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Spotlight: How Mainstream Music Is Dropping Vape Beats

Chronicling the rise of music collaborations and vaping that has gone mainstream.
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Calling your group The Chainsmokers? Risky business. In 1963, Bob Dylan was “blowin’ in the wind”. In 1972, David Bowie reminded us that “time takes a cigarette.” In the 1980’s, Madonna posed for her iconic black and white photograph with a cigarette in her mouth. The earliest reference to the word “vapor” in a music track is DMX’s "Ruff Riders Anthem" (although his 1998 “vapors” weren’t referring to electronic cigarettes).

Mainstream music is pretty big on the recognition. Rap still isn’t done recognizing Compton. Whoever is heading up marketing for the Ford Cortina might want to thank the Arctic Monkeys. There’s a new Big Yellow Taxi in town, though. Vaping has hit the music scene by storm, and it’s gone from underground movement to full-blown subculture. In the 2017 movie, Ingrid Goes West, Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr. is barely on-screen without a mod in his hand. Coachella 2018’s must-have? A vape.

From vapes in Foo Fighters videos, to Katy Perry pairing her beer with vape clouds, music and the faint wisp of vapor are proving to be one of the biggest collaborations going.

Well-Known Faces Who Are Vaping

Old-school rockers may still be leaning on the combed-back hair and cigarettes, but they’re going to have to reinvent the look. Chart toppers are blowing clouds as much as they’re dropping beats, and some of them are putting their faces to vape brands. Hollywood might have Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and Michelle Rodriguez as their vaping faces, but music isn’t far behind.

Vaping artists include:

  • The Weeknd
  • Rihanna
  • Katy Perry
  • DJ Khaled
  • Zayn Malik
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Willie Nelson
  • A$AP Rocky
  • Ronnie Wood
  • Courtney Love
  • Lady Gaga

If there’s anything artists love to do, it’s collaborate. Rihanna, Beyonce and Ed Sheeran fans pretty much lost their minds when Eminem collaborated with them. Now that everyone from Snoop Dogg to The Weeknd is collaborating with their favorite vape brands, the endorsement deals are getting serious. The product? You’d think something that’s 95% safer than smoking would be awesome enough as it is. Think again. Vape x Music just dropped, and it’s hot.

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The Rise Of Clouds In Music Videos

The lyrics are “Gin & Juice”. Not surprising then, that Snoop Dogg is one of the vaping industry’s biggest endorsers. In 2013, he gave Conan O’Brien a vape pen. Elton John’s Tiny Dancer video? He’s at the wheel with a vape. When Dave Grohl directed the Foo Fighters’ Run video, he made an appearance as a senior center resident sparking a rebellion, stealing a vape pen and blowing out the competition- literally.

While Lily Allen’s 2014 Hard Out There music video was criticized for featuring an e-cigarette, four more years of research proving that vaping is safer than smoking have made that a distant memory.

Music Artists And Vape Collaborations: The Breakdown

  • $tunna by Birdman- Birdman doesn’t just collaborate with Lil Wayne. The rapper, producer and entrepreneur has built the STUNNA brand into an empire, and his e-juice line is unfusing the hip hop lifestyle with the hoodie’s hottest accessory– the vape. Adding to his GTB vodka and STUNNA brand organic hemp rolling papers, Birdman has branched into premium e-liquid. Fans and vape enthusiasts can now get their hands on Cash Money e-liquid- for brown sugar undertones lifting a bourbon and vanilla base. Or Liquid Gold- for a ripe pear, candy watermelon and mango combo.
  • Professor Green- “Unruly; disorderly and disruptive and not amenable to discipline and control”. That’s what Professor Green’s Unruly Eliquid line will welcome you with on the British rapper’s vape landing page. This guy is digging vaping so much, he is taking over a stand at the 2018 UK Vaper Expo. Classic with a twist is how the Prof rolls, so expect flavors like White Chocolate Peppermint, Strawberry Gummies, and the festival-friendly Fizzy Cherry Sour.
  • DVTCH x Chuckie- A world-class DJ might scratch the decks, but he won’t indulge in a habit that’ll leave a scratch on his life. In 2018, Chuckie wanted the Dirty Dutch dance scene to take up his biggest love (after music). The result was his collaboration with the award-winning DVTCH e-liquid brand. To prove their commitment, DVTCH x Chuckie are donating 10% of their profits to CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association). The range combines vaping with the aesthetic style and ultra-modern tastes of the 2018 dance scene. There’s the kiwi-centric Moombah, strawberry cheesecake and coconut Aftershock, and ultra-dope gummy candy Bass Kick (Chuckie’s LMFAO collaboration was the idea behind that one).
  • Snoop Dogg G Pen- Dre might have his headphones, but Snoop has his vapes. The dry herb enthusiast has channeled his love of all things vapor into a state-of-the-art range by teaming up with Grenco Science. If you live in a 4/20-friendly state, you’re doubly in luck. If not, you can still get your hands on Snoop’s range of stainless steel herbal vaporizer pens.
  • A$AP Rocky Kandy Pen- This guy may rap about his F**kin’ Problems, but he’s got Jay-Z’s philosophies for backup. 99 problems and a vape ain't one. A$AP Rocky teamed up with the Arizona-based KandyPens- known for their quality vaporizer pens and portable vaporizers. Expect the ultimate in sophistication from the “Flacko Jodye”. Think walnut wood grain veneer finishes and gold trim giving a throwback to the classic Rolls-Royce era. Full-on 1930’s boxing and sharp design are as sleek in aesthetic as they are high in quality. The Vape Guide even gave this pen a 9.5 rating.

Who’s Next?

More like what’s next? Kanye West might be widening his Yeezy line to include homeware, but that business-minded wife of his would probably suggest Yeezy Vapes. Then again, with Kanye, “It’s a choice”.

Like any collaboration, the public are unlikely to know anything until it’s ready to drop. We have our suspects, though. Zayn Malik’s vape bromance can get pretty deep on Instagram- probably why Complex reported Zayn as “working on his personal [vape] brand.” In 2015, The Weeknd brought out his own customized vaporizer, The Madness Tour Limited Edition Pax 2. While it didn’t enjoy the best commercial success, fans are hoping for a 2.0.

Who else? Skrillex vapes. This guy bringing out a range would be epic. Excision already has. German rock might feel a bit niche, but Haudegen’s Vaporist collaboration has proven popular in Germany. Given mainstream music’s endorsement power though, it’s likely that the next five years will give us something big. Expect it more from the off-beat trendsetters than the Ariana Grande sweethearts. “Roar,” the e-liquid? Totally possible...

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