Recently, we premiered the video for festival rockin’ mashup artists Lance Herbstrong’s first original song “Ripped,” featuring Big Daddy Kane. The super-solid hip-hop track was written for the new stoner film by the same name Ripped starring award winning comedian Russell Peters, Faizon Love, and Alex Meneses. The Lance Herbstrong trio (Kamal Soliman, Peter DiStefano, and Bill Sarver) performs in the movie, too, which is a 97-minute comedic romp about two best friends who smoke top secret, CIA weed in 1986 only to wake up thirty years later and dive head first into the legal cannabis industry.

On producing “Ripped” with Big Daddy Kane, Lance Herbstrong producer and percussionist Kamal Soliman, whose professional ties with cyclist Lance Armstrong inspired the band’s festive name, says, “Bill created three different beats we were thinking of sending over to him, so I went back to a lot of the old Big Daddy Kane stuff and listened for a while before deciding which beat was the one. It has a retro vibe to it that works really well with his vocal, and we loved the song even more once it came together in the film.”

Once Thievery Corporation’s tour manager, Soliman is no stranger to the music industry. As head of artist relations with C3 Presents, he helped recreate Lollapalooza and produced all the C3 festivals as well as Obama’s inauguration while there. Now, Soliman is on tour with canna-preneur and reggae luminary Damian Marley and is working on Lance Herbstrong’s fourth album. Fans can download Lance Herbstrong’s first three albums (The Knobturner’s Guild, Meth Breakfast, Tokelahoma) for free on their website.

We asked Soliman to choose his five favorite eclectic tunes for getting blazed, and his selections are throwbacks to another time. He shares, “There’s something about music from the past and the nostalgia that it brings with it that resonates with me strongly. If I can make a five, seven, and nine year old spontaneously break out in song or dance, then I know I’ve struck gold. That’s often the case in my house-- sudden and dramatic shifts in stereo volume with sing alongs and dance-offs. The kids I know are already beautifully impacted by these moments, as am I.” Enjoy the irie tunes!

“Sueño de Solentiname” by Mano Negra

Manu Chao is one of my heroes and my friend. I’ve loved his music for so many years and still discover songs of his that hadn’t stood out to me before. This is one of them. “Sueño de Solentiname” is from his early days in Mano Negra. The Solentiname Islands are in Nicaragua (close to where I now live in Costa Rica). Maybe it took living in Central America for it to truly resonate. 

At a small music festival in a private amphitheater near Tamarindo, Costa Rica, Doc Martin was the headlining DJ. As the DJ prior finished, there was a palpable excitement in the air for him to start his set under the moonlight for 2,000 people. From the second kick drum beat on the opening song, I’m already thinking how perfect it would be if it were “Sueño de Solentiname.” And then, there it is, Manu’s voice. Just the perfect set opener for a Central American rave in the jungle. Nicely done Doc Martin. It’s a moment never to be forgotten.

“And the Living is Easy” by Guts

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The first time I heard this vocal, I couldn’t believe I’d never heard it before. It's just that good and timeless. After doing some research, I discovered that it’s Billy Stewart, who died tragically young in 1970 at the age of 33. Guts does an amazing job of editing the song to improve upon its brilliance. You can’t listen to this and not feel transported to another time or place, past or future.

“Josey Ready” by Josey Wales

Reggae therapy is a real thing for me. I can’t go more than a few days without needing to hear it and have it ground me. I love this song so much because it can both get a party started or mellow everyone the fuck out. 

“Your Soul” by Hippie Sabotage 

As mashup and remix artists, we always appreciate when someone uses another’s song and makes it better. “Your Soul” is originally by Coasts. The hook and the guitar line are slowed down, repurposed, and utilized to perfection. This song immediately invokes a strong emotion every time.

“Picture on the Wall” by Phyllis Dillon

It was a tough decision choosing between this song and her cover of “Love the One You’re With.” There's an innocence in this early form of reggae that has its own unique sound and flavor, yet it’s heavily influenced by American soul. Even though the lyrics are rooted in sadness, listening to this song will instantly make you feel better, every time. 

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