In the days before ganja, Planet Earth was a boring expanse of mountains, flatlands, and water.
But on the fourth day, there was weed, and it was good, and after 20 hits off the burning bush, man was hungry, and he filled his soul with music.
The Nag Champayons understand the power of the groove. And as Miami's premier tropidelic Afrogalactic jam band, they are here to soothe your savage beast.
Today, in honor of weed day, they have released a new dub single, featuring Itagui Correa and El Chino Dreadlion. It's called "183rd St Flea Market."
So grab your headphones, light your spliff, and listen up, we've got the song, and the interview. Happy 4/20, long live that ganja, and legalize marijuana.
Crossfade: How'd the track come about?
Nag Champayons: It was born from a live improvisation, from these guys just jumping on stage with us. So we said what better date to release this than 4/20.
How'd you get the title?
We got the title from the groove. It just has so many elements to it. Just like the 183rd Street Flea Market. There's the dub, the Asian, the Arab, the Israeli sounds, all that. It's just like that fleamarket with all this crazy energy from all these different cultures.
When I used to go there, there were these head shops with all these bongs and pipes and rolling papers. Then the Rastas had these all-vinyl record shops way in the back. The Asians would be selling clothes. There was jewelry vibe. And then it was real hood too. Like, something could go down at any minute. You never knew if it was cool or it was dangerous.
How long has the band been together?
We been together eight years, jamming. We don't play every week. We play for, like, astronomical alignments, big things, like 4/20. And when we get together, we have a good time.
We're working on a new EP for the summer.
Wasup with the name?
We got our name from burning incense before practice. We are the champions of Nag Champa. Wherever you smell the incense, we're there jamming.
What about weed?
Everybody has a choice. I think it should be legal. It's a big help for people that need it medically. And some people like to smoke a little something and just listen to music. That's a reality. Like, some people are gonna grab a quart and do the same thing.
We call our music tropidelic Afrogalactic because it's pure Miami, just like us. We're Cuban, Haitian, American, and Colombian. But the main thing is we're all friends.
We don't have to play every weekend, there's no contract forcing us to be somewhere. We've got members of Spam and Conjunto Progreso who are full time musicians, but Nag Champayons are a jam band.
Nag Champayons as part of Moksha Roots Live with Telekinetic Walrus, Nag Champayons, Prinsip Band, and others. Friday, April 20. 7th Circuit Studios, 228 NE 59th St., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and admission costs $10 to $15. Call 305-757-7277 or visit moshkafamily.org.
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