Family Tree S2: Bouqe Rolling Papers


448: This is BJ, and this is Raz with 448. We’ve got the lovely Rolling Bouqe team here. We just want to go ahead and get right into it.. We just wanted to pay a little homage to DMX, man. We lost a legend today, man.

Q: We want to get you guys’ thoughts on, giving people their flowers while they’re here?

CK Duncan: Yeah, definitely. I heard something about it maybe yesterday, you know, with the whole life support situation. And it was definitely crazy. I think people kind of fail to realize what kind of impact he had. You know what I’m saying? Like, especially what, 20 years ago or something like that, but still, his name is still relevant today.

If you say, DMX, you know who that is. But, just the energy that he brought to the game, the authenticity, and hella quotables. Just about life in general, I’ve been seeing a couple things pop up and it’s like, yeah, that’s deep. That’s wisdom. So, it’s tough.

Vic: It’s like the legends, they passed away too quickly, man. I think 50 is like that magic number we lost a lot of greats. DMX, hell Michael Jackson passed at 50, you know? So it’s just sad. It’s untimely.

Especially in the midst of all this craziness going on in the world, you know, definitely show love while you got ‘em. Love your family, love your friends and just spread love in the world.

Lex: You just hit it on the nail head, like the growl and bark that will always be associated.

CK:Look, look at a smile on (Raz’s) face when you said that.

Lex: Just immediately knowing, it was sad. I’m not even gonna say I listen to him the most, but he was so significant in your childhood. Growing up, there is some kind of moment that you can pinpoint with him. He defined some aspect of your life. Especially for us and our age group.

And it’s just kind of sad that that’s an end of an era. We just knew that we were gonna watch him get old. 

CK: We just saw him on versus too, you know, with him and Snoop. 

448 (Raz): I’m actually happy that we got to see that versus, to see him in a setting like that one last, where he was giving it his all. And just giving us the love that he’s giving us through the music  with people around him that respected his craft. So it was really good to see that. 

Lex: (Laughing) Sorry. Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. That cracked me up because it used to be my ring tone.  The DMX version, I loved it. 

448: Hey, that’s crazy that you can look back and say that was ring tone days. DMX was hot in the ring tone days. People don’t really use ringtones now. Ringtones, ring backs was an era.

448 (Raz): And now people don’t really associate Rudolph the run nosed reindeer without DMX. Like, you know what I’m saying? Like, if you think of the song, you’re like, yeah. But then there’s that version where DMX did his thing, you always go to that.

Q: So we know everybody’s seeing that Virginia has just legalized (Rec.) and we know you guys are in the DMV. What would you say that means to you guys and your community that you guys have built around your brand?

CK: I mean, that just means more opportunity for us, and just the industry as a whole, you know, as the industry grows and is at a better place, with just mainstream people it is better for the industry as a whole.

And we definitely benefit from. Um, we don’t necessarily have our footprint in Virginia just yet. I don’t know why, but that would be something that we’ll definitely be looking into. We’ve been talking lately about heading back up to New York.

Revisiting and just connecting the dots. Some of the people that we met up with before the coronavirus hit. So definitely like expansion wise, big things are going on in terms of legalization. 

Q: You guys said your footprint really isn’t in Virginia. So why do, why do you think that is? You guys are, I don’t know if you’re the only one, but you guys are one of the most prominent  black owned rolling paper brands out there. Why do you think the trickle down is kind of slow?

CK: I mean, we definitely have people reaching out that are in the Virginia area asking about locations. It’s just something that hasn’t clicked and happened yet. As a small business, you’re kind of strapped for time and resources.

So the pockets that are the most beneficial to us, is what we spent a lot of our time and effort on. It’s just how it happened I guess. Virginia just hasn’t been one of those places, but you know, it’s right around the corner. I know hella people from Virginia. And I don’t know if y’all are familiar, but Virginia’s got like this taboo feel in terms of like the cannabis industry.

Lex: Yeah, I was even telling my sibling earlier. I was like, you just don’t really mess with VA. It’s a Commonwealth state.You’re gonna have people that get caught up. It’s a Commonwealth state and you know, black folks in Commonwealth states.

Vic: Some of the laws are similar to Georgia. I’m from Atlanta, CK is from Georgia as well. So  when you think about cannabis, weed or ganja, whatever you want to call it, you don’t even want to ride around with a J (joint) in your car, because if you get stopped by

the police.. Depending on where you are, you’re going away..if you look like me, you know what I’m saying? 

CK: So that they may be like the underlying thing behind it, but I couldn’t pinpoint and give no real reason. I couldn’t answer that one.

Vic: But just wait on it though!

448: Most definitely. We want to do everything in our power to get you guys to that point. Because personally, once I discovered you guys and came across the papers I was, I’m gonna go ahead and make a purchase, man. I need get on with these folks.

I don’t like smoking blunts anymore. I’ve transitioned recently, so I want to stick to strictly papers. And I just can’t see myself giving money to Raw or these other little rolling paper companies. When you guys are black, you guys make a beautifully packaged product, it smokes. I had a three pack and all of them are gone.

I went fully through the first one, and then the other two, just life happened to them. We just going to chalk it up to life. But they smoke great though! So I’m kind of wondering like, why isn’t anyone else on these and on you guys (widely)? And like, why isn’t anybody else pushing. 

Q: What do you guys feel would get you guys to that next phase of your business?

CK: I think we’re going through it right now. We’re having a lot of growing pains, a lot of good things happening. Like we sold out of the product and trying to get it fulfilled fast enough (to meet demand). But just things like THIS. Connecting with people across different parts of the US and just spreading our mission and what we’re about.

So we greatly appreciate being on this platform. We’re definitely seeing like, you know, between interview requests, sales coming in, podcasts, things are on the up and up and up. And it’s only getting better. We really had to lay down the ground foundation, get our systems in place, get our team in place. Our team was growing even. We added a new creative director onto the team. We got new ambassadors. Not even just nationally, but internationally too. 

Just connecting with our brothers and sisters in England, in the islands and stuff like that. So when all these things kind of connect, it’s just going pop (snaps fingers). 

Vic: This all happened in a super organic way as well man. We like to connect with likeminded people. Black, White, whoever, you know what I’m saying? But slowly but surely we’re growing, we ultimately want to become a household name similar to some of how these other companies are. When you think of brands, popular brands, you think of like the Apples, the Nikes, you know, some of these companies are synonymous with greatness and the products they produce. We hope to one day be up there with those companies as well. 

448: Yeah, for sure. We can definitely see it. You guys are definitely on your way. When I got the product, I got my papers. To me, the packaging was, I was really taken aback. I was like, “Man!” “And they’re black and the product looks good?!”

The feeling was almost as if I was smoking royalty (because of the gold).

CK: Hey, that’s the exact feeling we’re trying to create. So I’m glad that he say that. 

Lex: Literally we say “Affordable luxury.” Some people say hood rich. Somebody said that to me and I was like, “Oh, I never thought of it like that. But I’m not mad! I like it! And I think that’s something that black people really like, it’s that feeling of luxury.

And like you just said, I think royalty, that’s a great word to use with that gold, that accent. We, like that bling, that flash. It exudes that. So thank you!

 448: …Like Kanye said, “It’s in a black person’s soul to rock that gold.”
All: (Laughs)

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