Hello, Smokers (..and non-smokers)!
A Project I Wrote & Recorded & Co-Created The Video For
Not many know this but I studied music originally. . .
It was the summer of 2005 and I had just got my drivers license. I had already been smoking weed for about 2 years (..Since I was 16) and lived in a small town in the eastern parts of South Africa.
My mom gave me a little blue golf, and my dad promised to pay my tuition at the infamous Cape Town School of Music. . . Life was simple.
My plan was to study music by day, grow some dope in the cupboard by night. :D
So I packed my car and headed 10 hours west to the big city. The UCT music school was amazing and so was Cape Town.. A huge city with an infinite amount of possibilities wherein the air. I was free from the small town views that put a stoner with a passion for Jazz music pretty low on the list of 'life achievers'.
Throughout the 4 years I spent studying musical comp, I met some of the most awesome and liberal people. People that shaped my liberal views and allowed me to enjoy the simple things in life.
Some of my highlights include writing the score for the award-winning short film "A Flight That Lost Its Feathers", completing a score for a full orchestra and DJ'ing at music festivals across the country with @joesmoke in our prime drug taking days:
Yes that's me screaming and smashing the piano in the beginning..
The music industry is tough.. After college, I struggled to get gigs and was tired of spending 6 hours a day practicing only to be paid $30 a night for 3 hours of jamming so I moved back home.
Not sure what to do with my life I enrolled in chemical engineering at the local university.
I started studying chemistry in the hopes to find something that would suit my inquisitive nature and find meaning in the chemicals that shape our world.
During my second year, I dropped out. I was still DJ'ing and got signed to a Swedish record label under the pseudo 'Patio Crasher'. They gave me a sweet ride and started paying the bills. . . So what would any producer do in that sitch?
This is the cheesiest track I produced over that period
Move to a sweet pad by the beach of course and spend my time at festivals!
Fast forward and it's already near the end of 2013. . . While chilling one night looking for beats I came across a Bitcoin thread and my intriguing nature started to dig deeper. The community where pumped about Butterfly labs and USB mining sticks, GOX dominated the trading scene and the only way to get into BTC in South Africa was to buy a fucking graphics card and trade on shady altcoin exchanges like Cryptsy.
Having not really paid attention to money but probably coming down from an acid trip from a trance party where an old hippy wrapped my face off about how much cash he made on the stock market in the 50's, it resonated.
I built myself a small rig, joined a pool and started mining my first coins... The price of BTC at the time was a cool $100 a piece.
Managing to mine a few coins and trade my way up to 30 BTC during the 2013 December run (I traded ANC and MEGA for an awesome 10x profit).
... I cashed some in, paid my taxes and my life was instantly transformed. I became obsessed with crypto and spent hours on Cryptsy trading shit coins until my stash sat well above 50 BTC... It was sometime during 2014 that things all went south..
Gox crashed, butterfly labs never delivered, cloud mining scams became a big thing, and big Vern ran away with all the cryptsy cash!!
... By the end of 2014 I had less than 20 BTC and the price had crashed substantially.
My girlfriend and I decided we need a break from the scene and so moved to Zanzibar for a few months.
Africa is truly beautiful. We spent our days chilling on the beach, taking boat trips and doing community work for GIVE, a volunteer programme from the US that helps build schools on the island and our nights drinking Konyagi (A local cane spirit) and smoking hash.
I'm on a boat.
After 8 months we decided it was about time to head back into society and I knew I would need to learn a new skill fast.
Tackling Cape Town Once More
We headed back to Cape Town and my girlfriend got a job pretty easily (She has a great resume).. This is around the end of 2015, and allowed me some time to start teaching myself to code.
I started with the basics, HTML and CSS and some Wordpress stuff and then put myself out there on Upwork. During this time I got a ton of experience, mainly making websites for small businesses and occasionally an e-commerce site. . .
In 2016 @paddy420 approached me about building out https://420smokers.us for shares in the business. Not really having anything to lose I joined up, and shortly after @joesmoke invested a few k into the site to pay for a writer, hosting and a few backlinks to get things rolling.
Steem then launched and I made my first post on steem ending in $4000 in upvotes (The reward system was pretty wild back then with an exponential reward curve).
Dan Larimer had opened my eyes to the possibility this type of system had to offer. I reached out to a few devs and members of the inner steem circle at the time and got pretty much laughed off the platform for bringing up reasons why we needed a separate clone for cannabis...
This only really made me more determined to learn, and so I stuck my head down and carried on learning to code, having my girlfriend supporting me through it all.
Over this period I saw first-hand cannabis businesses and content creators suffer at the hands of centralized competitors.
In 2016 my girlfriend and I moved into a small flat and cannabis was pretty much legalized and so I started growing for the first time in my life 🤫🤥
Dutch Passion Master Kush Veging
By July 2017 I had learned a ton of front-end techniques, marketing and SEO skills, game theory and connections to start to put together the Smoke Network white paper.
With that said... I will try to spend more time on the chain, engaging with all of you amazing and beautiful people.