ATLANTA - Snoop Dogg remembered watching all of the Cheech and Chong movies growing up, idolizing the pothead tandem's ability to always escape from danger in their comedy films.
Wiz Khalifa revered Snoop Dogg for his weed-smoking, ultra-smooth West Coast swagger shown extensively throughout his rap career.
One is the mentor, the other the protege. Since the two rappers met for the first time last year, they've built a strong rapport and have united to create their own album, Mac & Devin Go to High School, released this month.
The album is the soundtrack of the rappers' stoner comedy Mac & Devin Go to High School, expected to be released early in 2012. The duo feel they are capable of following in the footsteps of Cheech and Chong, who gained fame through their marijuana humor.
"They smoked joints, they were funny, they were cool, and they would get into real situations," Snoop Dogg said. "To me, that's what me and Wiz represent. A lot of kids growing up don't understand who Cheech and Chong are. So we're the modern-day image of them. We're bringing it back."
Snoop Dogg and Khalifa have embodied the fun-filled, carefree life, with a devotion to smoking marijuana. Their easygoing demeanor is displayed on their single "Young, Wild & Free," featuring Bruno Mars, which peaked at No. 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
The rappers are the latest popular hip-hop characters to create an album and movie revolving around their pothead excursions. Rapper Redman and Method Man appeared in the 2001 film How High.
But Khalifa said he and Snoop Dogg were "trying to create our own lane."
"There have been others to pave the way for us, so we're just trying to keep it going, and tell our own stories," added Khalifa, who finished a six-city tour with Snoop Dogg last week.
Some believe the rappers are having too much fun with their storytelling. In May, there were reports that school officials canceled the filming of High School at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif., after learning that the theme was centered on marijuana, an illegal substance.
When contacted by the Associated Press, school officials declined to comment.
Snoop Dogg and Khalifa, who both stand at a lanky 6-foot-4, coolly denied there were any problems.
"We heard about it, but it didn't mean much to us," Snoop Dogg said. "We got done what we needed to get done. It was shot and promptly prepared." Snoop Dogg, 40, took a liking to Khalifa, 24, after he noticed his kids' infatuation with the Pittsburgh-bred rapper's ubiquitous 2010 hit "Black and Yellow." From there, Snoop invited Khalifa to his home in Los Angeles.
"We have built a bond and a friendship that's going to last a lifetime," Khalifa said. "People will hear it in the music, and see it in the movie." After a conversation that lasted a few hours, the two rappers decided that same day to collaborate. They didn't waste time, filming the movie and recording the album within two months.
In High School, Khalifa stars as a senior valedictorian named Devin who is focused only on his academics. He breaks out of his shell after meeting Snoop Dogg's character, Mac, a teenage student (yes, he is playing a teen) who has street smarts but struggles to apply them in the classroom.
Snoop described his partnership with Khalifa as "a magical situation."
"I've been around magic a lot of times," he said, "from being with Dr. Dre, Tupac, Master P., and Nate Dogg. What me and Wiz had was a magical moment right there."