Rocky Dawuni uses music and marijuana the way he believes they are intended to be used: as divine tools. His music reflects a vision of focused spiritual consciousness. Born in Ghana to a military family, Dawuni grew up in a political atmosphere and was deeply influenced by tribal, soul and reggae music as a means for change.
At a young age he had, in his own words, a ?Spiritual epiphany… It wasn?t even a matter of choice, it was a matter of destiny.? Today, his destiny has led him to become Africa?s leading reggae artist, nominated for ?Best World Music Artist? by LA Weekly, and the honored ?Ghana?s Cultural Ambassador Award? by the US Embassy in 2005. His hit song, In Ghana, has become the unofficial national anthem of his homeland and each year he plays for millions of adoring fans in celebration of Ghana?s Independence Day.
As a spiritual man, Rocky Dawuni meditated for several days before agreeing to an interview with Cannabis Culture magazine. We are thankful he has agreed to share his deeply personal perspective.
Cannabis Culture: What is your view of marijuana?
Rocky Dawuni: As a Rasta man I have a very spiritual view of herb. I believe it is a sacrament. When you want to get into a certain state of meditation, you smoke some herb and it moves you to a certain plane of consciousness where you can really be in touch with yourself, and by being in touch with yourself you are in touch with God.
CC: You have likened herb to the Ark of the Covenant. Can you expand on that?
RD: It?s in terms of relating to something that?s sacred, without drawing a direct comparison. If we refer to the Bible, the Ark of the Covenant was the central spiritual symbolism of the Tribes of Israel. But if you weren?t a pure person and you touched it, you?d be killed. Though herb is not the central theme of Rasta, any interaction has to be accompanied by a certain level of spiritual reverence. Recreational use doesn?t necessarily mean that it?s not spiritual, because life itself is spiritual. Everything in life has strength to work with you, or work against you. Herb is something that I talk about responsibly, and that is how I relate to it, because it is a sacrament.
CC: What is your opinion about the governmental laws restricting the use of herb?
RD: Once you subscribe to governments ? as we all have in a civil society ? it?s a certain kind of covenant, too. Christ said, ?Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give unto God what belongs to God.? So if you live within a certain society of law and everyone freely subscribes to that covenant, you abide by it, until you figure out a way to make certain changes, which I feel is what is [now]happening.
Also my intention is not to condemn governments. If you look at it from the concept of the Earth, we are custodians, not owners. We are like people who live in a garden and work in a garden, and move into the next realm at a certain time. The farm belongs to the Almighty Father. So in that case, I don?t think anybody has the moral authority to be in control [of herb]. The only person who has jurisdiction over herb is God, because God created the World and all life.
What I?m saying is that you can choose any path in life, but it?s the way you relate to that path which determines whether it?s positive or negative. In many ancient societies there were herbs that were part of the interaction with nature, for experiential concept of the divine. In these times too, people are finding out in all the corners of the Earth that there is a certain relation to herb that takes people to that consciousness. But then, you have to know what kind of consciousness you are looking for, and relate to herb as a way to its attainment. I believe in that case, you have the right to everything, because it is said God made everything for man, meaning everybody. This sense of freedom has to come with equal sense of self-control.
CC: Speaking from the point of view of a Rastafarian, how does that relate to your relationship with herb?
RD: You can get into meditation in so many different ways [and]personally I believe consciousness of Rastafari is not a prerequisite. As a Rasta, I find it also has certain medicinal properties because it has that spiritual validation to it. Plants are part of our universe; we ingest plants to live. So that means our life force has a certain communion with the greenery around us. If you look at it logically, we depend on plants to sustain the body. Then there are certain plants that help us become more conscious of the spiritual. When you see [cannabis]as a sacramental herb, there has to be the right space, right mood and right intention behind its use.
CC: Where do you see yourself going from here?
RD: Life is a constantly evolving journey. My path is bringing music and joy to the masses. There are certain times where there are certain slips, and those slips are meant to help you understand where you are. You just use all of that to craft a straight path, and God leads you to see through all. If we can see God in all and have an understanding that God is truth and righteousness, then we will always see through things. It is just the nature of choosing that path. Sometimes it?s a very hard path to walk on, but it comes with its gifts, too.
? Help make righteous music popular music by checking out Rocky Dawuni on iTunes! Be sure to catch Rocky in episode two of Showtime?s WEEDS this coming season ? which will also be Cannabis Culture magazine?s premiere WEEDS appearance! If you live in California, visit ?Afro Funke? in Santa Monica at 5th and Arizona, where Rocky jams every Thursday.