As a producer, Cozmo has worked with some of the best rappers in the business. His new album, If Tomorrow Never Comes, drops today and is a lot like a compilation of songs he’s recorded over the past five years — a best of the best of unreleased tracks. Known for his work with Berner, Cozmo has built a network of friends in both music and weed.
Cozmo has always made music but also grew and sold weed to support himself. A close friend of Berner for years, Cozmo became attuned to California exotics and watched the rise of Cookies. He never was interested in riding his friend’s coattails, but a few years back he linked up with an old friend Frank, whose rec brand Dubz Garden was blowing up thanks to strains like Peanut Butter Breath.
Together, Cozmo and Frank run Dubz Garden and its sister brand La Coz, which is Cozmo’s own line. While Dubz Garden/La Coz has been known for dropping fire strains, the La Coz brand is expanding, having brought their own strain to market, Amaretti.
Returning to his music hasn’t been about pressuring himself to record, Cozmo said. He likes to write based on emotion, he says, so that his music is authentic and free-flowing.
“Emotion doesn’t strike all the time. You can’t just sit down and create emotions; that shit’s got to come. I try to strike a nerve when I rap. I want to say something that’s going to give somebody goosebumps or give them chills,” Cozmo said.
He stopped forcing himself into the studio to produce work.
“I just learned that over time is to just write when you feel it. That’s when the dope shit comes.”
The themes on his latest album speak to where he’s at in his life now. He goes a little deeper, looks inside, and sees his life in relation to time. He says its not radically different from what listeners have come to know.
“People know what to expect when they hear my shit. It’s like some real-life intellectual street shit or some trap shit. Every now and then I try to go deep, make a cool concept song, story song, but I don’t steer too far away from my shit,” Cozmo said.
The artwork for the album looks like an old religious text that ominously says “If tomorrow Never Comes.” The idea is simple but profound: what are you leaving behind if you never get another day on earth?
“I really am at the point in life where every day is extra for me. Not because I’m living some crazy, wild life, but just like natural causes, health, anything. I’m really fortunate to wake up every day, and that’s how I treat shit,” Cozmo said.
From his perspective, he values living in the moment and appreciating every day.
“I try to make sure I’m living from this state of mind that I’m doing everything I can possible, where, God forbid, we don’t make it to the next day, you’re leaving your legacy intact. You’re spending time with your kids, you’re saving the money, you’re building the generation of wealth, and you’re building the brand. You’re doing right by the people around you. You’re leaving nothing undone.”
“So, that’s why I got the pictures of the family on the cover, because it symbolizes, if tomorrow never comes, what really mattered? Was it the money and the jewels and how cool you looked? Or was it how you treated people and the impact you left with the individuals close to you? How many people did you help? You know what I’m saying? How solid were you with your wife and your kids? Things like that, man. I’m just like at a point where that’s the shit that I really respect and value that I see in my friends.”
The album features some dope collabs with artists that he’s built relationships with over time.
“I’m big on relationships, and I’m not good with the one-sided things where you’re chasing somebody and there’s no reciprocation or whatever, that gets old quick. So, everybody I work with, I feel like the respect is mutual,” Cozmo said.
Cozmo has long been in the weed game but he linked up with his old friend Frank whose brand Dubz Garden was doing well in the competitive California market. Cozmo took on helping to push the brand, get it in stores, and use his network of connections.
But around 2018 Coz decided he needed to work on his own weed brand, so his supporters could have something specifically his.
“I think a lot of people want to support me. I’ve been behind the scenes for so long, there’s been nothing for them to fully support of mine solely.”
He was responding to his fans desire to support him when he started thinking of his own weed line. He came up with La Coz because it sounded foreign and elite, something exotic that matches the weed he smokes.
“I’m a super snobby fucking smoker, bro. I’ve been around rooms full of the best weed, and I’m big on taste more than high. Just like food. Like, this shit might not fill me up, but it’s going to taste incredible,” he said.
The two worlds of weed and music are not so far apart, Coz says.
“I think the weed and the music are super parallel as far as one promotes the other. And obviously we all know the relationship that weed and music has as far as music lovers love weed, et cetera. But aside from that, I think one there’s super parallels just as far as the marketing of cannabis and the marketing of the album,” Coz said.
“Having the music to promote the weed and vice versa is golden.”
Having built up a solid reputation in music, he feels like he has two related platforms to play off of each other.
“The fact that I have both, I feel like I just got to utilize both platforms. To reference Berner again, it’s like this guy is the master of always having something going. So, if it’s not the weed, it’s a strain. If it’s not the strain, it’s the merch. If it’s not the merch, it’s a video. If it’s not a video, it’s a pen,” Coz said.
So La Coz weed goes great with Cozmo’s new music.
“Using this one to fuel the other is super vital. And a lot of the people that are fans of the weed are fans of the music as well. So, I feel like you’re kind of feeding both audiences ultimately.”
But in both cases, he keeps his circle tight and he doesn’t see the music or the weed as a cash grab.
“I’m not doing it for the money. What feels good about this album is I’m coming in the game myself, and I’m content with who I am, and I can stand behind the music, and I’m not talking about shit that’s out of character, and I’m not talking about killing people, things that I have no intention of doing. It’s street shit, but it’s honest street shit.”
Today Cozmo is most focused on living the life he lives and staying honest. After all, if Tomorrow Never Comes, how will you be remembered?
“I’ll come out the pocket, I’ll empty my bank, I’ll go broke before I burn a bridge, lose a relationship, fuck up my frequency. It’s just certain things that shit means the world to me. What are people going to tell your kids about you when you’re no longer here? That’s the biggest thing to me.”