As peanut butter is to jelly, weed is to Hip-hop. The same can be said about JonnyShipes and Smoke DZA, co-founders of The Smokers Club. Shipes, the peanut butter that binds the club together, and DZA, the jam that spreads vibes of organic and juicy Hip-hop culture.
In this case, such a pairing of salt and sugar does way more than satisfy the munchies, considering the impressive number of releases The Smokers Club is dropping this summer. Most recently, smokers were surprised with The Smokers Club x Big Yavo “Himmothy” strain, a DZA-approved Indica that hit dispensary shelves across California just last week.
Aside from all the joking and smoking, DZA and Shipes possess plenty of mental discipline and focus needed to survive an industry easily comparable to the wild west.
DZA and Shipes recently opened up about their philosophies for success, ultimately landing themselves and co-founder, Shiest Bubz, mogul status within the fierce music business and marijuana industry.
For Shipes, firm authenticity combined with having real fun on the job seemed to produce the best outcome for his career. When talking about how he made his businesses float, the entrepreneur had a lot to say.
“I try not to focus on what’s "professional" and what isn't. As long as I stay true to myself and do great business with all the people I do business with, I’m comfortable enough in my skin to run my operations the way I feel is right, whether it’s considered corporate or not. I’m me through and through. I’m always gonna joke around and smoke, but at the end of the day, it’s still about business. I don't take myself too seriously in an industry of people that take themselves too seriously, and that’s how I maintain professionalism. I get the job done without caring what others think,” Shipes shared before continuing with advice for newcomers.
“Keep your head down, stay grinding, don't look at what anyone else has going on. Everyone is working at different speeds and timelines, so you can’t judge yourself based on others, and you can't get caught up in the hype and clout. If your brand and music are really strong, that will always shine through,” Shipes said.
Like his business partner, DZA credits having a strong sense of self for his success and passionately expressed the need to understand your brand to succeed in the music and marijuana business before getting personal.
“First and foremost, understand your brand. Understand exactly what you want and what your brand represents. Stick to your guns, understand the business, and more importantly, don’t lose yourself to all this,” DZA said.
When asked if he’s ever almost lost himself while chasing down his dream career, the Harlem rapper answered “Many times…many times. But I always made time for self-reflection. My children keep me grounded”.