Hazey Taughtme prides himself in building legacies and restoring influence amongst public figures. Read more about his endeavors and how he is now using his platform to help fix an unjust prison system.
Haze is originally from a small town called York, PA; most famous for their Harley Davidson motorcycles, York Peppermint Patties, and infamous rock band Live, but soon everyone will know the name Hazey Taughtme. At age eight he moved to Salem Massachusetts to live with his father, an attorney. He received a baby grand piano at the age of ten and began learning to play. When he was 17, he moved back to PA to attend McCaskey High school for the sole purpose of joining their music program.
Tell me how music was apart of your childhood?
“Yes, I’ve been involved in music all my life. When I was a kid, I was singing in the gospel choir at age 4 and recorded my first song by age 10. I went to a high school concert when I was 15 and it changed my life. I had to be in this high school gospel choir. I just knew my dad would never let me. I had to run away and move with my mom. In college, I joined a singing group with three members of the Legendary Harlem Boys Choir but that didn’t last too long traveling back and forth from Rutgers Newark.”
Hazey wasn’t sure if he wanted the fame associated with singing, he didn’t want to be under the microscope and miss out on having a personal life, so he opted for an alternative.
“Joining the group gave me the idea that maybe I didn’t want to be famous and not have a life, so I became a Dj and that led to my interest in radio broadcasting and after that, I got into music management.“
Hazey’s participation in the entertainment industry has allowed him to work with several notable public figures like The View’s Whoopi Goldberg, record executive and mogul, Sean Diddy Combs, MTV’s Pimp My Ride host, Xzibit, 6x world champion boxer, Zab Judah, Million Dollars Worth of Game’s host and motivational speaker, Wallo 267, and the notorious kingpin- now cannabis entrepreneur, Freeway Rick.
What are some of the strategies you use with your clients to help them expand their audiences during a pandemic?
“The industry is moving so fast and it is becoming harder for clients to keep consumers attention and remain relevant to the media. I generally focus on marketing and publicity campaigns, I show that there is an interest in their brand and story and how to relate it to current events. Most networks are looking to attract views, so we give them content that will attract eyes and it’s a win for both my client and their platform. The key to staying relevant in 2020 is great content and great marketing. Collaborations also keep people interested and help tap into different audiences.”
What was your biggest turning point? What made you want to be a better version of yourself?
“I lost all my clients at the same time in May 2019. It was like I lost everything and had to start over. I felt like I had a wakeup call and I had to ask myself; Do I want to spend my life building someone else’s legacy? Or do I build my own? So now, I dedicate 40-60 hours to the Haze legacy and I’m proud of that. I’m seeing the things I manifested come to life. It’s like watching the seeds I planted grow into trees. I won’t stop until my trees are a rainforest. Mogul Status. I want to do product lines, tv/ film, media, clothing, and education.”
Recently, Hazey’s enterprising spirit led him to a higher calling. What projects are you working on right now?
“I’m working on a cannabis line called Laze, it’s black-owned and woman-owned. My business partner, Marlo has started a company called Just Mary and she distributes celebrity brands like Napalm, Xzibit’s newest venture, you know his Brass Knuckles brand had a valuation at 179 Million. I compare cannabis distro’s to record labels. So It’s like we are on the same label. I can only learn from someone who has accomplished something so major. We have big plans to expand into clothing and merchandise, and other product lines from extracting cannabis as well as CBD product lines.”
Haze witnessed Marlo receive licensing through a program called social equity. He met her when she had just applied and reconnected with her years later fully licensed. The social equity program offers priority application processing and business support to individuals who come from areas affected by the War on Drugs as well as those who have a cannabis conviction.
What do you want people to know about the cannabis industry?
“We need to understand while the cannabis industry is expanding, it’s not just about selling weed or buying weed, we need to have ownership in these retail stores that are selling cannabis in our communities, more black men and women growing cannabis, learning about genetics, acquiring these licenses through these social equity programs that are available. A majority of our black brothers and sisters are still incarcerated behind the very same thing that is making the government and multi-state operators large profits, and we need to make sure more programs are put in place to ensure returning citizens can transition back into society. There are groups like NDICA and REFORM that have made it their mission to help people who are victims of this systematic racism .”
According to norml.org “African Americans are arrested for violating marijuana possession laws at nearly four times the rate of whites, yet both ethnicities consume marijuana at roughly the same rates.”
With factual statistics like these, Hazey has become dedicated to ending racial disparity in marijuana arrests.
“I work with The NATIONAL DIVERSITY & INCLUSION CANNABIS ALLIANCE (NDICA) and I assist the director with community event planning, marketing, finding resources, conducting classes, creating flyers and forms. For me, it’s a cause worth fighting for because I actually see the work that Bonita Money does. She’s not all lip service or taking points. So many records have been expunged across the country, families fed with excess from Whole Foods, and most of all lives changing for the better. ”
The NDICA program fights for social equality, against social injustice, and diversity & inclusion for those affected by the war on drugs. This movement has changed the lives of many by hosting job fairs, assistance with expungements and vocational training. Their work has been highlighted on CNN, ABC, Fox and NBC.
Outside of music management, The Laze Cannabis brand are you working on anything else?
“In 2019 I started the Black Cannabis Magazine and I wanted to get the word out about people of color in the cannabis industry. I want people to know how serious it is that we participate while we still can. Participation also doesn’t mean you have to touch the plant. There are so many other ways to start a career in this industry. I want to inspire others by bringing a light on these success stories.
People are consuming content in different ways and I wanted to make sure we are disseminating that valuable knowledge in a platform that speaks in the same tone that our readers will totally understand.
This is a celebration of Black Excellence.
We need more people of color working in this industry and there are so many ways to contribute.
We need cannabis writers, publicists, sales teams, and marketers. Another example, We need black people to own LED light stores and sell lights to growers, there are so many avenues to making money in this industry.”
“We have to get the word out to the people because they don’t know. The people are worried about Love & Hip Hop and The Shaderoom instead of consuming content that can change their lives and their kids lives, we’re about to be giving out some game in this magazine!”
The Black Cannabis Magazine stays updated on all current news in the industry, providing insight on culture, health, and events.
“We can’t do the traditional ways of marketing and right now all we have is social media, so we plan on doing some major giveaways.”
Haze is using his platform for means bigger than himself by staying well informed on the cannabis cause and providing information that the community can benefit from. He is exemplifying his beliefs through his actions, a real prototype. To stay informed on projects, follow the sites below: