Stoners get a bad wrap when it comes to their work ethic. However, stoner rappers tend to nip that notion in the bud and have a seemingly relentless work ethic when it comes to releasing music. Need proof? See Berner.
The California rapper has released more than twenty projects over his ten(ish) year career and shows no signs of slowing down (he recently announced a joint project with B-Real, Styles P and Jadakiss). In addition to this, the 37 year old high school dropout has two clothing lines and a variety of marijuana infused business ventures. Weed’s supposed to make you dumb, right? So how’s this guy managing to stay this successful? Simply put, he simply works as much as possible.
“I just don’t sleep,” said Berner while speaking with Power 106. “When I walked in [to this interview] I woke up at 6AM today and I’m going to bed around 3[AM] or 4[AM]. I sleep four hours a night and at the end of the day, to run these businesses and to do this music, you got to be hands on or your shit’s gonna fall off. That’s the way I look at it.”
While chopping it up with the Los Angeles based radio station, the San Francisco native mentioned his success didn’t come easy as he had to stay persistent or risk going broke. In the end however, that worked out in his favour due to the idea of failure ultimately keeping him on his grind.
“I lost a lot tryna invest in myself,” said the Taylor Gang artist. “I invested my last $19,000 at the time [into my companies]. I had the companies bringing in $10.5-$10.6 million last year from $19,000 I put in it. That happens a lot with what I do because when you put your own money into yourself, you’re not gonna let it slip I mean, if you [use] someone else’s money you might not care as much. [If] I go spend a bunch of money it makes me motivated to go harder.”
His entrepreneurial spirit started in his teens and was reinforced by his parents even after he decided school wasn’t going to be a route he was interested in. During those years, Berner thought he was going to follow the route of a famous rock star but his hustle was halted by his late mother, who finally set him straight and inspired him to focus on something a bit more legal.
“I thought I was gonna be like Kurt Cobain when I was growing up – like when I was young getting stoned, I was like 14, 13 [years old] I was a big fan of like Nirvana, stuff like that – and I just knew that I didn’t wanna work for nobody else like, that’s lame to me,” he said.
“My parents always taught me to be your own boss and that just stuck in my head like work for yourself, create your own situations, so I just knew [what I wanted to do] when I dropped out of school and whatnot. Rest in peace to my mom she told me ‘I don’t know what you’re doing selling drugs or what you’re doing, doing what you’re doing, but I know you’re doing it for a bigger purpose and I hope that you find that bigger purpose and I’mma rock with you and support you no matter what but I know you’re better than this’ and that kinda stuck in my head you know?”
The sage advice from his mom lead to a successful rap career which he used as a platform to launch his enterprise. He doesn’t plan on putting rap on the back-burner anytime soon and, as it turns out, he didn’t simply use rap as a vessel to get his other businesses started; he loves the art form and wants to continue making dope music for the masses.
“I worked with everybody man, like everybody on my list that I’ve wanted to work with,” said Berner. “That’s my whole goal with music, I’m a fan of music. I ain’t trippin off no plaques or none of that, I just want to work with people I grew up listening to and have them respect my craft because that’s the goal right?”
The full interview can be viewed below and throughout the ~12 minute Q&A session the weed connoisseur discusses how he linked up with Wiz Khalifa, having a fan in Drake, the pros and cons of marijuana legalization, his favourite collab, his cocaine use and more.