It’s nearing 9 p.m. on 710 and, for many of the patrons of the Green Door Lounge who have been dabbing since the early afternoon, the evening is coming to a close. Cannabis culture artists Mendo Dope are set to perform and while plenty have enjoyed a joint at a musical event, far fewer have sampled as many event-sanctioned dabs as the crowd awaiting this performance. The two men across from me in the wide San Fransisco sports lounge-like area have clearly had one too many, as they sit propped up sleeping at the table. It’s a rough crowd, but Mendo Dope takes the stage and kicks up the vibes for those who managed to make it all the way through “dab day.”
Made up of two brothers, Daniel and Bryan Eatmon AKA “Old E” and “Bleezy,” Mendo Dope first caught my attention with their tracks featuring samples of Frenchy Cannoli speaking about hash. Aficionado’s legendary hashishin has a very distinct French accent and hearing his voice sampled on a rap track demonstrated the niche-appeal of Mendo Dope’s music. Upon further investigation, I discovered Mendo Dope’s “TGA’s 10 Pack of Mendo Dope.” On this album, sponsored by TGA Seeds, each track revolves around one of TGA’s strains. The songs are crazy specific to cannabis culture, highlighting details such as the genetic composition of the strains as well the percentages of THC and CBD present in cannabis selections such as Jilly Bean.
The cannabis-specific nature of Mendo Dope’s lyrics comes from the brothers’ backgrounds as cannabis farmers. In 2013, authorities cut down the Mendocino County crops they grew with TGA. Although they only had 25 plants and were never charged with a crime, the brothers say they were told they were “too good of farmers,” and predicted each plant was likely to yield 8 to 12 pounds.
On their newest album “Endangered Artist,” the group continues to explore marijuana-centric lyrics. The “Landrace” track highlights the history of landrace strains, or strains indigenous to certain areas. Using a reggae-style back beat “Old E” raps about the history of cannabis use through time.
“Now let me take you on this journey back in time before I was found,” he says. “Before they knew my purpose, I sprouted up from the ground. I’m a gift from up above and I’m only here to save yah, growing up in the wild of China and southern Asia.”
The album also includes a track called “Wanted Man,” where Old E talks about his experiences with authorities as an outlaw. At the Green Door performance Old E performed in a pair of handcuffs for most of the show to represent all of the prisoners of the War on Drugs.
“I’m a farmer, I work the land just living it day to day, if this was happening to you what would you say?,” he raps in the track “War on Us,” going on to question, “How is a natural herb that heals labeled a Schedule I drug?”
This album illuminates life of a cannabis grower in Mendocino County – where Old E tells us the only arguments are Indoor versus Outdoor – and comes recommended for those looking for more insights into the day-to-day happenings of a California ganja farmer.
Click here to purchase the album.
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