By Wildflower, Photos by Fotogasm
If you thought dreams don’t come true, you have to get behind this story and test those theories somewhere else. It all starts with a family that became refugees from communist Romania that fled for a better life in the United States. Young Lenny Ducano was nearly 7 when he arrived in Southern California. Being a young immigrant, he learned American culture and English through I Love Lucy episodes and Popeye cartoons, and feasted on Cactus Coolers and Carl’s Jr. Hip-hop came into his life around 7th grade, when a friend handed him a cassette of songs called The Chronic by Dr.Dre.
Fast forward into his teenage years, he discovered cannabis and turntables. His early influences include a tape that he came across from a band called Invisibl Scratch Piklz, which featured the genius DJ Qbert. Lenny was determined to figure out how they made this music. The Skratch Piklz were one of the first DJ groups to apply a band concept to turntablism; layering drums, basslines, and scratch solos on top of each other. One of Lenny’s friends and mentors, DJ Tigerfist encouraged him to get the necessary equipment to build his skills. Lenny recalls, “Big ups to my dad for taking me to Astro’s in Glendale and helping me get my first turntable and mixer. A typical immigrant Romanian father would not have the mentality to buy his kid a 350 dollar turntable, but that’s my dad! It was like…damn, Thanks dad!”
In 2010, Lenny was at a show called AFEX hosted by DJ Adam XII, where there was a guest DJ, B-Real. Lenny had randomly discovered B-Real.tv and noticed that B had DJ’s on his show regularly performing. B-Real, being the pioneer of weed and hip-hop had gone to another level when he created an online video network with content, hours of shows, live spots, and most recently, the smoke box, where B-Real interviews various celebrities and artists in a smoked out car.
After the set, he was introduced to B and complemented him on the show and asked if he could do a set for him. As Lenny tells it “I went there and dropped the set and he loved it, so I asked if I could come back in a few weeks, I got this mix tape I want to promote! B let me come back two weeks later and from there we started hanging out, smoking bowls…I just never left, I started doing his show 5 days a week just on the strength that was being built.”
Lenny has a flair for blending various genres of music, including Hall & Oats… yes that happened. Last year at one of the many cannabis expo events, B-Real was handing out mix tape CD’s at the B-Real.tv booth, titled: Dr.Greenthumb vs. Lenny Ducano -Weed Mash, which would later be known as The Medication. Once you hear the CD, you’re hooked; it’s like discovering Black Sunday all over again! B-Real’s voice along with great stoner movie lines mixed precisely in the right places. Cypress Hill lyrics that are updated and blended into new songs that sample tracks from Dr. Dre’s, Kush, and Luniz’s, I got 5 on it, just to name a few. Lenny worked in collaboration with B-Real on the arrangement and mixed it. The result is probably one of the best cannabis loving mix tapes of all time. B-Real is one of the most prolific artists of a generation that helped pump up the legalization movement in the 90’s, and he’s continuing that legacy.
Lenny had the opportunity to open up for Cypress Hill for their 20th anniversary show at The Troubadour in LA in 2011. “I’m fortunate to have gotten very close with B. The way you do that is by being loyal to such a person, and since I’ve given him 100 percent loyalty, he’s allowed me to take on more responsibilities. Five years after we met, we now have a company together.”
PMO, (pack me one) which is a branded line of apparel and also named for their distribution company. Lenny explains “PMO was a stealthy way of telling a friend it’s time to smoke one. Back when I was in high school studying to be in aviation, acronyms were the big thing, so when it was time to chill, pack me one became our phrase, thus PMO.”
Lenny is one seriously busy guy; over the years he has continually built his career through hard work and at DJ battle events. Astro’s DJ battle called Across the Fader in 2011 and Across the Fader 2 in 2012 earned Lenny the coveted 1st place win against dozens of other DJ’s. Lenny says “That competition changed the game for me.” Along the way he’s earned more gigs to perform at regularly. He now has a regular slot on Sirius Xm’s Shade 45 channel, Saturday nights he’s spinning for KDAY in LA, and a DJ on Dash Radio (free online digital radio and apps). If that isn’t enough, he also performs at Lucky Strike bowling alley on Saturdays, and also performs at lounge clubs like Page 71 in Studio City, California. Finally, he’s on B-Real.tv as a regular member of the cast of characters that makes B-Real.TV a growing medium for hip-hop and cannabis fans everywhere. Getting back to PMO, Lenny tells me “We really want to reflect the creativity that cannabis brings artists like ourselves and we want to inspire others to participate in our brand identity.”
DJ Lenny Ducano has many talents, but he keeps himself grounded with work, good friends, and his girlfriend Calla. He explains, “It’s important to have transparency in life, being a transparent company, having transparent relationships with family and friends. If you just be yourself and have the best intentions for everyone around you, everyone will believe in the same vision and will be loyal to you.”
Lastly, when asked who he’d want to have a smoke session with? “Seth Rogan, he’s on the forefront of being a successful stoner, writer, actor, and producer, I think we’d have a good time.”
If you care about Hip-hop, you must check out The Medication and be sure to listen in for DJ Lenny on all of the various platforms where he can be heard. He and B-Real are working on their second mix tape together to be released sometime early next year called The medication 2. So you see dreams do come true, including those who smoke a lot of cannabis and work hard for making their dreams become a reality.
You can find out more about PMO by visiting www.packmeone.com
Name: DJ Lenny Ducano
Favorite strain: Jet fuel OG
Favorite method of ingestion: Pack me one