The man, the myth, the legend - HookahFrank! Regardless of how long you've been smoking, it's almost impossible that you haven't heard of this man. HookahFrank, or "Daddy Canez" as he's known in some circles, is one of the OG reviewers, and is currently a social media and marketing analyst for Tangiers Tobacco. As one of the original YouTube reviewers, he helped pioneer and pave the way for most of the YouTube reviewers that have followed since then. We were lucky enough to have him agree to an interview with us, so pack a bowl and join us as we talk about Tangiers, the legacy that is HookahFrank, and just hookah in general!
Me: Hey Frank! I'd like to first thank you for agreeing to join me today, it means a lot to me and the B2 Hookah team.
Frank: As an avid hookah smokers I'd have to say you guys have some great hookahs that smoke exceptionally.
Me: Glad to hear it! So, first, in a phrase, who is HookahFrank? What defines who you are, and what you do?
Frank: I'm a passionate hookah smoker who has been involved in the hobby for almost 11 years now. I've also had the opportunity to travel the world because of my passion for hookah, having gone to Lebanon, Egypt and Dubai 2 years ago and Germany last year. I'm also fortunate to be able to work in the industry I love now too.
Me: What is it that you do?
Frank: I'm involved with Social Media and Marketing with Tangiers Tobacco. My main responsibility is to gauge consumer acceptance of Tangiers flavors, and analyzing that information.
Me: That's awesome! That sounds like a very unique job. What's it like to work in the industry of a hobby that you've been involved in for 11 years?
Frank: It feels great to work along side people who I have become good friends with throughout the year. Back when I was doing my reviews, I was able to attend the tobacco conventions and meet and develop friendships with many people in our industry.
Me: That's fantastic. What do you attribute to your success?
Frank: Part of the reason for my success has been the fact that although I might be "famous" in the hookah industry I am still humble and don't boast in the success. My reputation has also helped attribute to my success, as well as the honest opinions I give in my reviews.
Me: I can definitely understand that, you have some great info out there on your channel. What video are you the most proud of on your channel?
Frank: The Cheech and Chong Double Bubble review is the video I am most proud of. Two months after I uploaded it I was informed by a representative at Haze that Cheech and Chong's associates saw it and really liked it and we're going to share it across their social media platform. That was very humbling for me and that was why that video became as popular as it did. That's the time when my channel took off. Once that video was promoted by Cheech and Chong then I saw that affect my other videos with them getting more popular as well.
Me: That makes a lot of sense, I'm not surprised that it blew up. Who have been some of your other reviewers over the past 11 years, yourself aside?
Frank: Adam Rice (hookahandbeyond), Smokeorpass (Shaun), dudewheresmyhookah (Rob), Stricklyshisha (Zac), hookahchef (Christian), hookahtv (fletcher/stooks) Those are some of my favorite reviewers.
Me: A lot of my favorites as well! Great reviewers for sure. What has been the singular coolest thing that you've seen in the industry over the last 11 years? For example, the growth of Tangiers, seeing the recent dark blend craze, funnel bowls, etc. I guess, in summary, what has been your favorite growth in the industry?
Frank: The evolution of hookahs. We've moved on from the tried and true KM to hookahs like the B2 Reaper for example.
Me: Yes, hookahs have absolutely come a long way. You have quite an extensive collection yourself, correct? How many do you have, and which is your favorite?
Frank: I have about 15 hookahs between here in Alpine (San Diego) and back home in Vegas. My Wookah and Regal Queen are my favorite hookahs.
Me: Very nice! I'm actually smoking my Wookah right now! Alright, so lets talk Tangiers for a little while. How long have you been working with them?
Frank: I've been working with them for 2 years now although I've been in Eric's circle of close friends for almost 8 years.
He always thought I worked for Haze which is why he didn't offer me a job sooner. It wasn't until after I had convinced him that I had never worked for Haze that he offered me a position with the company.
Me: How did you meet Eric? He's very much an enigma in the hookah industry, I don't think there are any pictures of him literally anywhere on the internet, not to mention that he seems to practically be 100% quiet towards the communities as well. For how loved that Tangiers is as a brand, it's rather surprising honestly. That's very funny, I had never heard about the Haze story.
When I first met Eric I was in San Diego with the owner of hookahdomain back in the day Jacob Wulff
...we went and visited with different hookah companies and vendors who I am still friends with today. A week before the Chronic Hookah Coals first came out cause thats when I met John Naddour as well.
Wow, that had to be a trip to remember without a doubt. So, you're known as "Daddy Canez", so obviously you have a deep love for Cane Mint. What are your top five hookah flavors that AREN'T Cane Mint?
Frank: Tangiers Indian Summer, Tangiers Static Starlight, Haze Subzero, Starbuzz Spicy Red, and Double Apple.
Me: Which DA? Most DA smokers seem to have clear cut favorites when it comes to their DA flavors.
Frank: Nakhla, although I like flavors like Haze Eve's Temptation also which is a mix with double apple and subzero I believe.
Me: Yeah Eve's Temptation flavor is great for sure. What kind of stuff can we expect to see next from Tangiers? Anything major in the works that you can talk about?
Frank: I can't disclose much...new flavors are being worked on.
Hey, that's more than I could ask for! Glad to hear it! What do you think that the next big thing in hookah will be? The next "Lotus" innovation?
Frank: I'd like to see a base that stays cold for an extended period similar to a Yeti cup. I think that would be a very beneficial product for a lounge.
Me: That's interesting, I've never actually heard of an idea like that. That would, without a doubt, be a huge seller. What do you think is the biggest mistake that most smokers make?
They use quick lights and don't know how to pack a bowl right, whether its overpacked or there isn't enough tobacco in the bowl.
Me: Yeah, I think that's a safe bet for sure. So what do you think makes Tangiers such an international phenomenon? It's a brand that people across the globe go absolutely crazy for, but why is that?
Frank: It's a great product it speaks for itself. People in Brazil and Russia go crazy for it. I get messages from them everyday inquiring about Tangiers.
No doubt there! What do you think it does different that makes it so unique? Is it the style of tobacco? The unique pack style? The flavors?
Frank: The style of tobacco and the flavors. The first hookah tobacco of its type. I remember when Hookafina Blak came out and tried a similar style, and now all these dark leaf brands have came to fruition in the last few years.
Me: Lets... not talk about Hookahfina Blak. I try to forget that it exists for the most part. Do you think that, if not for Tangiers, these brands would still be doing these dark leaf flavors?
Frank: Tangiers started the innovation although its technically not a dark leaf tobacco because the molasses is what makes it black.
Me: I think I've got everything I need for a great article, so thank you again for joining me today Frank! Is there anything that you'd like to say to the readers?
Frank: Thanks for all the support over the years that I've been reviewing hookah products and flavors. I hope I've been able to help make your hookah sessions better. It's been HookahFrank, Smoke Often, Have fun and enjoy!
Perfect! Thanks again so much Frank, it's been an absolute pleasure!
Frank: Thanks for the opportunity, and best of luck with everything at B2.
I'd just like to take another opportunity to thank Frank for doing this interview with me - it was a wonderful insight into one of the veteran reviewers and hookah smokers minds. Hopefully you all enjoyed the conversation as much as I did! Is there anyone that you'd like to see interviewed in the future? Let me know! Just drop a comment and tell me who you'd like to see interviewed in the future! Interviews are a very fun thing that I love to do, and I love to bring these conversations to you, the reader, as well! As always guys, thank you so much for reading, and happy smokes!