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The Green Vision of Mehka King

The Green Vision of Mehka King

At the beginning of February, I purchased a one-way ticket to Atlanta. With no plans and no money, I was in search of Cloud 9. For weeks, the phrase “home is where the heart is” danced across my mind. Technically, Sanford is my home, but I knew I would never find my freedom there.
Cloud 9 may seem like an unobtainable utopia, but Mehka King, the creator and host of the CashColorCannabis Podcast, carves out his own piece of heaven every Tuesday at the Live Hip-Hop Daily Studio in Downtown Atlanta.

On Cloud 9 everyone is a God, freedom is abundant, and weed smoke — filled with the promises of milk and honey — spill from our lips continuously. Here, Black Art is sacred.

My second day in the city, Mehka invited me to attend a live recording of his podcast. When I arrived, he was waiting outside. He greeted me with a hug, and led me up the stairway into the sacred place he had created. Your only choice when you enter into the room is to be vulnerable. When it was time for the show to begin, everyone rolled a blunt and summoned Mama Ganja to help them open up and receive whatever messages The Ancestors had for us. That night Mehka and legendary tattoo artist, Miya Bailey, blessed us with “a higher level of conversation” that reflected on the importance and power of Black Art.
The interview was short and sweet like an impatient orgasm. In his conversation with Bailey, Mehka reminded us that being a Black Artist is about being unapologetic. More importantly, being a Black Artist in the U.S. means that you are determined to break free.
That night, Mehka used the color green to help Bailey paint a picture of his life as a Black Man, Artist, and Father living and thriving in the South. By the end of the conversation, everyone was floating on Cloud 9, inspired to take their art more seriously, and buy back the block.
“Sometimes the things we don’t see happening, happen,” said Mehka in reference to his beginnings producing cannabis content.
Before he started producing his podcast, he was working on a documentary called “The Color Green”.
“What led to ‘The Color Green’ was a conversation with a friend of mine.  He is a chef, who at the time wanted to [get] into what he called, ‘The Cannabis Industry,'” shared Mehka. “[During that time], I [was] not familiar with anything happening in Colorado. My life at this moment was in Hip-Hop. If it wasn’t a new release from Future, it wasn’t really on my radar. What peaked my interest was when he mentioned that he’d been going to conferences and [was] not seeing any Black people. That was absurd to me. What I did know about weed at that time was that Black people smoked it and got arrested for it. To know it was becoming legal in one state and conversations to make it legal in other states was brewing, but Black people weren’t involved bothered me.”
His first thought, as a journalist, was to pitch a story about the emerging industry to a few of the music publications that he worked with, but they all turned him down because they didn’t think that it was a relevant conversation.
“I figured if I filmed it, then it might become something worth posting. I set out to interview people of color about this new industry and where [we] could fit in. What started as a story, bloomed into a documentary,” said Mehka.
Eventually, Mehka would pause production of “The Color Green”  because he felt he didn’t have the resources to tell the story the exact way that he desired. Now, he uses his time to focus on CashColorCannabis, which in its own way, continues to push his vision for “The Color Green”.
The growth of his podcast, much like his creativity and his relationship with cannabis, has been an organic process.
Growing up in Boston, Mehka didn’t have a relationship with cannabis. “I really didn’t think about weed at all. I saw crack, I saw cocaine and I saw alcohol,” explained Mehka.
Boston’s diverse culture is what inspired him to become a storyteller. “Boston plays a huge part in my creativity. Growing up, Boston was a very diverse, divided city. In a span of minutes, I’d encounter about 6 different cultures before I got to the bus stop. From Dancehall to Hip-Hop, graffiti and fine art, I was exposed to a lot and it led me to writing,” he shared.
His relationship with cannabis didn’t begin until his senior year of college. He was a student at Johnson C. Smith University, studying Print Journalism.
“I was on a basketball trip, and I was visiting a college that some friends of mine went to. While I was on campus, I was exposed to my first bong,” he said. “We were at a party and I was nervous because this was the first time I had ever been around people who smoked, or at least admitted it. So they lit up and when it got passed to me, I took the first of what would become many hits”.
CashColorCannabis is an unknown necessity in a world where no legacy Black publications are covering the cannabis industry. Speaking with Mehka after his show, he was frank about how he sees his podcast evolving. He’s knows that there is a space for him as a larger media publication, and he is doing everything in his power to get there.  Mehka uses CashColorCannabis to remind African-Americans that we have the ability to create and thrive in our own spaces. In every episode, he creates a table and invites us to all sit and enjoy getting to know people we didn’t even know we loved.
When I asked Mehka about the importance creating cannabis content, he made a really great point:
“I feel that controlling our story through media is the best way of people of color to gain a foothold in the cannabis industry. Seeing and knowing owners of outlets who look like you is major. I remember growing up and reading The Source and Black Enterprise. Rolling Stone and Forbes weren’t necessary for me. Having outlets that are not only owned by people of color, but put a preference on highlighting brands and influencers of color is key to not just being invited into the room, but having your own table and that table being as important as every other table in the room.”
Through pure intention, Mehka is making Cloud 9 accessible. Fearlessly he is using the art of words to lead us to a heaven we didn’t even know existed. Listening to the conversations that Mehka is having on the CashColorCannabis Podcast feels like you’re finding your way home. You’re taking more puffs, so that you can inhale more knowledge, and feel more comfortable in your Black Body.
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