“Detroit’s mine,” proclaims Dr. Christian “Trick Trick” Mathis*, the legendary rapper and hip-hop philanthropist known for his viral collaborations with Eminem, Ice Cube and many others, as he passionately discusses his love for the city, his journey with cannabis and his involvement in the cannabis industry.
Born and raised in Detroit, Trick Trick’s devotion to his hometown is undeniable. “I’ve always been a lover of my community. Always been a lover of the whole aura of Detroit, the energy of Detroit,” he says.
As an official gatekeeper of Detroit’s music scene, Trick Trick has substantial influence. His sole purpose is to educate children on the importance of protecting their communities.
And this dedication to his hometown extends to his relationship with cannabis. He is equally committed to the plant and its liberation.
Initially, Trick Trick resisted using cannabis himself, despite participating in the trade during the Prohibition era. “I engaged in my younger days, and it just didn’t work out well,” he discloses. However, after trying a higher-grade hydroponic strain, he experienced a change of heart. “It was a new thing. It was a new grade. It was a new cannabis,” he says, calling the experience “life-altering.”
Trick Trick’s newfound appreciation for cannabis inspired him to delve deeper into the culture and business. He educated himself about the plant, asking questions like, “What is this doing to my body? How does it help my body do what it does and think like I do?”
Ultimately, he found that cannabis helped him become easier to deal with. “I haven’t always been the most passive person in my days, but cannabis kind of gave me a new outlook on things where I became a more approachable person.”
Down To Business
Trick’s dedication to the cannabis industry led to his ownership of Heavyweight Heads, the first Cookies-branded location outside of California. The journey was quite interesting too: Trick started as the marketing director of the brand, incorporating its cannabis into his songs and promoting it far and wide. This eventually earned him a piece of the company he loves.
Trick Trick, COURTESY
In fact, Trick proudly assures that Heavyweight Heads grows the best cannabis in Michigan: “Even if I didn’t own a piece of Heavyweight Heads, I would still say today that it is the best cannabis brand in Michigan because they care about the cultivation process, they care about the product, they care about the consumer having a great product.”
But Trick Trick’s connections to the cannabis industry go beyond his ownership of Heavyweight Heads. As a well-respected figure in Michigan, he played a significant role in bringing the Cookies brand to the state. “I have the best investment group that’s going to be the best for the Cookies brand and the best for the Gage brand as well,” he says. “I strategically placed in the center of the deal to secure my interest in this situation for the life of it from the beginning. And that was important to me. After making that happen, everything worked out perfectly in my favor.”
As the cannabis industry grew, Trick saw an opportunity to make a real difference. He used the money generated from his cannabis business to establish a school in his studio, teaching young people about the entertainment industry, film production, podcasting and radio.
But his contributions to the community don’t stop there. Trick Trick is also deeply involved in various social causes, such as chasing down criminals who commit heinous crimes (“I spent all of my Tuesday helping the police find a guy who had raped an 81-year-old woman; I even put out a $5,000 reward”), working closely with law enforcement and community organizations. He says, “I’ve always been the frontman to protect our community and always been upfront about giving back, giving, and guiding the youth.”
The cannabis industry has allowed Trick Trick to support schools, movements, and food drives. He even hands out $100 bills in his neighborhood, making sure that those in need are taken care of, especially during the holidays.
Over the years, Trick Trick has built relationships with influential figures in the cannabis world, including Berner, Mike Hermes, Rami, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Xzibit, and B-Real from Cypress Hill. These connections have helped him learn and grow within the industry, ultimately allowing him to become a broker for large cannabis brands and investors.
Trick Trick, COURTESY
“The medicinal properties of this plant changed my life. Put me in a position to where I can do better and be a better productive citizen for my community, for society, to be of benefit, to be a beacon of light to my community and the resources from it, to be able to build better, to assist in making this world, this country a better place,” he explains.
During the interview, Trick Trick also reflects on memorable experiences he’s had with fellow artists, thanks to cannabis. He fondly recalls smoking with Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, B-Real, Berner, and many others. “Cannabis has united me with so many great people,” he comments.
In addition to his thriving career in the cannabis industry, Trick Trick shares his journey towards a healthier lifestyle, attributing his decision to go vegan to the enlightenment process that cannabis brought about. “The medicine opened up portals of interest in information as relates to self-health,” he says.
Now, as a more health-conscious individual, Trick Trick is determined to spread the message of self-health and wealth, as well as give back to the community through his cannabis business.
As a staunch advocate for Detroit, Trick Trick emphasizes the significance of supporting local businesses and artists as well. His influence in the city’s music scene and his successful ventures in the cannabis industry demonstrate his unwavering dedication to his hometown. With his passion for both Detroit and cannabis, Trick Trick continues to make waves in the city he calls his own.
‘We Gotta Do More’
Toward the end of the chat, Trick Trick gets into social equity programs and other initiatives focused on those incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses. “I do appreciate the social equity program that’s been put in place for people who have been incarcerated for cannabis,” he says. However, he suggests that the government should erase marijuana-related felonies and cases and create government-funded workshops for those interested in the cannabis industry.
Despite the challenges and complexities of starting a business, Trick Trick remains optimistic, “It’s only hard if you say it’s hard. You have to use your time and energy to focus and create because we create opportunities,” he concludes.
* Mathis has an honorary doctorate in music from The Academy of Universal Global Peace, an institution that has a partnership with the United Nations.
This article was originally published on Forbes and appears here with permission.