The Pot issue 2011
Morning's first light
From Kenya to the Katakombz, Phat Kat smokes beats like blunts
Published: November 2, 2011
Any number of strains might be found inside Watts' ganja jar at any given time, O.G. Kush, Strawberry Cough, Cheese, Trainwreck, you never know. But the rapper does indeed have a favorite flavor. "Man, that Sour Diesel is on some other shit — for real. For me, it's different than any other strain out there. It's just different: tastes a little different, affects you different. It's Diesel, man."
Watts can talk about marijuana like European hip-hop heads can talk about Phat Kat. One of his many monikers (Obi Ron Kanobi, Ronnie Cash) is Ronnie Euro. It's fair to say he's generally way more popular in, say, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam or Brussels than he is stateside.
"The euro fans are crazy students of the music," Watts says. They know the lyrics inside out and can recall very specific lines and question what they mean in the context of the song at any given moment, so when you're there, you have to be that much more on your game about your own songs. They know."
And they know Phat Kat. They love Phat Kat. They want to keep him happy. And part of doing that is hooking the man up with the premium product their town offers. For Phat Kat, finding good pot abroad is not a problem.
"Quality, quantity, whatever, when we're coming through on tour, they know what's up," Watts says. "It's not ever difficult in the slightest. The only hang-up, if you can call it that, is that a lot of these dudes in the UK like to roll tobacco with their weed. That's not me, man. I don't smoke tobacco. One time, at a show in London, I go to hit a blunt between a song, my boy has one lit on the side of the stage, and I take one puff and immediately my lungs were on fire, I didn't know what to do. There was tobacco in that shit, and it fucked me up, man. Didn't feel right for a second. Then I hit some shit that was just weed, drank some water and was back at it."
His connections overseas go far beyond locating good herb. The work with Agor is incredible; in August, Phat Kat collaborated with London rapper Iron Bradyz, cousin of UK rap icon Dizzee Rascal, for the track "The Dobermans."
In December, Watts will fly to Kenya for a few gigs he recently booked through a new Toronto acquaintance. "Ronnie International, man" Watts laughs. "I've fucked with some African weed before and it's good — really sweet, like Australian stuff. Man, Australia has some fire. Melbourne — man, that shit was crazy."
And speaking of fire, Phat Kat Launched his latest project in September. Dubbed the Katakombz, it's a yearlong project that sees Phat Kat releasing one song and a correlating music video each month for the next several months, maybe a whole year. "The videos will tell one big story," he says. "The songs speak for themselves."
In the meantime, though, it's early morning rituals. Up early, smoking down joints on either side of a trip to the gym. All business handled by noon.
A highly functioning hustler with a proclivity for pot, Ronnie Watts is a highly remarkable, globally known rapper. And, more often than not, he's also remarkably high.
So, pack that in your bowl and smoke it.
> Email Travis R. Wright