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Former Roseland Rapper And Kanye West Bandmate Teams Up With Dame Dash On Weed Comedy, ‘Stoned’

How did a trip to visit an old friend turn into a career opportunity of a lifetime? Lucien Watson's whirlwind journey started when Ye invited him to his ranch, where Dame Dash plucked him to star in a new movie.

Roseland native Lucien Watson (left) is starring in his first feature film, "Stoned," produced and directed by former Rock-a-fella Co-founder Dame Dash.
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BRONZEVILLE — It’s something out of a movie itself: a man reconnects with an old bandmate on a trip of a lifetime and finds himself starring in his first major film directed by a hip hop legend.

That is exactly what happened to Lucien Watson, now the star of “Stoned.” The stoner comedy in the tradition of “Half Baked” and “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle” was produced by Dame Dash (yes, that Dame Dash) and shot over eight days at Kanye West’s Wyoming ranch during the early stages of the pandemic.

The story follows two former camp buddies, Watson and fellow newcomer Valor Gorsch as Marquis and Joel, who link up at the home of Marquis’s uncle. When Marquis loses his luggage — and the marijuana inside — they set off on a hilarious journey to find some more product.

“Stoned” is now streaming on Peacock, Tubi and the Dame Dash Network.

A clip from “Stoned,” a new comedy produced by Dame Dash.

Watson, a project manager from Roseland, was in rap groups Dead Poets Society and State of Mind with West in the ‘90s, meeting the then-teenage producer through a mutual friend. The two stayed in touch intermittently as West’s career took off.

Then in early 2020, Watson got a call from another mutual friend telling him the billionaire rap star wants to see him. Soon he’s on a first-class flight to Wyoming, he said.

“I’m at work and [West’s manager] John Monopoly calls me asking me to come out to the ranch. Next thing I know I’m on a plane to Billings, Montana, where there’s a car waiting to drive me down,” said Watson. “It was crazy.”

The two old friends reconnected as West was mounting his brief presidential run. Watson said the ranch was a flurry of activity, with stars like Justin Bieber hanging out or making music.

One day, Watson happened to walk past West as he was talking to Dame Dash — the erstwhile co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records and entrepreneur known for changing hip hop’s landscape in the ‘90s and aughts — complimenting him on his work. Later that day at dinner, Watson was joking around with friends when Dash turned to West, saying of Watson, “I’m going to put him in a movie,” Watson said.

Watson said he thought it was a joke until he got a call from Dash’s assistant instructing him to get in the car parked in front of his hotel to meet the film crew that had just arrived from a private jet. Just like that, he was cast as Marquis, Watson said.

When the actor initially cast as Joel left due to a family emergency, Dash called in Gorsch and quickly got to work. Dash already had a script and decided to start shooting right away, Watson said.

“It was during the pandemic and Ye was off on the other side of the ranch doing his thing and there’s so much creativity happening it made sense to do something,” Dash said. “Why not make a movie?”

While starring in a feature film for the first time may unnerve anyone, the Morgan Park High School grad said he fit right in. 

“I didn’t feel pressured or nervous. What helped is that the people on set told me, ‘Yo, just be you,’ and I was like ‘Are you sure about that?’” Watson said. “And I just let it ride.”

The experience sparked something in Watson he thought he’d lost a long time ago. Now the actor is looking for other film opportunities to flex his newfound talents, including scriptwriting, Watson said.

Dash told Block Club the script for the “Stoned” sequel is already in the can and ready to shoot when Watson is.

In the meantime, Watson is hoping to grow his recently launched nonprofit, The Duffelbag Project, which connects formerly incarcerated residents with resources to help them stay free. The father knows the difficulty firsthand; he served time for drug charges when he was younger, spent some of his incarceration teaching older inmates how to read and write letters to loved ones.

Watson is working with Hustle Mommies Founder Ariel DeNey to provide opportunities to those denied them, he said.

“What I want to do is help rebuild Black families and communities from the inside out,” Watson said. “We’re teaching someone how to lay brick and mortar so that they can go on and teach someone. We can fix adults and those adults can fix their families.”

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