For every musical star climbing the charts and packing arenas, there are countless people behind the scenes making the magic happen. Drew Drucker is one of them. Although his name may not be as recognizable as the artists he collaborates with — Wiz Khalifa, Migos, Berner, Snoop Dogg — his work as a studio engineer has made him a major player in the hip-hop community.
Along the way, he has seen firsthand how cannabis influences music culture, the industry and the music itself. As a result, he has become a full-on weed connoisseur.
“When music is directly involved with that lifestyle, it definitely becomes a part of the sessions,” Drucker explained from a classy LA studio, minutes before getting to work with a top-level client.
Drucker has countless stories in his back pocket, times where he has seen cannabis make a huge impact on his clients’ work.
For instance, he worked with the Memphis mc Juicy J on his 2015 “Blue Dream & Lean 2” mixtape.
“It was the first time in a session that I noticed an artist smoking only one specific strain,” he said. “That was just the lay of the land at the time — exotic strains weren’t everywhere like they are now. Juicy was the first who was very particular about only smoking Blue Dream joints; that’s what he does.”
“It’s how Wiz brought the strain to the public,” Drucker said of the track.
“[Berner has] a ton of influence just within the circle here,” Drucker said, before recalling one of their many collaborations in the studio. “Sometimes we’ll even have 14 phenotypes of Gelato, and then we will say, ‘We really like #31, run it!’”
Drucker added that Berner has had a huge influence on his own taste.
“He’s always keeping his ear to whoever’s coming up with cool stuff, like the Jungle Boys, out of LA,” he said.
Yet throughout all this fun, Drucker remains a consummate professional.
“Cannabis is the only substance I use during work,” he said. “I’m not straying outside of my normal comfort zone, shall I say,” he adds with a laugh. “It’s what I’d recommend in any work environment anyway. It’s a service industry. When I’m recording an album I’m trying to keep the client comfortable. I can’t be getting out of my comfort zone in order to make them comfortable.”
I asked Drucker what lessons he has learned along the way and his response was immediate.
“You don’t wanna dab your face off.”
The culture that he’s describing isn’t a hedonistic lair, it’s a professional work environment that celebrates cannabis as an integral part of the process; a shared experience between artist and collaborators.
Drucker puts it best: “It’s part of the powwow.”
TELL US, do you find cannabis makes you more creative?