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Why does the Triad hate rappers who smoke weed?

by Britt Chester

| editor@yesweekly.com | @awfullybrittish

The Triad is rife with music history, so it’s easy to understand why we have events such as the John Coltrane Jazz and Blues Festival, or how MerleFest (slightly outside the Triad) has become one of the most famous bluegrass and folk festivals in the world. Even events like North Carolina A&T’s “GHOE” (Greatest Homecoming On Earth) attract the biggest names in music to headline the occasion. But those all have strong roots in the Triad, ones that have aged out of the immediate contemporary memory, and those are the types of things that attract people from all walks of life to experience the heritage of sounds and people of the region. However, it seems in recent years that rap artists don’t get out of North Carolina without some trouble. Perhaps rapping about drugs and smoking weed works in places like California and Colorado – where it’s legal – but know that when you enter the Ol’ North State, you’re going to get a pat down. Here’s a couple in recent past that failed to follow the law.

Riff Raff arrested after Greene Street show

Horst Christian Simco, known in the music world primarily as Riff Raff, is the auditory equivalent of the leftover crumbs at the bottom of a bag of mixed cookies: He’s not identifiable by any one positive characteristic beyond his ability to be simply called a “rapper.” Covered in tattoos ranging from an outline of the state of Texas, his home, to various brand logos like BET, NBA, and MTV, the world got the first glimpse of Riff Raff on an MTV show called “From G’s To Gents.” His short-lived television career lasted barely into the second season, but he quickly rose to prominence with consistent freestyle videos and catchy Vine clips.

Riff Raff was booked for a concert appearance at Greene Street Club on Saturday, August 10. Sources close to the show said that not only did Riff Raff not come on stage at the scheduled time, but that he also just rapped over his CD. That’s not uncommon in the rap world where production quality often overpowers the live show, but when you’re getting paid upwards of $10,000 for an appearance, you’d think the artist would at least use his real voice.

Following the show, Riff Raff was pulled over for speaking with pedestrians from his Chevrolet SUV. Upon approaching the vehicle, police officers noticed an open container of alcohol, which prompted a search of the truck. Riff Raff was held in jail for a couple hours and reportedly charged with possession of a Schedule 1 narcotic (later, Riff Raff admitted it was mushrooms in a Rolling Stone interview), misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

(The same source also said that Riff Raff showed up 30-minutes late to the show, sat backstage for even longer, and the restless crowd began to throw beer bottles at the stage. The source is quoted as saying, “So, basically, fuck that dude.”) Riff Raff has not returned to play another show.

Wiz Khalifa cited and released before show at LJVM Coliseum

Whether or not you rep’ Taylor Gang, there’s not doubting Wiz Khalifa’s skill on the microphone. The “Black and Yellow” lyricist also has an unfortunate story associated with Winston-Salem and Joel Coliseum.

On May 1, 2012, Wiz Khalifa, nee Cameron Jibril Thomaz, was scheduled to play a show at Ziggy’s. Prior to his scheduled time to appear on stage, police officers reportedly noticed an odor of marijuana coming from the tour bus that housed Wiz. When the police officers approached the bus and asked a person standing at the entrance to open it, the smell became stronger, they said.

Upon searching the bus, police found 11.39 grams of marijuana and subsequently charged Wiz with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He was released from police custody (in North Carolina anything below one-half ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor that carries no jail time and a $200 maximum fine) and ended up dodging the charge by producing a public service announcement as community service. Other members of the rapper’s entourage were charged with possession of marijuana, as well. (The Winston-Salem Journal reported that it is commonplace for the District Attorney to dismiss misdemeanor marijuana possession charges for first-time offenders if they follow through with community service. This was Wiz Khalifa’s first offense in Forsyth County.)

This wasn’t Wiz’s first run-in with law enforcement officers in North Carolina. In 2010 the rapper was also arrested for possession of a reported 60 grams of marijuana following a concert at East Carolina University’s Wright Auditorium.

It is rumored that Wiz Khalifa said he wasn’t ever going to play North Carolina again after the last incident, which is disappointing because that guy has bars.

Rick Ross arrested after SuperJam 2014

The 102 JAMZ SuperJam at the Greensboro Coliseum has become one of the most anticipated events at the massive venue each summer. Last year, Rick Ross was billed as the headlining act alongside a gaggle of up-and-coming rappers including YG, Yo Gotti, Young Thug, K Camp, and Kid Ink.

Apparently, Rick Ross had not shown up for a court date in Greensboro stemming from marijuana charges in that same year, which meant there was an order for arrest for failure to appear. Ross was taken into custody following his performance at SuperJam, and was reportedly very cooperative with authorities.

Rick Ross has a storied past with crime, whether it be his bragging about drug dealing, or the fact that he was once a correctional officer, there is little to doubt that he has a criminal mind. With that said, the Maybach Music Group founder has also had to deal with marijuana possession charges in multiple states, as well as other misdemeanor offenses relating to things like window tint, and he was the target of a drive-by shooting in 2013 in Florida.

Rick Ross has not returned to North Carolina for another show as of yet.

It’s not a secret that rappers, singers, songwriters, drummers, guitarists, or really anybody in the entertainment industry smokes marijuana: It’s more of an expectation at this point, as it is also an expectation for marijuana to become legal in North Carolina. !

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