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heart and sole Meet the sneakerhead who liquidated half his shoe collection to launch a vape empire.

blasted Street legends Self and Tews sit with us to talk grafďŹ ti art, street art and why they no longer sweat the cops.

david vs. goliath Meet the man who spearheaded the historic campaign to legalize hemp while suing the DEA in the process.



Meet iconic pro-BMX rider and musician–Rick Thorne.




contents features stay rad


We sit with pro BMX rider and rockstar Rick Thorne to talk having a PMA and why everybody needs to Stay Rad.


the craftsman


the broken grail

david vs. goliath

From aspiring BMX rider to world renowned hot-rod artisan, meet the man who’s built a automotive empire out of necessity.


We sit with the man who paved the way for the flourishing hemp industry by going heads up against the DEA and winning.

Find out how a mans massive sneaker collection and sarcastic branding were instrumental in launching a vape empire.



72 artisanal collective Graffiti street legends Self and Tews.

5 Editor’s Letter 6 Vapelife: Vaping Into the Future 10 Vapelife: Not Blowing Smoke

14 New Products 86 A Guide to Edibles 92 Gastronomics

on the cover PHOTO BY SAUL VARGAS Pro-BMX icon and musician Rick Thorne. Page 36

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issue 07 | sep/oct 2015 Published by fr3shLAb creative group, llc President Richard Coyle


Co-Founder, Creative Director Ryan Furuya RYAN@TOKEWELL.COM Editor-in-Chief Saul Goode Co-Founder, Senior V.P., Operations Cindy Galindo CINDY@TOKEWELL.COM Director of Finance Yvonne Morton YVONNE@TOKEWELL.COM Contributing Writers Leilani Anderson, Nielson Ballon, Lonnie Bozeman, Cindy Galindo, Rene Galindo, Torin Halverson, Mike Landers, Maximilian Sterling Contributing Photographers Kenji Furutani, Leah Moriyama, Saul Vargas Tokewell Magazine is published bi-monthly by fr3shLAb creative group, llc. Tokewell Magazine does not condone the illegal use or obtainment of cannabis. All content within this magazine is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in part or in whole without explicit written consent from the publisher. Tokewell Magazine is strictly for entertainment purposes only, and is not to be held liable for any misleading or inaccurate material produced herein.

Š2015 Fr3shlab Creative Group LLC. All Rights Reserved. tokewell po box 444, alhambra, ca 91802 Ad Sales INFO@TOKEWELL.COM tokewell tokewell

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Within both of these paradigms, we have come to a point where good ol’ home innovation and inventiveness is meeting real world design and production. The black markets have exploded upon the legitimate business world to the tune of billions of dollars. Regulation and legislation that we have fought long and hard for, are finally coming to fruition. Yet, this is only the beginning...We as a community must remain vigilant and ensure that these fledgling industries continue on the correct path on our way to freedom, health and wellness. We must monitor ourselves as well as our compatriots because we are living on the bleeding edge. There are no established experts but ourselves and as we carry our torches into the darkness, we must keep in mind that we are paving the way for all those who follow. Information is our most valuable weapon and our most precious ally. With this in mind, I invite you to join us on a journey of discovery and enlightenment leading to victory and liberty.

I can’t express the gratitude that we have for all of our supporters that share our vision, and consequently, an entire industry that has embraced our movement through our pens and lenses. We have recently been recognized as a leading publication by ECC - the world’s largest and most prestigious vape show by partnering with us to exclusively produce their official show guide. Looking back, we have had the privilege of interviewing and connecting with some


Welcome to Tokewell Magazine. We strive to bring you to the cutting edge of technology, design, lifestyle, and culture for both MMJ and Vapor.

of the most influential and powerful people in the world. For instance, Dr. Sanjay Gupta doing an interview with us for his CNN series, and Venice Originals owner Cesario “Block” Montano inviting his old compadre Don Cheadle to interview him and write a story for us - that was absolutely astounding. When it comes to the industries we love and care about so much, we need to unify and become one giant singular voice of opposition to the bureaucracy that is trying to halt our very livelihood and existence. Bare in mind, we are all under a social microscope with the pundits focusing in, just waiting for us to falter. We must be cognizant of our actions if we are to flourish. We have come too far to quit and there is no stopping us now. #TogetherWeRise


Stack Paper, Catch Vapors.

Saul Goode Editor-in-Chief

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vaping into the future WORDS


The future of vaping is hard to predict. I believe that all of us in the vaping industry have taken the technology as far as we possibly can (by today’s standards), and now it’s time for scientists and high-level manufacturers to get involved in order for us to reach the next plateau. We’re still in need of affordable, plug-and-play products that vapers across the world can easily access. Once this happens, the conversion rate of smokers to vapers will truly rise and the overwhelming response to statistics will be undisputed.

W E B S IT E :

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I’m looking forward to the vaping industry becoming a tiered marketplace, with everything from mass-produced brands to artisanal, mom and pop brands. There is a place for all of us. The vaping industry of tomorrow will be controlled by us, the passionate vapers, as the FDA works closely with us or against us. Every vaper is also a believer, so we’ll all continue to stand together and voice together. This is what will allow the industry to continue growing and thriving endlessly. The world of vaping has only just begun.

not blowing smoke vapelife





What is Epistle? A written letter, something that carries a formality we often neglect these days. The written word is one of humankind’s most powerful tools. We also believe that vaping is a powerful tool, but we need your help to lead the campaign for it. Epistle E-liquid has partnered with NOTBlowingSmoke™ to send our message directly to you, and the message is this: We CAN make a difference. We believe strongly in NOTBlowingSmoke™ and to prove it, we’re donating a portion of every sale to support their efforts to educate vapers and non-vapers alike. The community has been very kind to us, and it’s time we give back. This partnership allows us to bring NOTBlowingSmoke™ offline and into your hands with the goal of encouraging discussion with your fellow vapers. We have provided a tool which we hope will encourage people to discuss the topics and engage in conversation. Whether it is at a local shop, at home with friends and family or at an event, we want people to contribute and learn.

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We hope you’ll share that discussion with us, and we’ve set up so you can do just that. We want to hear from YOU, whether it’s an answer to the message on the box, your thoughts about what vaping means to you, or how you fight for vaping. Reach out to your friends using #vapeforthought and #notblowingsmoke. The time is now – from beginners, to advanced vapers, to collectors, and most importantly, smokers who have taken their first steps toward NOTBlowingSmoke™, your voice needs to be heard – help us write an Epistle for vaping.


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The masterminds behind the Skeleton Key are back at it again with their latest installment of luxury vape art - The Black Edition Skeleton Key. The genius behind the brand are what dreams are made of and if you’re familiar with their original version, you know this is about as attainable as a Le Rêve painting. To marry the impeccably crafted masterpiece, the artisans of the Skeleton Key offer a limitededition Crystal Chalice drip tip made of 12 carat Swarovski Crystal and precious metals. The Crystal Chalice was designed to add continuity to the theme of the Skeleton Key’s opulence by expanding on the infamous Ermine symbol. The Crystal Chalice is available in a standard stainless steel base or if you have deep pockets, silver, gold, platinum and black diamond plating options await. With a setup fit for the ruling elite, it’s not for everyone. Then again, it was never meant to be. WEB SI TE:

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SOMETIMES EVOLUTION HAPPENS BEHIND THE SCENES. We Design & Manufacture. We Distribute. We Deliver.

For more information, call 714-527-8086 or email

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Beard Vape Co. is a brand that on the surface seems uber-hipster or even pretentious for its own good. With a bevy of e-Liquid brands lacking authenticity on the market today, BVC stands as men among boys. All the flavors are formulated and produced in the USA and responsibly sourced utilizing food-grade products and flavors. With a roster of some of the most delectable flavors we have ever vaped, the bearded fellas are on a path to greatness. Their newest addition to the BVC roster of palate candy is

NO. 71 A sweet and sour sugar peach. NO. 05 A classic New York style cheesecake

with strawberries on top. NO. 32 A delicious cinnamon funnel cake that rival any state fair you’ve attended. NO. 51 Custard with a dash of custard

goodness. NO. 64 A unique blue raspberry with a

hibiscus twist NO. 88 A chocolate mint cookie that reminds you to buy a box off the Girl Scouts.


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The rules are different but the game remains the same. ADAILY signifies the grind and unseen heroes from the East to the West regardless of your craft. ADAILY streetwear is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Arthur Han and Sammie Saing who both embody the very definition of what ADAILY stands for - the American

dream. Whether it’s hustling the corner blocks, shredding up ramps or orchestrating a takeover from a corporate boardroom, the game doesn’t stop unless you do. Keep pushing and do it on ADAILY.


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From aspiring BMX rider to world famous bespoke automotive genius, meet the artisan who’s unparalleled aptitude for metal craftsmanship has garnered him a full waiting list of celebrity and affluent clientele complete with a packed garage. Bodie Stroud takes time out of his hectic schedule to give us a tour of his lab and explains to us how his most successful moment was born out of necessity.

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Craftsman WORDS




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eality television has created some of today’s most recognizable celebrities. It has also been the platform to give viewers a backstage pass to the masters of their craft at work. Whether it be from building hot rods and choppers to astonishing works of tattoo art and amazing chefs, you get an entertaining vantage point. Without the aid of television and social media, some of us might never have had the opportunity to be exposed to the artistry that these masters have to offer to the world. Take celebrity customizer Jesse James for instance. Jesse is known for his hit shows Monster Garage and West Coast Choppers. With his skill and flair coupled with a bad-boy image and a persona, it made for perfect television. While not in front of the camera and the Hollywood limelight as often as his fellow master builder, Bodie Stroud is one the Hollywood’s best kept secrets and he prefers it that way. Walk into this garage (Bodie Stroud Industries BSI) at any given time, you’ll bare witness to art in motion. Bodie is the quintessential master of his craft and embodies everything that entails sans the tabloid headlines. The difference between Bodie and celebrity custom builders is that he makes his living on personally building the cars from the ground up. From the consultation to the construction to the delivery, Bodie is part of the process. It’s not made-for-TV studio work. It’s artistry at its finest. No acting, No drama, just masters at their craft. Growing up in Tujunga, California, cars were a big part of his life. Bodie was exposed to cars at a young age because of his father and his friends who were automotive enthusiasts themselves. The first car he ever fell in love with was his fathers 1957 Chevy Bel-Air. He recalls staring at all the chrome and the big metal dash that was painted turquoise and was just enamored with the car. When he was 16, he got a 1961 18-window Volkswagen Bus and being independent, he started wrenching on it by himself without aid. While building the VW from the ground up, he discovered his penchant and passion for working on cars. Bodie has been the recipient of numerous accolades for his work including the 2007 Truck of the Year at Truck Jamboree with a 1956 Ford pickup and in 2009 won the Ford Design Award – Best of Show at SEMA with “The Scarliner” a 1960 Ford Starliner. While Bodie doesn’t make his living in front of the camera, he is no slouch to media exposure. His work on projects like the “Scarliner” and “The Real Thing” a 1969 Ford Mustang has been featured in countless TV specials and magazines. Bodie is also recognized for his work as lead fabricator and co-host on the Travel Channel’s “Rock My RV” with Brett Michaels and was featured on the Speed Channel’s “Hot Rod TV” where his work on Tim Allen’s 1968 Copo Camaro was chronicled. In addition to Tim Allen, a bevy of celebrities have commissioned custom builds from Bodie for example, he built a 1951 Mercury for Johnny Depp, a 1970 Cadillac Coupe de Ville for “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville and a total of two vehicles for car enthusiast Tim Allen – a 1950 Cadillac and the aforementioned ’68 Camaro just to name a few. With Stroud’s schedule filled until next year, we catch up with Bodie to get to know more of the man behind the legend.

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How old were you when you got your first car? The day I turned 16 man. I was at the DMV with my mom and then I dropped her off at home and went to pick up my buddies and went straight to the beach. That’s just how it was for me back then. I couldn’t wait. When did you realize you had a knack for working on cars? The necessity that was where it started. When my first car broke down, I remembered having to replace the water pump and afterward thinking, “that was it? That was easy.” That coupled with the awesome feeling that I just fixed that and was back on the road and running again. I think next was the transmission and so when I replaced that, I was like, “wow okay, this is cool I just pulled out a transmission you know?” I just had a knack for it. What was the first vehicle you did extensive work on? I was living with my buddy down here in Sun Valley for probably two or three years. We built a ramp and everything in his backyard and it’s where everybody hung out. There was an 18-window bus sitting out in the back and I remember saying, “I’m going to pull that out of here one day

and rebuild it.” So, one day I called him up and said, “I’m gonna come get that bus” and he’s like, “alright good luck.” So, I went and dug it up out of the dirt and pulled it up on to the tow-truck and that was the first car I built from the ground up. Back then did you ever think you were going to do this for a living? We were all young and I think we were just doing it for the fun of it you know? Nothing serious. I never thought this is what I’m going to make my career out of. I’ve always winged everything and like I said earlier, it was of necessity. Through that, I just found that I was really good at making cars look bad ass and designing them.

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How long have you been wrenching for? I’ve had this business for 8 years and before that I was a heavy-duty diesel mechanic for 15 years. I got into diesel stuff as a necessity to have a job to support my family, my wife and my kid that I just had. It was one of those things I needed to do it and I found I was good at it. Building diesel motors and flatbeds trailers and I’m getting paid great money, but I always wanted to open up a custom hot rod or a car shop; I just thought it would be after I retired and not to this extent.

What led you to open up your own place 8 years ago? I lost my diesel job because they sold to a corporate firm. I was okay with that, but at the time, I just had back surgery and didn’t know where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to open up a custom shop. So, I had this truck I had built - my father in-law’s ‘56 Ford pickup, which was featured on Monster Garage when I did it with Jesse James. I remember they said, “you have anything you could bring? Or something that you built?” So, I showed them a picture of the truck and they were like, “Oh, great! Can you bring it?” So, I brought it and they were all like, “you should be doing this full time!.” That kind of stuck in my head.

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Are there any downsides to your celebrity as the go-to car guy? I don’t know. Now, it seems just I can’t push the cars out fast enough and it sucks because this is where you want to be in life and in business as a builder. I’m extremely busy, but that’s a good problem to have. I’m blessed. The downside is that everyone wants things quick. We live in the now generation. It’s the generation of the quick turn arounds and people with short attention spans less than an inch long. Are there any cars you’re working on right now that you could disclose? Right now, I’m doing a ’67 mustang for the lead singer of Imagine Dragons. I’m build-

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ing kind of an Eleanor replica, but with my own style. Another interesting project right now is a ‘66 Lamborghini for Adam Carolla; I do a lot of stuff for Adam, he’s a good friend. With the success of your business, what are your plans for the future? The goal is to keep doing this and pushing out badass cars for as long as I can because it’s what I love. I’m always gonna build cars. It’s been my passion and I’ve done it since I was a teenager and I just love using my hands. WEB SI TE:

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Stay Rad WORDS




It’s lonely at the top. Ask BMX icon and stalwart punk rocker Rick Thorne. After hustling hard for the better parts of two decades chasing the American dream of action sports and music, he discovered that achieving those goals meant losing a part of himself in the process. We caught up with Rick Thorne to gain some insight on success, music, and why haters never prosper.

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firm believer in speaking the language

of possessing a positive mental attitude, Rick found himself having to combine the recipe of authenticity and deleting all the naysayers and negative energy. The location of success is at the intersection where preparation and opportunity meet. We all chase this location in one form or another, be it personal or professional, and often times finding it can be one of the most polarizing journeys in life. This is something Pro BMX rider and punk rock star Rick Thorne knows all too well. “I don’t think I would ever take back the success I’ve had; it’s just that with success comes unwarranted criticism,” says the dynamic rider between sips of his Spanish latte at the downtown LA hotspot Urth Caffe. “Don’t pay attention to it; I did. I did because I had been riding for so many years with people that were my friends and I got absorbed in the negativity and hating and it messed me up for When did you start riding? I started riding in the early 80’s when there were no contests. Well there were, but none from where I’m from, Kansas City Missouri. I rode just to get out of the house, straight up. What was it that motivated you when you started to ride? I wanted to feel alive and ended up sticking with it. Even today, I still ride for the love of it, to get that feeling. I go back to that versus the dreams of job opportunity, fame, sponsorships and things like that. Back then it was just to feel good and deal with life, when we all had commonality whether we had broken homes or not, it was our outlet. For the love of riding and camaraderie.

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a while.” This affliction of “hating” that Rick speaks of has reached an unfortunate apogee in 2015 in today’s unapologetic culture, where it is more commonplace to negate a man’s success rather than praise it. “I think I was pushing people away because of the energy I was projecting into the universe, because when I was coming up, I was that bitter,a hating little kid,” he candidly admits. Fast forward a few years, Rick is the unwavering ambassador for the “Stay Rad” and PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) movements. Rick’s confidence is certainly contagious, and spending an afternoon with him is enough to reinvigorate even the most defeated of souls. Like the mag wheels on his bikes, Rick has come full circle and made growing up a cool thing to do in the process. Even if Rick’s accomplishments warrant the title “legend”, don’t call him that. In Rick’s opinion, legend means, past and done. He’s only just begun.

Was it hard to get started when you didn’t have the resources or money that others might have had? We had no fancy ramps or big jumps. We had a brick and a board and little dirt jumps. It was about creating a lifestyle by riding. The sport was relatively new. My mom was a single parent and worked nights and I just didn’t want to stay indoors. We didn’t ride to get into the X-Games, not that that wasn’t totally rad. for us it was therapeutic. Thats what its about. I bet it must have been hard for your mom to have to struggle, but I’m sure it was hard on you to trying to do what you love and maintain a normal life. People don’t know this but, I worked at Olive Garden bussing

tables for 7 years. I’d ride to work because I didn’t have a car and lived in my mom’s basement. I graduated high school at 17 and bought myself a bike. I rode for 14 years before I made a salary from a sponsor, paying my own hospital bills and travel bills along the way. I was doing little tours here and there like bike shows, car shows, state fairs, things of that nature. After the shows, people would ask me to go party and I was just say no, I want to go ride. I told myself then that’s what I wanted to do. No girlfriend, no car, no school, just stick with my dream hold on to this feeling. I love it. People thought I was crazy, but I’d rather save what little money I made, for my career and do what made me happy.

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So when did things start to turn around for you? I was about 25 when the X Games came out and still wasn’t making any sponsor money, but I was still grinding. Opportunities weren’t flowing, but I made the decision to move to California when I was 27. As soon as I moved out to SoCal, sponsorships started flowing in and I was offered a job to host on MTV. Shortly after that, ESPN hit me up and asked if I wanted to do a show and that’s when I knew it was on. I was a grown ass man when success came. I wasn’t a child prodigy like kids now. With so many claims of performance-enhancing drugs in the world of sports and concerns about which drugs athletes should be tested for, there is one substance that has been a gray area, marijuana. What’s your take on that? Weed, Marijuana, MaryJane, whatever name you call it, I’m not against it. I don’t smoke myself, but I feel if you have pain, anxiety or some medical ailment and it helps you, I’m all for it. It’s probably better than the prescription drugs out there now. Prescription drugs just numb pain versus healing you. I’m no expert, but drugs have all kinds of chemicals, weed doesn’t. It’s from the ground. I think there should be regu-

lation though but should be readily available to people that would benefit from it. It’s just an old law and mindset. It’s just a matter of time before its legal. They did it with alcohol and its more destructive in my opinion. In this industry, you have to stay relevant to keep making money, how did you overcome this to keep the income coming in? I competed 26 years straight and started a band called Good Guys in Black. It had gotten to a point in my career that I was being taken care of by my sponsors, it almost didn’t matter where I placed. I have a strong personality and I think it was more about that than anything. I didn’t need to compete to make a living and have it be my end-all. If you don’t compete, it’s over. I was very fortunate to have such good sponsors that believed in me and allowed me to branch into TV, Radio, film and other things. I currently even do voice-overs and have my current band - Rick Thorne but I’ve been able to channel my riding and still love it. So how has the music thing been working out for you? I did 14 Warped Tours. Music was my original passion and I could have pursued it, but circumstances back then didn’t allow me to. Riding was more immediate. Always be able to

to change your plan quickly under direct inspiration, and don’t beat the same path to a dead end road because you’ll keep hitting a dead end road. Not one BMX athlete has ever started a band like the way I have at this level. No one in the BMX world has. It’s funny to do what I do because I don’t like being judged. I quit racing bikes because I didn’t like the competitive side of it and that’s what I get from music and riding. I get one thing from riding and another thing from music. From music, i’m telling my story without rules or boundaries. There is more freedom in music then there is in action sports. If it doesn’t make me happy, don’t do it. It’s that simple. I don’t want to live a phony life. I didn’t get into music and sports for money. I did it for passion. It makes me happy. Besides the sports and music I’ve also heard that you’re involved in a few campaign projects, tell us a little more about that. I came up with this phrase “Stay Rad”. It’s very PMA–Positive Mental Attitude. Stay rad in everything you do. It’s all about having a positive attitude in your image and style, what you say and how you speak. I always think about what it felt like before you had all these pressures of life. Staying Rad is all about

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projecting positivity in life and understanding that positivity always wins over negativity every time, always. You’ll never get a positive result with a negative attitude or thought. Nothing positive can come out of negative, especially speech. What I learned is what you say becomes your destiny. You have to control your tongue. Look at the brighter side of things. Ever since I started this stay rad campaign, things have just been amazing. Because I say it and believe it, I’m projecting it. It’s all positivity. It starts with your speech. So, stay RAD! Kids, when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, tell yourself to Stay Rad!

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Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. Any last words or thanks your want to leave us with? I’d like to thank my sponsors Sullen, GoPro, Monster Energy, Vannen Watches. Everybody out there, pursue your dreams and never give up. Watch what you say, it starts there! Stay Rad. I N STAGR A M:


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BrokenGrail WORDS




We sit with the mixologists behind two of the vape game’s most prolific and sought-after brands– Holy Grail Elixir and Broken Bottle Vape co. We talk with Nels Hansen who owns a sneaker collection that would rival a Foot Locker and Bradley Schaeffer about how tongue-in-cheek branding translates into award-winning flavors.

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n order to win multiple championships, the team needs to have a perfect culmination of chemistry, bench depth and role players coupled with superstar talent. When the term "dynasty" comes to mind, the 1995 Chicago Bulls stand out. Things weren't always that way for the Bulls but with their 3rd overall pick in the 1984 draft, they selected a guard from UNC named Michael Jordan. In his rookie season, MJ hit the ground running and set the league on ďŹ re with his otherworldly talent. With #23 secured, they knew they just needed to add some missing pieces to complete the dynasty. In 1987, the SuperSonics selected Scottie Pippen with the 5th overall pick in the NBA draft. However, Scottie Pippen's tenure with the Sonics was short-lived as he was dealt to the Bulls for a fellow top 10 pick. That was a heist that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak would model himself after 15 years later. Keep in mind, the G.O.A.T. never won a championship without Scottie Pippen. Not that he never would or was incapable of doing so, but basketball is a team sport and like life, you need to surround yourself with warriors and like-minded people. His Airness didn't

accomplish that feat until the 1991 season which also marked the 1st year of the Bulls dominating 3-peat run. Pippen was the yin to his yang. The perfect 1-2 combination. That's where the parallels end about this story for the crew at Holy Grail Elixir and Broken Bottle Vape Co. In this burgeoning vape industry, there are a few notable players in the game that stand out as men amongst boys. Meet Nels Hansen - the mastermind behind Holy Grail Elixir. Nels created tantalizing elixirs from his own palate to vape for the masses and has been immensely successful in doing so. Breaking into the vape game for the sheer love and passion was a no-brainer for Nels. He was already vaping for the betterment of his health and selling mods to his friends. Supply and demand is a great recipe for a successful business. Consequently, he would later go on to open an award-winning vape shop in Long Beach and a couple years later take in a partner for a new line of e-Liquid called Broken Bottle Vape Co. Nel's knew he needed a partner that would rival his easy-going work ethic and stress-free mindset and Bradley Schaeffer was that man. Having initially met on the golf course, a chance encounter at Nels' shop in Long Beach is where they found a second commonality other than golďŹ ng, "My boss I was working for at the time said, "Hey, there's a vape shop down

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the street. Check it out and see what they're about." I went and saw Nels behind the counter and I was like, "Woah, I didn't know you vape!" Now we have this huge thing in common." said Brad. Nels made an offer to Brad that he couldn't refuse and that's when the chemistry began. Literally. "We got into mixing flavors almost immediately. We came up with some amazing flavors and started dialing down the flavors we chose and it took about 6 months to get things to where they are now," said Bradley. Both of these gentlemen have taken the vape game by storm and haven't looked back since.

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As a result, both Broken Bottle Vape Co. and Holy Grail Elixir won Best in Show in each of their respective debuts. This is like winning Rookie of the Year for two consecutive draft classes. If that doesn't showcase and communicate the ethos of their efforts, I don't know what does. The scary part is, they're just getting started. You're a notable sneaker, collector. How did that translate into you picking up vaping? N: I had some Filipino buddies that were sneakerheads just like me. We would meet up to trade shoes, buy shoes together and attend sneaker conventions and

they would sit with their giant mods at the time and vape. I would smoke my cigs and we would all just chill and one day somebody handed me Monkey Cream by Vaping Monkey and it blew my mind. I stopped by Activape which the closest store I could find via Yelp on the way home. I picked up a Sigelei ZMax Telescopic, a carto-tank and bottle of Monkey Cream. So, a flavor that you were fond of piqued your interest into this whole new world of vaping? N: Yes. I fell in love with the culture and I found myself visiting stores during my work day. The camaraderie

was something I'd never seen before. All of these people from different walks of life are just coming together. All these people congregate together just to get off cigs. I knew cigs were weighing me down man, I could feel it was fucking killing me. My quality of life just sucked. What was the catalyst that lead to you thinking about opening up your own shop? N: In my travels, I starting falling in love with the industry so much I started kind of obsessing over it. I'd go to work and in my previous business, where people were used to

passing around joints, now they started passing around my vape pen. These guys were smokers as well. This happened damn near every day, I'd have to sell them my setup. They didn't go to vape shops, but wanted to pick up vaping. I would then have to go back to my local shop and buy a whole new setup for myself. It happened so often that I would purchase product from my friends who were the owners of vape shops and keep it in the trunk of my car to be able to sell to people and I would sell out. I felt I was selling mix tapes (laughs) I decided I wanted to open up my own shop and I saw that

I couple provide a vibe to the people in my area. I sold a huge part of my shoe collection, teamed up with a friend and opened up a shop called Breathe Vape Spot in Long Beach and have now won Best Vape shop 2 years in a row. How did Holy Grail Elixir become a reality? N: I started tinkering with making e-liquid as well and had some avors that I made for Holy Grail. I was working on my own avors and my partner with the shop didn't have anything to do with it and I didn't want to give it away as a house juice. I created my

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brand Holy Grail after my love for shoes. In search of my grails. I never knew what it would become. I just wanted to have fun. Everybody started buying Strawberry Fields like crazy. It was insane. I couldn’t make it fast enough. After your success of Holy Grail, what did you do to scale? N: I got an investment, built a 6,000sq foot facility with 2 clean rooms, bought a huge trade show booth and went for the gold. All of our juices are up to industry standards and compliance. Tell me how Broken Bottle came into fruition. N: Brad came into my life and we started working on Broken Bottle Vape Co. I like making flavors and making flavors

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by yourself sucks sometimes. I always wanted a creative person I could bounce ideas off of. Brad has an amazing work ethic, excellent reputation, and is a pillar of responsibility. B: I got into the vape game as a consumer. I was working at a vape shop. I was smoking at the time as well. My boss, I was working for at the time said, "Hey, there's a vape shop down the street. Check it out and see what they're about." I saw Nels behind the counter and I was like, "Woah, I didn't know you vaped!" We now had this huge thing in common. I started getting more involved in the industry and fortunately,Nels took me under his wing and gave me the most incredible opportunity. N: Brad deserved his own company. That's all that really matters. Where he came from, his strong work ethic, all of the tools

he brings to the table all added up to one thing: he deserved his own business. I felt I had the experience needed to help make that a possibility. I didn't want him working for me. I wanted him to work with me. He balances the scales. Now that you have two mixologists working on a new line, how was the process? B: We got into mixing flavors immediately. We came up with some amazing flavors and started dialing down the flavors we chose. It took about 6 months to get things to where they are now. There's no sense in spending time and money looking back when you know you could've made it better. What’s the premise of Broken Bottle? B: Our whole line is something you’ve

tried before in your life. You have a connection and will think, “Oh, man, this reminds me of this moment in time…” What’s the difference with Holy Grail and Broken Bottle? N: Holy Grail is suited for flavors that I desired and I’m fortunate that people loved them as well. For Broken Bottle, we wanted to tackle tough flavors to master. For instance, I’m not a peanut butter or candy guy. I’m a custard guy, but all I vape is Dirty Strawberry yet I hate PB&J! B: The branding is different. With Holy Grail, the slogan is to “Vape the Finest” It’s classy and premium. With Broken Bottle Vape Co., it’s very sarcastic and negative with our slogan, “We break it, you buy it”. Even the names of the flavors are tongue-in-cheek. They don’t sound

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appetizing. Dirty Strawberry, Rotten Rope, Terrible Tang, Dummies. N: We tried to be playful and fun. I think we succeeded. People enjoy it. B: Yeah, and we wanted to stay away from colorful branding and things that might attract children. That was huge. We wanted to make it adult-like and not marketed to children. What are your thoughts on the current looming regulations? N: The continual regulations are a real lazy way for the government to deal with us to just throw us into that tobacco category. It's financially driven. It could go a number of different ways. Look, man, I just want to do business. They can do what they want. We just want to keep operating. That's the goal right? I agree

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with 80% of the proposed regulations. At the same time, I don't like the idea of somebody vaping at my kids 6th-grade graduation on the school yard. I don't like the idea of somebody blowing a big cloud in my face while I'm trying to eat a steak. We are making a product to help smokers quit; not candy for kids. What does the industry need to do to flourish? B: I think we need to be aware of our branding. We need more awareness out there in the public. N: Stores need to be proactive and support the guys that are doing right like us and not support the companies that are clearly ripping off other people's intellectual property. These copy-cat companies wouldn't have a business if stores stopped supporting them. That would be

a good start. B: As an industry, we need to shift gears and come back to why we started doing this in the first place. We need to reinforce that we got into this to help people quit smoking. It's definitely gone awry. There are these subcultures; cloud chasers and builders and it allows for camaraderie, but at the same time, these subcultures have gotten so big that now we're under so much scrutiny. They are looking at us under a microscope for any hint of error. We need to reaffirm our original idea. Vaping is fun. But it’s serious, too. It’s a matter of health. *THIS INTERVIEW IS DEDICATED IN LOVING MEMORY OF CHARLES NICKERSON













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There comes a time that a savior ďŹ ghts for what is right. The unquestioned people’s champion. That person is Mr. Chris Boucher. Chris has pioneered and guided the movement and has been a staunch advocate for the hemp industry. Chris has lead by example and championed the organization (HIA) that went up against the DEA and won. We catch up with this legend and talk about the current state of the union.

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he Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a federal law enforcement agency under the US Department of Justice tasked with the drug problems we have here in the United States. Understood. Why is it that the government spends $20B on the war on cannabis alone per year? A plant that has been scrutinized and studied for years and most recently recognized as having medicinal value is still illegal on a federal level? When the DEA attempts to “redefine” a federal law and passes legislation on ignorant blanket statements; for example, cannabis being classified as a Schedule 1 drug, something has gone awry. Let’s play a quick game of captain obvious: out of all 4 substances, which does not belong in the same category? Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Heroin and Marijuana. Let that marinate for a second. Advocates have been petitioning for the rescheduling of cannabis for decades. “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States.The United States government also owns a patent on marijuana as medical application.”, reveals Dr. Sanjay Gupta. There are clearly medicinal benefits to this miraculous plant even our Commander in chief; President Barack Obama has gone on

Mr. Boucher, tell us how you got started in the hemp industry. In 1990, I walked into a store called Captain Ed’s in Van Nuys California. I initially walked into the store to sell cotton backpacks, cotton shirts, and tyedyes. A guy there asked me to sign a petition to legalize hemp. I asked him what hemp was and 8 hours later I left the store and that changed my life forever and that guy’s name was Jack Herer. Yes, in fact, he became my mentor, best friend and even I ended up being the best man at his wedding to Jeannie. After your enlightenment at Captain Ed’s, how did you get into the hemp industry?

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record concurring that we need to focus our resources on something that has healing properties such as cannabis. The science is there. This isn’t anecdotal. Obama has gone on record as saying, “marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol” That said, we are making positive headway as public opinion is shifting rapidly towards complete legalization. Another historic milestone was reached on February 6th, 2004 which marked the decision of the landmark case the HIA v. DEA. legalization of hemp. Had it not been for Chris Boucher’s unwavering support, defiance and refusal to give up, the Hemp industry would not be flourishing today - a multi-billion dollar a year industry. With the government’s methodology of playing big bank take little bank, they have zero accountability and regard to our country’s economic health for our large and small businesses if it doesn’t fall within their control. Thanks to Mr. Boucher and his efforts, hemp products such as dietary supplements like seeds and vitamins, toiletries like shampoos and soaps, textiles, clothing and oils just to name a few would be nonexistent. We sit and talk with the man who fought the US government and paved the road for an entire multinational industry–True Hemp.

Next thing you know, I was making everything out of hemp and 6 months later I started my own hemp company producing baseball caps, wallets, and bags. I sold to over 1,500 stores worldwide. We did the wallets and bags for the Beatles Anthology album, things for Dave Matthews band and the Bob Marley family, you name it, we did it. When did you really start getting serious about this industry? By 1993, I thought, why don’t we grow hemp in America? We were importing all the hemp from China so, I did a research project. I went to the Imperial Valley California USDA research center where they used to grow hemp

out there in the 1920’s and told them about my research project and doing it at their facility. I got them to sponsor the project and allow us to grow industrial hemp and they agreed and issued me a permits contracts which I have signed and delivered. When did first encounter resistance in regards to hemp grown here on US soil? In 1993-1994, there were no laws in place so I hired a lobbyist in Sacramento to help me write legislation in the state of California which I knew nothing about. We sat down and hammered out the first written agriculture hemp industry legislation. During that time I was working in collabora-

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tion with a company called Colorado Industrial Hemp Program (COHIP) and gave them a copy of my legislation and said, “hey, this is a professionally written you could tailor it to your state.” They took the copy and modified it for Colorado and used it in Senator Lloyd Casey’s presentation and introduced the first industrial hemp bill in the nation. After a failed attempt to get the legislature passed in California, what was your next step? I continued to the native American Navajo nation where I worked on projects there and in 1996, we got a bill passed that the Navajo nation recognizes industrial hemp as a legal crop. That was quite exciting. You were the industry leader for hemp manufacturing, what steps did you take to ensure the quality of the industry? I started the HIA called the True

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Hemp Industry Association. We took the 5 largest hemp companies in America and put together a coalition and created a co-op association to certify hemp and ensure it made from 100% Cannabis Sativa and nothing less. That was the foundation of this industry. How was the growth of your company affected by this? Things were evolving quickly and we started sponsoring action sports athletes and even made hemp surfboards. We sponsored concerts and festivals. We’re the largest hemp company at the time. With hemp production being at it’s peak, did you garner any unwanted attention? In 1995-1996, we teamed up with Woody Harrelson which was interesting. We then started getting into the hemp seed oil business and started distribution

hemp seed oil to health food stores and places like that. The US Military got involved because their soldiers were taking the hemp seed oil and telling their superiors if they failed a marijuana test that it was because the hemp seed oil they bought at a store in Oceanside which caused a failed test. Before I knew it, we had the DEA, the DOJ and the US military looking into us. They thought we were selling illegal hash oil. So, the US government accused you of selling illegal substances on a grand scale? In 1999-2000, the DEA sent 2,500 letters to all the health food stores across the nation and threatened them with this letter which read that if they sold anything hemp seed related items like oil or granola bars, for example, you’d be in violation of federal law. That really put a kibosh on our business and distribution.


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The industry was evolving going from textile to clothing to oils and food which is a consumable and it was a superfood and our sales were going through the roof. So the HIA came in and a famous landmark case called the HIA vs. DEA ninth circuit court of appeals 2004 established the legality of hemp seed oil. How could the DEA redefine a law? What happened was the DEA started a program in the 90’s called ‘Reinterpretation’ and they wanted to reinterpret congressional law especially with hemp, congress really didn’t know what they were doing and didn’t mean to make hemp or hemp seeds or hemp oil legal. The ninth court of appeals basically told the DEA, you’re not congress. You can’t change a congressional law. I always give credit to David Bronner who put up all the money to sue the DEA. The only recourse was to sue the DEA and would cost a couple hundred thousand dollars. Who does that? He’s definitely a superhero in that sense. To this day, it’s a 5-6 billion dollar industry and none of us would be here if it wasn’t for that. I always tell people if it wasn’t for Jack Herer’s book “Emperor wears no clothes”, we wouldn’t be here as well.

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What do you think the future of MMJ will be? The MMJ market is going to get so big that we’re going to have to change the economics of the agriculture. The craft growers are going have to adapt to the massive demand. They’ll still be grown in greenhouses, but they going to have to scale it up, change price points and grow on a much larger scale. Much like the beer industry.The smaller craft growers aren’t going to like big corporations coming in. Like when I started making hemp clothing, Adidas and Converse came in and started making hemp shoes. I was thinking, “oh boy we’re going to get run over.” It’s going to get a lot bigger. Where does CBD play a role in the future? Education. There misinformation of CBD from agricultural hemp. In reality, most of your high CBD strains were crossed from agricultural hemp from French varietals, Ukrainian varietals. As a matter of fact, Charlotte’s web was crossed over from a Finnish company with agricultural hemp ratios. Some of the best ratios that work for anxiety, pain, epilepsy or 25 or 30 to 1 ratio. That’s the kind of ratio you find in certain agricultural hemp varieties. People will say, “If there’s not enough THC,

it’s no good.” That’s the biggest misconception, bad science, and misinformation. We know by research, Dr. Sanjay Gupta was using a 25 to 1 ratio on epilepsy patients. It’s proven. The fact remains THC can bring on anxiety and seizures. Do you think CBD will be able to help grow the economy especially for farmers? I think CBD could help small farms become successful because of the dual commodities. Why not grow hemp for textiles and material and extract CBD at the same time? From one crop. It’s better than tobacco, cotton or corn. It’s a win-win. We’re on our 3rd wave of hemp revolution. Farmers will be able to harvest cannabinoids off their fields while harvesting protein powder at the same time. We haven’t even talked about CBT, CBG, there’s so many cannabinoids in that plant there which they could extract which yields more money out there from this crop. There will be a shift. We’re going to have to look at the water situation especially in California. But at the end of the day, millions and millions of people will be using cannabis as medicine. Working for Cannavest has been exciting and I feel we are changing history again.



Street Kings WORDS


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raffiti art is synonymous with blasted up subway trains, hip-hop culture, DJ’ing and breakdancing. It’s a raw, authentic and unadulterated art form that is expressed through the marriage of fatcap spray cans and rebellion from being raised by the streets. What was once only seen as an eyesore to the general public is now recognized as an artform that is more sought after than ever. Don’t believe me? Take a walk down DTLA’s Artist District or the Venice Boardwalk to name a couple places that exhibit exorbitant price of residence as the barrier of entry. It isn’t just the local teens from broken homes or gang ties with spray cans in their backpacks tagging their names on street walls, but full grown professional artists that dominate this field. Self Uno and Tews are two legends from polar opposite coasts that have been in the graffiti art world for over twenty years. Their styles are deep rooted in the old school graffiti genre, and they’ve not only witnessed the movement grow and evolve, they’ve lived it. Fast forward 25 years, the boys have become full grown men complete with jobs, families and a still-burning passion for raw art form. These days, both men are just looking for some real estate to blast their artistry without the burden of looking over their shoulders dodging bullets or running from five-o. From the Dogtown days and the Venice Pavilion to Banksy, these guys cover all the basis of this popular, often illicit form of art and they’re only just begun.

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How long have you guys been in this game for? T: I been painting since like ‘93, ‘94? Around then, that’s when I started in Orange County. I was always an artist and I would use a skateboard so it was just kind of an easy transition from that to that. I was already drawing, we were already out in the street causing ruckus anyway, so it kinda made more sense to draw things and be creative with it. But I was more interested in doing like productions and big like artistic pieces more than like bombing

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and just straight graffiti and stuff, so I kinda tried to evolve into that faster, I was more concentrating on that sort of thing; like the bigger sort of works. SU: I started writing in the late ‘80s, and my cousin, when I was growing up, painted trains in the 1970’s. When I was 5, 6 years old, I was looking through his black books and wanting to do that same stuff. Then by the time I was 10, 11 years old, I was tagging on doorways and doing my little toy stuff, and finally hitting the streets with spray paint when I was 13

years old, you know with my little crew. And we grew up in a time where if you bumped into older guys they were shitting on you, they were robbing you and they were teaching you. T: It wasn’t kosher back then, you just showed up to a place and started painting. SU: Yeah they were teaching you a lesson by vamping you, taxing you. Sounds like Beat Street! SU: (laugh) Right? And it literally was. There really was a whole lot of that going on and

being in New York, it was way more connected to anything that underground. There was not a mainstream, there were no magazines, the movies that showed it when they did come out we were super stoked on. T: Yeah like, “Oh shoot, there’s graffiti!” SU: Yeah, Beat Street. I grew up on Star Wars and Wildstyle, those were the only things, and when Videograf came out and that was incredible, to ever see something like that, where you were now watching someone on video actually doing the stuff: bombing, hit-

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ting clean trains, hitting layups, hitting highways, doing all that stuff. If you ever saw that in person, it was by chance because you were out doing the same thing. T: You’d be in those places already. SU: If you were going to meet another writer, it was while you were out there writing, bombing at like 2 o’clock in the morning, seeing some other kid walking down the street with a backpack on 8th Ave, 10th Ave, or something like that, and running across them. Like that’s what they were doing unless it was some kind of drug money, you know? (laugh) So, you know, in New York at least, there was no yards where you might congregate, there were no spots where you’d meet. Where do you guys see the evolution from when you guys first started back in the day to where it is now? T: The technology for the spray paint has definitely changed, like we had to deal with all kinds of madness just because the paint wasn’t designed for us, it was just spray paint in a hardware store. That kinda makes things easier for the new people and stuff. There are more tones, the palettes are more vast, so it’s a lot easier to get that finished result you want. Before you were trying to get six colors outta three cans. That was the stuff we were dealing with as guys that have been around for a while, but styles usually kinda evolve. I think

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things have kinda gone back to how it was kind of in the ‘80s. They’re a little more loose? SU: I think that everything is in play all at the same time now, honestly, ‘cause there are guys who try to emulate early ‘70s funk styles and trying to emulate the late ‘90s early 2000s multicolor mural style things all at the same time. And then there’s a new generation of like abstract graphic design guys who have added a whole ‘nother element and layers on top of it. They come from a graphic design background and they started in their 20’s. They didn’t start as kids or teenagers you know?

T: Yeah that’s kinda the thing nowadays. You see a lot of the street art and now a lot of these people don’t come from the stuff we came from. We came from doing graffiti as youngsters and doing that. Now, like he said, people come into it in their 20’s and they’re just like “Oh, I like street art, I like the way that looks. I can pick up spray paint and go and do that myself.” There’s more of a gap between where they came from, as far as where they’re doing it, and how they come to do it. That’s why it looks different. There’s none of that letter influence, there’s not like the hip hop funk character

observation and learning from other people. The school is each other. There’s no other reference for it. It’s just who’s doing it, what you like, what you get out of it, and what you can do with it. There’s no training in that regard, we’re just on our own.

influence. They started at a different point so their references are different, it looks different to other people. But for us, we can pick it apart, we already know where they’re coming from or where they’re not coming from. With graffiti going from being an eyesore to being something very sought after right now, did you ever think it would be at where it is now? T: I never thought it would be to this extreme where people are paying these people to fly out of countries and do these huge murals on the sides of buildings! I think it’s because the culture

is more attuned to what we’re doing it doesn’t look as blatantly like vandalism, like we’re actually doing something creative with it. SU: Also though in a lot of ways those people aren’t graffiti artists. Some of them are people who write graffiti, but the vast majority of them are muralists and artists who happen to use the a building side as their canvas. Those people are not writers. Just because you use spray paint doesn’t make you a graffiti artist. T: They are traditionally trained artists that have spray paint in their hands. It’s a different school. Us, we had to teach ourselves all this stuff. It’s all from

Do you see any duality from tattoo artists and graffiti writers? SU: Well I think a lot of graffiti writers become tattoo artists because it’s an independent lifestyle. You look around, especially in our circle of associates, and there are a lot of these guys that started out as writers and are tattoo artists professionally, because graffiti artist is not a job, it’s not a profession. A muralist is a scenic artist is, illustrator, graphic designer, animator, you know, but graffiti artist is not a job. Some are lucky enough to travel the world and do that stuff but don’t necessarily get paid off that. They’re doing other stuff–designing t-shirts for this company or doing illustrations for that company or selling their designs for whatever reason, and making it appear that they are. T: That it’s more lucrative than it actually is. SU: Yeah, they’re making it appear that they’re job is graffiti writer, because that’s all they really show on their social media, or that’s how they are known, and you don’t know their real name or what they do for a living when you don’t see their work in the streets.

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Are you guys full-time artists? T: Well, technically yes, we’re full-time artists. This is our job, but it’s not like we get paid all the time. Like he and I, we have to have our hands in other things. I’m doing graphic design stuff, illustration, fine arts, and stuff like that. And he does the same thing, so we can keep ourselves busy and our finances and all that, and then we can paint graffiti for fun. Now, I consider it like golf. When I can paint a wall, it’s like “Oh, this is my chill day. I’m gonna go golfing - be out here with the boys in the alley, in the sun, I’m being productive but not necessarily getting paid for it.” Technically it’s costing me money, but that’s what it is, and we’re still gonna do it anyways. Do you guys still have to “watch your back” in certain areas that you’re getting paid to blast up?

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T: Yeah gangsters, they’re like super undercover now! They’re like us! But they’re packing heat and have tattoos on their faces. The trick is now people think it’s all good, like it’s not the ‘90s anymore out here, and you can go free and go wherever they want and stick your stickers on your podium and shit, but you get caught by somebody in the wrong neighborhood, you’ll get messed up. SU: Definitely. It’s still out there. Even over in Silverlake, and Hollywood, you know, a lot of places that we paint, they’re still cruising by and they’ll see us and they be like “That’s right, that’s right!” and they’ll put up White Fence or whatever it is they put up. T: And they know we’re not associated, but they’re just like “Oh, you’re painting in our neighborhood” kinda thing, so it’s like we’re just kinda poking at each other to see who does what.

SU: Yeah, you gotta be cool. White fence, Playboys….all that stuff is out there, you know. Did you think corporate America is killing the soul and creativity of the graf art world? Take Venice’s gentrification for instance. SU: Right? And this is how all the Dogtown dudes feel, and all the graffiti writers feel since the Pavilion got knocked down - that it has lost its peak and there is no peak anymore. It had its peak when the Pavilion was up, and before the skate park was there, people were really using the place to create skateboarding styles, and that’s when it was really peaking with creativity. Now it’s like it was a creative place and they’re gonna gentrify it, or its creativity–they’re gonna kill it...It’s run voluntarily. It’s not like it gets funding from the city to keep it, even though that’s the thing that draws

people in. So all the people that are creating the culture there aren’t getting anything out of it and they’re being exploited so that they don’t have to pay billions of dollars to them in taxes, and they don’t use any of that money to support the arts that are really there. T: And once that’s gone what’s gonna happen? Nothing, it’s gonna be a plastic version. Where do you see this whole art form evolving into, becoming, say 5-10 years right now? T: I want it to end up how the Europeans do it because they love that shit over there. They sponsor it, they’re all about it, the people love it. It’s not a weird stigmatized thing, but the US–there’s always that gang thing behind it, especially in Los Angeles. We often get blackballed with that sort of shit too by all this new street art shit happening, because these

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are people who have financial or corporate backing, they have representatives, they have all the stuff. These are the people getting all the spots, getting all the promotions and all the props, but we’ve been doing it for way longer. SU: And we opened the door for a lot of it. T: Yeah exactly, and then a lot of the stuff, the quality isn’t always there. We are full of good quality work, but we get sidelined because we came from graffiti. So even then we’re still getting pigeonholed for that, and it’s up to us to break free but maintain that we came from those roots. SU: Yeah, we get to the point where the Europeans are at–I’m sure would be a goal for the United States, where a city puts the money up and gets the prop-

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erty and donates the wall, a city sanctioned thing you know? Why is stuff that Banksy does so much more revered than others? SU: Well it’s protected. They put plexiglass over it, but they see us get up and do our thing at 3 in the morning and it gets painted over. You can paint Bart Simpson on something all day, and they’ll be like “Oh, that’s so funny. I love Bart Simpson” or Mickey Mouse or all that type of stuff. Banksy’s the thing where it’s the Pulp Fiction guys or a monkey talking on a telephone or something. But then you come up and you’ve got alternate letter forms and color theory and you have the composition and all these other things. There’s

a certain celebrity attached to a knee-jerk, quick hit greeting card type imagery, where it’s clever and they get it, but they don’t get letters, and they don’t get color. People don’t want to be put through any kind of mental processes T: They don’t want to listen to Rosetta Stone so they can speak the language, you know? It needs to be instantaneous. That’s why street art is so popular these days, because it’s like once you see it, you get it, everything is revamped, all the cartoon characters and greeting cards, ‘cause people need recognition, something they can correlate, something they already understand. I N STAGR A M:

selfuno // tewsr


Edible Pairings


Autumn’s just about here, and you know what that means: the weather is cooling down, Halloween decorations are coming out, the leaves are changing color, and pumpkin spiced everything is everywhere. But first, let me take you back to the weather. When the temperature cools down, our drinking and eating habits change. We aren’t clamoring for ice cream every day (only most days), and our Frappuccinos are starting to get a little too cold for us to carry around when the sun goes down. We want something that’ll warm our insides and keep our fingers nice and toasty at night. In this issue, we are checking out dessert and THC-infused coffee pairings! The coffees, creamers, and sweetener are all from House of Jane’s “Jane’s Brew” (JB) line of instant coffees, which you may recognize as the same brand that provided the teas from last month. As always, please enjoy responsibly. Wait at least an 1-2 hours after medicating before attempting to move heavy machinery, and dose according to your own tolerance levels rather than by per serving suggestion.

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1. Medium Roasted Coffee w/ Non-Dairy Caramel Creamer THC CONTENT: Coffee: 20 Mg, Caramel Creamer: 40 Mg SERVING SIZE: 1 JB Medium Roast Coffee K-Cup + 1 packet JB Infused Caramel Powdered Creamer PAIRED WITH: Coffee Cake COFFEE TASTING NOTES: This smooth and balanced medium roast mixed with the caramel creamer is a lovely way to wake up on a Sunday morning. A little soft, a little sweet, and not overpowering - this particular coffee is a lighter dose both in intensity and flavor, so it’s enough to wake you up but also keeps you from getting too jittery - the perfect start to a day. House of Jane has definitely gotten the medicated coffee game down to a science. WHY THIS WORKS: Coffee and coffee cake. Really? Need I say more?

2. Mocha Café w/ Non-Dairy Original Creamer THC CONTENT: Coffee: 80 Mg, Creamer: 40 mg SERVING SIZE: 1 JB Mocha Café Coffee Pod Bag + 1 packet JB Infused Original Powdered Creamer PAIRED WITH: Chocolate Croissant COFFEE TASTING NOTES: This mocha café blend was a little light on the chocolate flavor with the slightest hint of grassy notes, but it bulked up once I added creamer. When mixed, the flavor went from a thin cocoa to a rich, brown sugary boba* (yes, you read that right) flavor. This one’s a little more intense in its effects, so take note of that when making your own. It’s the perfect pick-me-up before tackling those menial tasks at home. I definitely don’t recommend any heavy lifting or driving for at least a couple hours though. WHY THIS WORKS: Mocha and chocolate, the perfect pairing! Why wouldn’t this work? In the espresso world, the chocolate flavor of café mochas is what sets them apart. It is literally a drink that encompasses the pairing within itself - coffee and chocolate. Now, imagine this: add a little more chocolate, and include a flakey, buttery crust that you can dip into your coffee. Come on, tell me that doesn’t sound good. Seriously, it’s pretty hard not to pair coffee and chocolate. And croissants? Who doesn’t like croissants? All these flavors just go hand in hand, end of discussion.

3. Dark Roast Extra Caffeine w/ Cane Sugar Sweetener THC CONTENT: Coffee: 20 Mg, Sweetener: 80 Mg SERVING SIZE: 1 JB Dark Roast Extra Caffeine Coffee Pod Bag + 1 packet JB Infused Natural Cane Sugar Sweetener + milk PAIRED WITH: Chocolate Cheesecake COFFEE TASTING NOTES: I’m not usually one for overly robust coffees, so I added the JB sweetener and a tiny bit of milk to mellow out the almost smoky flavor. But before I did, the aromas alone were enough to fill my lungs and wake me up! As for taste, it’s almost got a little of that canna-flavor we’ve all come to expect, but that rich roasted coffee bean keeps it behind a dark curtain as if to say, “No, I’m the star. You’re stage crew. I’m the face of the show and you’re the backbone.” And is it ever. Without the sweetener, it’s a big roasted monster that’ll no doubt get you going. It’s almost got a spiciness to it right at the end, but you almost have to dig to find it, and it only grows more faint with the addition of sweetener and milk. Overall, even for a light to medium roast fan such as myself, this is a delicious coffee that won’t have you melting into the couch all day. WHY THIS WORKS: Fuller-bodied coffees tend to pair well with richer, creamier desserts. The bitter flavors get balanced out by the rich and creamy cheesecake, and again, you can’t go wrong when you add chocolate to the mix. Adding the sweetener is a bonus too, but I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, so if bitter is more your style, then try it black–cheesecake is sure to handle its own just fine against such a hearty roast.

issue 07 september/october 2015


4. Dark Roast Extra Caffeine w/ Non-Dairy Hazelnut Creamer THC CONTENT: Coffee: 20 Mg, Creamer: 40 Mg SERVING SIZE: 1 JB Dark Roast Extra Caffeine Coffee K-Cup + 1 Packet JB Infused Hazelnut Powdered Creamer PAIRED WITH: Tres Leches Cake w/ Strawberries & Pecans COFFEE TASTING NOTES: Again, this robust coffee makes a big dramatic entrance when you brew it. That enormous malty roasted coffee bean aroma will fill the room and perk up everyone in it, but the creamer steals the show when added. Suddenly that signature dark roast becomes a sweet hazelnut, with the slightest hints of refreshing coconut, and all it wants to do is wrap around you and embrace you. It goes from brushing past a stranger at Starbucks to being pulled into one of Rubeus Hagrid’s** almost back breaking hugs inside your local coffee house - big, cozy, and familiar. This was probably my favorite–it breathes of the beginning of December, just after the Thanksgiving pumpkin craze but before the cinnamons and nutmegs of winter settle in. It’s that cup you sip on your porch as you watch the sun go down on the last day of fall, or maybe the

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first day of winter - perhaps the first snowfall. Sweet but not sugary, almost refreshing and cool flavors while it warms your soul. It is the perfect amount to not have to dedicate myself to staying home all day (although I totally could if I wanted to. You know, to enjoy all that imagery). WHY THIS WORKS: As with the previous one, the rich and creamy dessert balances out the more bittersweet flavors of the coffee. The hazelnut gives it a creamy nuttiness that also pairs well with the pecans in this local rendition of the popular dessert. The sweet strawberries have just enough acidity to cut through the milky sweet combination of coffee and cake, which keeps it all from becoming too rich. You know how Hagrid occasionally needs a quick reminder to not cut off Harry’s air supply mid hug? That rush of air Harry takes in when Hagrid eases up? That’s what those juicy strawberries are. They’re like oxygen to your taste buds, what with all that sweet creaminess going on. That being said, a traditional tres leches sans the fruit and pecans might not work nearly as well. If you have a more traditional tres leches in front of you, maybe try this one without the creamer so as not to overwhelm your taste buds.

5. Decaffeinated French Roast w/ Non-Dairy French Vanilla Creamer THC CONTENT: Coffee: 20 Mg, Creamer: 80 Mg Serving size: 1 JB Decaffeinated French Roast Coffee Pod Bag + 1 packet JB Infused French Vanilla Powdered Creamer PAIRED WITH: Fruit Tart Florentine w/ Pecans COFFEE TASTING NOTES: Want a cup of coffee before bed? Maybe something to go with dessert after a great dinner? JB’s Decaf French Roast will definitely be your go to. Either try the 20 Mg coffee pod bag and 80 Mg creamer combination, or opt for the 80 Mg K-Cup variety instead if you prefer your coffee black. Its aromas don’t burst into the room the way the dark roast’s did, but they just kind of slowly approach you, as if to say, “Hey, you look like you could use this.” And let’s be honest - if you’re winding down after a long day, do you really want that major shock to your nose and taste buds? Of course not. You want something nice and easy, smooth but a little bit perky, and that’s what this french roast is. Too light a roast won’t hold up to dessert, so lose the caffeine, up the flavor and body, and voilà! The perfect cup to go with your after dinner confections. WHY THIS WORKS: Before I get into the usual nitty gritty, let me give you some background on this pairing: this fruit “pastry” has vanilla custard sitting in a thin, chocolate & crushed pecan covered waffle shell, and topping it off are kiwis, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and powdered sugar (not to mention its size - it’s probably meant to serve 3-4 people). You’d think it’d be an unfair

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match for this medium (honestly almost light) bodied coffee, but the creamer gives it that extra push and makes this David vs. Goliath situation look more like a Beyonce and Jay-Z relationship: a power couple simply made for each other. The creamy coffee and vanilla custard make a perfectly indulgent base for the bright and sweet fruit explosion that follows without overpowering it. It even gives you a perfectly sweet and and crunchy waffle shell to nibble on when you need some variety. Even here, chocolate and coffee are still a match made in espresso heaven. You just can’t go wrong with this pairing! Pumpkin spice everything is great, but sometimes you just need something different that’s a little closer to home. Ditch the usual coffee house special this season and try something new. Maybe stop by your home town’s local bakery or try out a new dessert recipe on Pinterest. You might be pleasantly surprised at what new coffee and dessert pairings you’ll come up with! FOR THOSE UNFAMILIAR WITH THESE:

* Boba , also known as “bubble tea” or “pearl milk tea” is a popular Taiwanese tea and/or fruit based drink that usually has chewy tapioca balls or fruit jellies added to it. ** Rubeus Hagrid is a half human, half giant character in the Harry Potter series. I apologize for any and all subsequent references. Until next time!


commissary at the line hotel 92 tokewell magazine





ulinary genius Roy Choi is best known for introducing the streets of L.A. to his Kogi food truck movement. That said, one would never take Roy for being a proplant chef. In fact, at first glance you wouldn’t even mistake him being an exceptionally successful culinary entrepreneur either, so that nullifies that stereotype. What Roy has achieved is the crown jewel of a plant-centric cuisine and dining experience called Commissary. We have been fortunate enough to be exposed to amazing food through various media and a bevy of gastro-options. Consequently, we have been able to obtain the heightened ability to sectionalize an elevated eating pattern that we are afforded - the luxury to eat or not eat certain foods, especially being selective to only vegetables. Commissary has changed that mindset. Located in the Line Hotel’s second-floor rooftop, Commissary is

issue 07 september/october 2015



essentially a herbaceous (not that herb) greenhouse with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. There are hanging plants, communal tables and a potting table that doubles as a bar. Roy’s culinary focus has not been on animal protein for a while, and Commissary is indicative of how delicious and satisfying a plant-focused diet can be at its peak. The ambiance is reminiscent of a backyard BBQ celebrating the farms and the streets while omitting the pretentiousness and stuffiness of an over exaggerated notion of veganism. Most of all, it’s amazing food and will absolutely open your eyes and force you to rethink your childhood stance on veggies, while making your mama proud by eating all of them. WEB SI TE:

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