Ken Estes, a guy who has been simultaneously celebrated and criticized for his local medical marijuana dispensaries, is raising awareness about his cause through a new hip-hop CD called Medical Marijuana Music (aka GDP Medicine Man, aka Medicine Man — Medical Marijuana Music — it’s not entirely clear). The album, released by Grandaddy Purp Music (under the artist name Medicine Man), tells the story of Estes’ travails and run-ins with the DEA through Bay Area rapper DJ Ignite. So far, the project has the support of prominent local artists like E-40, as well as celebrities like Dave Navarro. The video for the first single, “Leave Ken Alone,” has garnered more than 4 million hits on WorldStarHipHop.com since being uploaded in mid-February. Other tracks espouse the various benefits of medical marijuana by guests such as E-40, Mike Marshall (of the Luniz’ “I Got 5 On It” fame), and Blaxicans (“Medical Patient,” “Purps in a Blunt,” and “Bundles of Purps.”) (GDP stands for Grand Daddy Purple, a “highly sought after strain of marijuana” that Estes apparently introduced. MILF weed, anyone?)
Estes owns a medical marijuana collective in Richmond that was raided by the DEA last year. It was the third time in four years that the fifty-year-old quadriplegic says his businesses have been raided. Despite the raids, Estes says he has never been charged with a crime. “It was frustrating,” he said during a recent visit to the Express. “I was poor, losing my homes to foreclosure.” Estes says DEA agents would follow him around, but then called him last year and said, “I’m done with you.” He decided to make a CD in order to raise awareness about medical marijuana’s benefits and educate people about patient rights. He recruited DJ Ignite, also a medical marijuana patient, to tell his story.
As for his part, Ignite said he believes in the benefits of medical marijuana after he suffered from ruptured intestines. “I’ve been an artist for twenty years and I’ve never gotten an opportunity to tell a story like this,” he said. This CD is “taking the old marijuana game and making it medical.”
The duo will be releasing the album to major distribution on March 16. A CD release party will be held at SXSW, hosted by Dave Navarro and featuring Fishbone. Tonight, the duo is filming its second video at the Broken Wheel Cocktail Lounge in Oakley. They’ll go on at 10 p.m., but said the show is already sold out.