Opie Ortiz: Tattoo Artist, Muralist, and Singer of Long Beach Dub Allstars [Into the Weeds Podcast Recap]
In this week’s edition of Into the Weeds (ITW) we sit down with musician, tattoo artist, and muralist Opie Ortiz, singer and frontman of The Longbeach Dub Allstars. This marks Opie’s second time on ITW, his first appearance was with his brother Phileano the Doobie Raider, and they discussed growing up in the house that ended up being the birthplace of Sublime, (We hope to re-release this episode in the future). On this episode Opie shares his harrowing experience being arrested and incarcerated for cannabis while on tour in Japan. Opie gives a detailed and very candid account of one of the scariest times of his life.
The current cannabis laws in Japan include banning the import, export, cultivation, sale, purchase, and research of cannabis buds and leaves. Penalties for violating Japan's cannabis laws are some of the strictest in the world. The penalty for possession of cannabis in Japan is up to five years imprisonment, while possession for the purpose of trafficking is up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of ¥2 million (US$18,347)
Opie Ortiz: A True artist
Opie Ortiz is a legendary tattoo artist, muralist and musician based out of Long Beach, California. His tattoo career skyrocketed when Bradley Nowell of Sublime featured a tattoo of a tribal sun by Opie on the Front of Sublime’s 40 Oz To Freedom. At the time, Opie was already a part of the Sublime family. His photo is also the cover of Subline’s release, Robbin’ The Hood.
After Bradley Nowell of Sublime’s tragic passing, the remaining members and featured players of Sublime started a new band called Long Beach Dub AllStars, with Opie as lead singer. The name, abbreviated to LBDA, was a name Bradley Nowell himself came up with as a potential replacement for Sublime, if they ever needed or decided to change names.
LBDA has since released three studio albums; Right Back (1999), which made it to number 67 on Billboard, Wonders of the World (2001), which made it to number 59 Billboard, and most recently, Long Beach Dub Allstars (2020), a self-titled album the band has begun touring since the Covid 19 pandemic.
A lifelong devotee to art and expression, Opie is also a well known, if not legendary graffiti writer. When asked if he was still into graffiti back on his ITW appearance in 2018, he replied, “It’s been a minute, but I’ll fuck up a wall anytime”.
Opie’s sound, soul and expression can be seen across all his mediums. A true artist, who feels the temperature of the street and turns it into love.
Opie Ortiz makes a rare second appearance on Into The Weeds (ITW)
It’s not common that ITW repeats guests. The nature of the show itself is to be an evergreen podcast that tells the story of how a guest discovered cannabis. We don’t often make episodes where we ask how someone got into the weeds, again.
However, when Opie Ortiz reached out and told us that he wanted to come on the show to tell us about being incarcerated in Japan for cannabis possession, we obviously obliged.
First of all, we are so grateful that Opie made it back to the people who love him safe and sound and his bandmates were right when they told him to “stay calm, and that this was just a bump in the road.”.
We’re also grateful that Opie gave us the opportunity to tell his story. We later learned that TMZ also reached out to get this story; Opie told them he’d only tell the story to “his homies”.
So this is a true ITW exclusive that needed to be included in this “best of” series.
A true friend to the show, keep an eye out for anything Opie Ortiz has coming down the pipeline and enjoy this very special episode of Into The Weeds.
ABOUT THE ITW PODCAST
ITW is an hour-long podcast known for its conversational flow and intriguing quests. ITW host’s include musician and advocate Ben Rispin (MJR Label Genetics, Rules, Saint Alvia Cartel), musician and entrepreneur, Efrem Martinez-Shulz (Death By Stereo, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Programme Skate & Sound), and Canadian cannabis industry-expert Bubba Nicholson (Grey Beard Cannabis).
Every episode finds hosts discussing the state of the cannabis marketplace and its various nuances while guests from across the entertainment and cannabis landscapes share how they “got Into the Weeds”
Find ITW: Get Into The Weeds on Twitter and Instagram @getintotheweeds
You can find Efrem Martinez Shulz on Instagram at @efbystereo
You can find Bubba Nicholson on Instagram @bubbanicholson
You can find Ben Rispin on Instagram @benrispin