The events of the interview are plastered unto my membrane as if they happened yesterday. Whitney Houston and Diane Sawyer circa 2002, facing each other in an epic stare off as Whitney dauntingly boasts “Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let’s get that straight.” Of course to the surprise of few, it was later revealed that the singer was in fact a user of the drug, however that is not a point central to this message. Whitney Houston’s public and controversial announcement in which she denounced crack and it’s usage was not your typical celebrity rehab sham, instead it was atypical for the fact that it marked a public announcement of drug use and it’s correlation to one’s social status. Crack equated to shady drug transactions at deserted gas stations, while cocaine equated to plastic boobs, rhinoplasty perfected nose bleeds and silicone shots.
What Whitney Houston was saying was this: Crack is cheap. My social status and net worth make me smoking crack a joke, I can afford better drugs than crack. In 2002, Whitney Houston was a million dollar earning celebrity who was telling millions of viewers of the Diane Sawyer interview that she didn’t do crack because it was a dangerous and shady drug, but simply because it was cheap. Of course after this, no one wanted to use the drug, because by doing so they were admitting that they and their lifestyle’s were of the cheaper variety. Whitney set a trend and the same can be said for rap star Wiz Khalifa.
Wiz Khalifa gives an image of rebellion and an aura of cool. Wiz Khalifa is a black James Dean, so of course if Wiz Khalifa says blunts are out, and the only thing you should be smoking is Kush while sipping on orange juice, it has to be true. Mixtapes covered with money signs, boasting a nonchalant playful character that has it all: the girls, money and drugs. Lyrics speaking of the high life, which correlates planes, smoking weed with other famous people, and pockets on ‘schwarzenegger’, has landed Wiz Khalifa a cult following of Jordan spizike stomping, Stussy T-shirt wearing, denim jacket clad, Wish shopping hipsters that will take every word of his lyrics and embody it in their existence. So what if this existence means that you must do away with the swishers and convert to papers, and who cares if you have to splurge a little on the good good grade of weed.
I can pinpoint it to “The Kid Frankie” video, where viewers are treated to an abnormally skinny black kid covered in tattoos, boasting about his usage of bongs and papers while applauding a tenet who had thrown a blunt in the toilet. “That’s where blunts are supposed to go,” he yells while unscrewing a Dasani water bottle and getting his high life chemical reactions going. Soon after this video came out, I remember the craze that was going around the hipster scene where people who knew damn well that they used swishers were boasting about how the only thing that they used now were bongs and papers. If the bong craze came from “The Kid Frankie” video, then the paper craze can be credited to the limited edition Wiz Khalifa papers that Wiz and his camp were dispersing at his concerts and events. It is in human nature, for us to think that things go hand in hand when in fact they may not. When you think fish nets, strippers come to mind, because they are always associated and parodied with one another and when I think Wiz Khalifa, Kush followed by the less important yet tacky camouflage skinny jean connotation flashes before me.
Woman who speak in Japanese, girls who roll their boyfriends blunts, getting chased by valet and bitches, and suicide doors sounds pretty damn good especially if you’re a hipster. And if the words Kush and high are laced between and betwixt all of these phrases of goodness, you’ll begin to assume that they correlate to each other. Wiz Khalifa is a modern day Whitney Houston for the fact that just as Whitney Houston relegated crack to low income and status, Wiz Khalifa has relegated bongs, kush and papers to being the shit.