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Mexican trapero Alemán, famed for his 420-friendly two-album series Humo en la Trampa [Smoke in the Trap], ran into polemic this week after dressing up like a priest and passing out joints as “communion” while filming a music video in an actual Catholic church. 

The cannabis controversy took place in the Santuario Guadalupano church in Hermosillo, Sonora, and was complicated further when the holy institution’s priest himself, Luis Armando, announced that he had given the rapper permission to film in the church—but not get on top of the platform where the altar was located. The priest also said that the robe that Alemán was wearing in the clips was not a loaner from the church itself, but that the hip-hop artist had supplied his own wardrobe.

@indepenews El rapero mexicano "Alemán", causa polémica tras vestirse como cura y repartir cigarrillos de marihuana dentro de una iglesia en Sonora. #mexico #alemán #sonora #fyp #foryou #parati #noticias ♬ sonido original – Indepe News

Las puertas están abiertas, como dice el Papa Francisco, y nadie somos para juzgar la vida de nadie [The doors are open, as Pope Francisco says, and none of us are here to judge anyone else’s life,” said the priest.

Nonetheless, the holy man asked forgiveness of the Catholics who had been offended, adding that when they saw the music video itself they’d understand that it had a positive message.

The artist himself did not issue a public apology, opting instead to post Genesis 1:29-30, a Bible verse extolling the godliness of green stuff, in his Instagram stories [he posted it in Spanish, but here’s an English translation]:

“‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so.”

It’s unlikely that this controversy will have much impact on Alemán, who has long made a habit of calling out cannabis-related hypocrisy in Mexico. The irony was sharp when, in April of 2020—only one day after dropping Humo en la Trampa 2—Alemán was extorted by the cops for possessing an amount of weed that was decriminalized under Mexican law way back in 2009. Officers pulled the artist over on the way home from the studio and found five grams of flower in his grinder. Alemán wound up having to pay them a bribe of the equivalent of $400 USD.

“You have to understand, the police are like narcotraficantes or organized crime, only in uniform,” Alemán told Remezcla. “That’s how shameless it is.”

(OK that wasn’t his only comment—Alemán followed it up with “F*ck the feds! Ese puerco, que ch*nga su p*ta madre,” which I’m not sure if MERRY JANE will want me to translate.)