Rappers Denied Backwoods Cigars for Taste of Chicago

chicago backwoods cigar

Hip Hop artist Trumpeter Donnie Trumpet had a special request for the city of Chicago when he played the Taste of Chicago last summer — the favor was to have “blunt wraps”, more directly the hip hop culture popular Backwoods Cigars.

The musician and producer, who is a part of Chance the Rapper’s hip-hop group Savemoney, asked for 3 packs of “Backwoods cigars blunt wraps” as part of his agreement when he played the Taste of Chicago last July 2016.

Though the city of Chicago agreed to pay him his fee of $15,000 for the show itself, it denied his request for the Backwoods cigars. These cigars have become a fan favorite of hip-hop aficionados, who sometimes cut them open and replace the tobacco with weed thus changing its name to a blunt.

The house band on the “Tonight Show” called The Roots had a very similar agreement request, asking the city of Chicago for “4 packs of Backwoods cigars namely the blend [Sweet Aromatic].” The Roots did not suggest using the Backwoods cigars as potential blunt wraps, but their request was still rejected by the city of Chicago, which ended up paying The Roots $120,000 for their performance at the Taste of Chicago venue.

Chicago has a long history of rejecting performers’ routine requests for alcohol, as it did this year (2016). Almost all the acts performing at this year’s Taste of Chicago had requested alcohol in their standard agreement, all except for Prince’s former percussionist Sheila E, whose rider clearly informed that that there should be “no alcoholic beverages” in any of her band mate’s dressing rooms.

While over the top demands contained in rock stars’ riders are common one in particular that greatly exemplified this was the request there be a bowl of M&Ms for this band, but with all the brown M&Ms removed. This was requested by the famous rock band Van Halen back in the 1980s and that this request was widely misunderstood, according to lead singer and former front man David Lee Roth.

Roth explained in a 2012 video that the apparently preposterous request was one that was buried in Van Halen’s agreement which they used to expose venues that hadn’t closely read the technical requirements stipulated in the band’s contract: Roth explained that most venues that screwed up the M&Ms request typically had “danger issues” and would screwed up how they would set up the stage, Roth said.

We can only guess was that Donnie Trumpet’s reason for requesting the Backwoods cigars (blunt wraps) too.


Greg Elam

Windy City Cigars