans abruptly changed when he fractured his right tibia and dislocated his knee cap. 

“I felt like I had just ruined my whole summer,” the Buffalo MC said during an interview with High Times earlier this summer.

Photo by Erick Sasso (@SASSO)

For Conway, recovering from the leg injury has been similar to recovering from getting shot in the head. The mental part of recovery is more challenging than the physical part. “But you know, I smoke my flower and I’m alright.”

“I didn’t realize it would be like that,” Conway says while reflecting on the mental challenges of dealing with the leg injury. “I think with anything that’s kind of traumatic, you know, you’re going to have the mental element of it. I was kind of down on myself when this initially happened…I was supposed to go on tour in a week, I just had all these thoughts about how bad I blew it for myself. So I was just kind of down on myself mentally.” 

But Conway isn’t dwelling on the past, he has too much to look forward to.

In July, he dropped a compilation album featuring artists on his record label, Drumwork. He then appeared at his label’s annual music festival in his hometown of Buffalo with Gucci Mane, Jadakiss and Rich Tha Kid. He’s been getting ready to drop a new strain called Scatterbrain, a “gassy” cut of cannabis named after his single with Jay Electronica and Ludacris that he’s developing with a grower out in Denver – the “Mile High City” that has become Conway’s second home. He’s also working on new music and planning on dropping a b-side to Won’t He Do It. Come September, he plans to resume touring.

“Salute to all my dogs that took the time to tap in and check on me, pull up on me and burn one and helped me keep my spirit high since I been in this wheelchair,” Conway wrote on Instagram recently. “To the ones that didn’t, let’s just say I have a good memory🖕🏿”

We caught up with the ‘grimiest of all time’ earlier this summer to discuss how THC is playing a role in his recovery, “mushroom mimosas” and performing at a major music festival while high on shrooms, his thoughts on the recreational cannabis market finally hitting New York and his new strain, Scatterbrain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Photo by Erick Sasso (@SASSO)

We saw you recently suffered a pretty serious leg injury and underwent surgery, how is your recovery going? And how is cannabis helping you heal?

Recovery is going good man. I beat my leg up pretty bad. You know so I’m gonna “me-out” for a couple of months. I’ve just been [eating] a lot of fruits, a lot of vitamins and protein and consuming a lot of cannabis. Cannabis is helping deal with the pain and sleep. Especially when I was first getting out of the hospital, I needed it to help me, you know, calm my nerves, calm my anxiety and help me get some rest.

Last year, you told High Times that the mental part of recovering from getting shot was harder than the physical part. Would you say the same about recovering from this leg injury and what have you been doing to take care of your mental health?

One hundred percent. It’s the same with this leg injury too man, I didn’t realize it would be like that. I think with anything that’s kind of traumatic, you know, you’re going to have the mental element of it. I was kind of down on myself when this initially happened because I felt like I had just ruined my whole summer. I was supposed to go on tour in a week, I just had all these thoughts about how bad I blew it for myself. So I was just kind of down on myself mentally. You add that with the pain, I was in the hospital for almost three weeks. So you know the anxiety, the fear of the unknown, the surgeries, it’s just tough to deal with at first mentally. But you know, I smoke my flower and I’m alright.  

Tell us about your new strain and the inspiration behind it.

I’m working on a strain called Scatterbrain. It’s gassy but still a nice quality burn and nice taste to it too. The inspiration for it really just came from a single I got with Ludcaris and Jay [Electronica]. Scatterbrain was actually a friend of mine’s father who passed away. He was known in the neighborhood as Scatterbrain so that’s how I came up with that. I’m excited for when that’s complete and people can actually, you know put it in they lungs and hopefully enjoy it as much as I do.

We developed it in Denver, Colorado. I got partners down there who I’m working with and you know, facilitating [the production] end of it you know what I mean. I just smoke it and test it and make sure it’s right.

As someone that came up at a time when selling weed could land you in prison for a lifetime practically, how does it feel to see recreational cannabis finally hit New York and to now be a part of the legal market?

It feel good, it feel good. People are able to medicate and heal themselves. I think people are starting to see the many different benefits of cannabis—whether it be the oil, the edibles or the flower. I used it in my healing process with both my injuries. When I broke my leg and when I got shot. It helped with my mom, dealing with her open heart surgery. So you know it’s definitely a beautiful thing.

Photo by Erick Sasso (@SASSO)

Does it bother you at all that it’s mostly white people and corporations that are getting into the legal market and profiting from it?

It does. It does. It definitely bothers me but it doesn’t bother me to that level of anger. You know what I mean. But that’s why you know I urge our community to educate yourself man and figure out how to exist in that space too. Like those days of just bagging up the zip lock are over. You have to figure out how to tie yourself into this shit too as a brand and as a powerhouse.

NYC and the East Coast to an extent was known for strains like Sour Diesel, Chem Dog, Haze—which is still one of my favorite strains and one you don’t see often, especially out here on the West Coast…

I had some great Haze not too long ago…

Yeah man it’s just such a unique strain, you don’t find many strains that give you that old school couch lock sorta high too often these days.

Yeah, yeah, you don’t..

What strains were popular when you were coming up in Buffalo?

There wasn’t really no strains that you know came out of Buffalo but the strains that was really popular was pretty much the same like what you said was popular in NYC. Like the Sour Diesel was popular. You know, Kush when it first started coming around it was crazy. And uh, yeah that Haze man, you get you some good Haze you could make you a lot of bread. You could make you a lottt of money if you get you some good Haze, people enjoy that Haze in Buffalo. Facts. I enjoy that Haze a lot. That would probably be my personal all time favorite strain. Then that Sour, then that Headband. 

You’ve been open about using magic mushrooms. I remember seeing you perform at the Shrine in Los Angeles last year and half way through your performance you said something like “the mushrooms are finally starting to kick in.” (Conway laughs out loud). Has there ever been a time when you took mushrooms before a show and found yourself tripping too hard in the middle of it? Or any notable memories of performing on mushrooms?

It did happen. I think it was one of them Rolling Louds. That shit just came out of nowhere and I just found myself tweaking. I just remember asking myself “yo…am I bugging up here?” I just started saying stuff and doing corny dance moves and shit. I forget which Rolling Loud that was man. But it was great though. It was great. 

Photo by Erick Sasso (@SASSO)

How’d you get into mushrooms?

Being in Denver. I was down in Denver for like a summer working on a bunch of music and was kind of just isolating myself and hanging out. I met this guy, Kendricks, and my man Cain, shoutout my man Cain. And I just went for it. I didn’t even know how to do it. The first time I ate them with a handful of potato chips. I think I ate too much of that shit. I was in the studio when I did it and when I looked up I had like six of seven songs done. And I’m just like “how am I rapping this immaculately?” And from there on I’ve just been into dabbling with the mushrooms here and there.

Have you gotten into the different strains?

I ain’t that advanced with them yet. I’ve had some of the candies and chocolates. Then sometimes my shit be in a zip lock with like actual mushrooms, you know? And then my man Kendricks had some where it was grinded up. We had made mushroom mimosas one morning. Shoutout my boy Kendricks down in Denver holding it down.

What drew you to the Mile High City?

When I had some downtime I went down to Denver to record some music with my homeboy Rocky. Everybody left and I just ended up staying. I don’t know there’s something about Denver that’s just magical, you know what I mean. With the mountains and the scenery and all that. It’s just a dope ass city and I just felt at home there and ended up staying for like three months maybe.

Tell us what you’re looking forward to.

I’m releasing Won’t He Do It side B. I’m probably like 80% done with that, so we’ll be dropping that next. I got a festival that I do every year called Drum Work Festival where I bring a lot of incredible artists to just rock on one stage for the city of Buffalo. And then we’re going to kick the tour back up in like September or October-ish. I should be nice and healed-up by that time so I’m just looking forward to getting back on the road and back on that stage.

Style/Wardrobe by Jannique Heard (@Jannnique)
(Photos) Location: Astor Club NY (@AstorClubNYC)



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