Have you ever been standing at the backstage entrance of a reggae show when, suddenly, the door swings open and a lit joint is offered? I have, thanks to the amazing Collie Buddz show at Neumos in Seattle this past December 15.
“Sinsemilla. Indica and sativa. I call them my dream weavers. Remove the veil from my eyes, now I rise. Finally! This natty dread can smoke in peace.” Jesse Royal warms up the vibes on stage.
While your friend offers you their new sativa hash pen to pull, you look over and see a brother indiscreetly rolling j’s. This, my friends, is the Seattle reggae vibe. Everywhere you turn, you run into people you know and who know you. There’s black, brown, old, young—people from all walks of life. Hey, look, there’s the rasta who sells weed with a boom box at Pike Place Market!
A good reggae friend is one who carries ten paper cups of water to the front just in time to cure your cottonmouth. We are the ones who dance the hardest, even when we can’t see the performers. “Sometimes in my life, I just wanna . . . hold the vibes and burn my marijuana.” Collie Buddz blazes up the stage.
The floor is covered in spilled drinks. There’s two hipsters kissing and grinding, trying to play it off as dancing. A dude with an old man hat is over there, still trying to figure out what my friend Angela said to him earlier.
We sit down and suddenly catch the eyes of a throng of men by the bar.
“There’s always a guy who asks me, ‘Are you Habesha?’” Angela tells me. “And I say, ‘No, I’m Latina.’ Then they ask, ‘Do you speak Spanish?’” And I’m like, ‘No, I’m adopted. I grew up with white people!’” She laughs.
At the end of the night, I look down and see a flattened roach. We head downstairs to hail up Collie Buddz. “He’s in the bathroom!” shouts Igor, his manager. Jamaican grabba spliff tails are left behind, evidence of people getting high throughout the show.
“This is the best weed ever, Green Mason NW’s Dynasty OG Kush.” Michael, aka Selecta Element, passes me a freshly lit twist. “Do people in the crowd even realize that some of Collie Buddz’s songs, including I Feel so Good, were produced right here in Seattle by Loud City Music?” I ponder and wander.
In rolls Collie Buddz to chat with his fans. He’s super friendly and chill, acknowledging each and every person warmly. This is the Good Life, I think. This is DOPE.