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BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Cheech Marin raising spirits

Forward thinking has served Richard “Cheech” Marin well. Along with comedy partner Tommy Chong, they were precursors of stoner humor with classic albums like “Big Bambu,” and a string of movies beginning with “Up in Smoke.” A prominent solo acting career followed with roles in “From Dusk Til Dawn,” “The Lion King,” “Nash Bridges,” “Machete,” “Born in East L.A.,” which he wrote and directed; and most recently recurring on The CW’s “Jane the Virgin.”

We enjoyed scrumptious cocktails at NYC’s Black Barn made with Tres Papalote Mezcal, a spirit that, like tequila, is made out of agave but with a certain smokiness.

“Used to be mezcal water had a worm or a scorpion in it,” explained Marin, who serves as a brand ambassador. “It was a novelty that you could buy in Tijuana or something. The real mezcal is becoming hotter and hotter across the country. It’s the real hipster drink now. I like it preferably as a mixer.”

I drank to that with The Cheech, made with grilled pineapple, serrano chili, lime and agave. The stand-out collector’s edition bottle is a glass sculpture designed by the De La Torre brothers, owners of the biggest Chicano art collection in the world, that is adorned with art by Marin.

The 69-year-old renaissance man is currently in the middle of filming a Cheech & Chong documentary and working on a sitcom with Paul Rodriquez and his popular skateboarding son Paul Rodriquez Jr. Next year, his first memoir is to be published by Hachette.

When asked if he has capitalized on marijuana legalization, Marin slyly said, “Why yes. Funny you should mention it,” before describing the multi-strain “personal line called Cheech’s Private Stash, edibles, crumbles and all those things.”

Just don’t expect him to return to “Dancing with the Stars.”

“I just came in to help Tommy and drive him on,” said Marin. “He had to do all the dancing. It’s funny cause I wasn’t on the show and one week I got 4,000 votes. So how brilliant are these guys? I think it’s the same people who vote for Trump.”

HEAD START: Snoop Dogg fans can start drinking “Coolaid,” his first hip hop album in five years, early via pre-order with consumers getting his latest single, “Kush Ups,” featuring Wiz Khalifa, as an instant free track. The release, available digitally on July 1 and in physical stores on July 15, features additional collaborations with Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze, E-40 and more.

TASTY QUIP: “There’s no one way to be black. I’m black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I’m raising black men. Don’t you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain.” – ZOE SALDANA to Allure

CLIPPETTES: The BET Experience continues at Staples Center with Usher and Bryson Tiller on June 24; Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Fetty Wap, A$AP Ferg and others the following evening …

In addition to the music, Gabrielle Union, Melissa Harris-Perry, Birdman, Jermaine Dupri, Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, are just some of the panelists for their 2016 “Genius Talks” series, June 25 (2:45–7 p.m.) and June 26 (1:30–3 p.m.) at the L.A. Convention Center.  Entry will be on a first come, first served basis …

A Tribe Called Quest was presented the ASCAP Golden Note Award by André 3000 at the 29th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards at The Beverly Wilshire. The tribute included posthumous recognition for Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor, one of the group’s founding members …

Toro Y Moi and a surprise special guest are billed as DJs for Degrees of Perfect, a first-of-its-kind exhibition of art + engineering, June 24 at The Container Yard …

RZA is executive producing a TV version of the “Black Samurai” novels with Common attached to star …

Dr. Gloria Morrow’s “The Things that Make Me Cry,” featuring Dorien Wilson (“The Parkers”) and Lou Beatty Jr., returns to the Barnsdall Gallery Theater for an engagement June 24-26 …

Jazzmen Ndugu Chancler and Justo Almario are among the performers in Classical Remix on June 25 as part of the free Grand Performances outdoor concert series at California Plaza …

Reggae Night XV celebrates its milestone on June 26 with Burning Spear, Ky-Mani Marley and Etana at the Hollywood Bowl.

TASTY QUIP: “Keep a little ratchet in your life! You need ratchet balance!” – OPRAH WINFREY to EUR’s Fahnia Thomas

TC ON TV: June 24 – “Kimbo Slice” (Spike): The recently deceased 42 year-old MMA fighter is remembered.  “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO): Larry Willmore, Michael Steele.

June 25 – “#WeMissYouMJ” (Fuse): On the sixth anniversary of his passing, the legendary Michael Jackson is commemorated with this 6 ½ hour music video block. “Deon Cole: Cole-Blooded Seminar” (Comedy): The comic actor (“Black-ish,” “Barbershop: The Next Cut”) gets his first one-hour stand-up special.

June 26 – “BET Awards” (BET): Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse Williams and Prince are honored in the ceremonies hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC): It’s Ernie Hudson vs NeNe Leakes!  “The Match Game” (ABC): This revival seats Sherri Shepherd, Tituss Burgess (“Kimmy Schmidt”), Horatio Sanz (“SNL”) and designer Isaac Mizhrahi.

June 29 – “Celebrity Food Fight” (Food): This episode is “Too Coolio for Schoolio.”

June 30 – “Greatest Hits” (ABC): 1980-1985 is repped by Pitbull, Ray Parker, Jr., Jason Derulo, Kenny Loggins, Kool & The Gang and other stars in this series premiere hosted by Arsenio Hall and Kelsea Ballerini.

SPREAD LOVE: Dionne Warwick’s Burt Bacharach/Hal David penned hit “What the World Needs Now is Love,” is covered for Orlando LGBT funds by stage stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gloria Estefan, Fran Drescher, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Whoopi Goldberg, Wayne Brady, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Carole King, Rosie Perez and more. Visit BroadwayRecords.com to donate.

TASTY QUIP: “It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter. It’s not a new thing to me — it’s what Lauryn Hill was saying in the 1990s, or Public Enemy in the 1980s. Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That’s a more interesting question.” – M.I.A. on Twitter

“Tasty Clips” is an entertainment column published in The Wave to update readers on the activities and accomplishments of black celebrities and artists in television, in music and at the movies. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tastyclips@yahoo.com. He can also be reached on Twitter @tastyclips.