Today is April 20 which equates to 420. For those in the know, this day has been popularized to celebrate smoking marijuana, weed, spliff, an “L”, or whatever you call cannabis. The history of the famed holiday amongst weed smokers has been disputed, and contested but, most likely, with most, there is no care for why it’s here, the important thing is that it’s HERE, as in today!
This isn’t about the history or the reason people around the world gather to partake in what most will say is a relaxing pastime, particularly when there is stress around. No, in hip-hop, weed has been popularized more than most topics of discussion, as it goes back to the early days of hip-hop. The references to cannabis are so plentiful that there are songs that include references to weed that only people who spoke marijuana will get.
What has been done today for the celebration of this “holiday”, you know, with it being legal practically everywhere now, is the selection of 7 randomly chosen hip-hop songs that celebrate the culture of cannabis. I purposely left out Snoop Dogg because all we have to do is hit play on ANY Snoop Dogg song and most likely, there’s a weed reference in the song.
Now, let’s puff, puff, pass…..
These are listed in no particular order and it’s not a best-of list or a favorite list but, literally, some of these songs were chosen randomly because listening to songs of this nature may require one (not me) to engage in that activity being mentioned here.
Luniz– I Got 5 On It (1995)
This Oakland-based duo consisted of members Yukmouth and Numskull. This was the world’s introduction to the group as this was the first single off their debut album, Operation Stackola. This can and is heard across clubs and venues around the world and it still gets people to move their necks at any given time. There were two different versions of this song as well as a remix that feature several Bay Area rappers.
Channel Live– Mad Izm (1995)
This particular song takes us across the country to the East Coast right next to the home of hip-hop, New York City. Another duo, the artists, Tuffy and Hakim, who hail from East Orange, NJ received help from their mentor, BDP’s KRS-One on their debut song, Mad Izm. As KRS-One leads the track, the lyrics focus on the “weed-smoking” antics of the pair. The single was off their debut album, Station Identification.
Wiz Khalifa– Mary 3X (2012)
Another known weed-smoker who also debuted with a weed-related song, Black and Yellow, Wiz Khalifa kept that weed on his mind and in his songs. In this song, he celebrates his dedication to the marijuana plant as he insists in the song that “All I need is Mary Mary Mary I ain’t f**kin’ with no other drug!”
Afroman- Because I Got High (2000)
This recording artist can be and has been labeled a one-hit wonder due to, well, no other hit records! But, when he did hit, he hit big, particularly in the weed-smoking community. This song is a favorite among weed smokers and non-cannabis enthusiasts alike. Although it sounds like a parody, many can relate to Afroman’s antics as some listeners can agree with forgetting what they were supposed to do “Because” they “got high!”
Redman- How to Roll a Blunt (1992)
Another artist hailing from New Jersey who was primarily (Well, outside of his lyrical flow) known for his mass use of weed, had a movie he starred in named, How High, which was also a song recorded with his co-star in the movie, Wu-Tang‘s Method Man. At the start of his career, he gave instruction to music lovers everywhere on How to Roll a Blunt and we can safely say that many learned from his guidance on the subject.
Styles P– Good Times (2002)
No, it’s not a remake of the Chic classic, Good Times, but, according to one-third of the rap group, The Lox, they are when he gets “high, high, high, all the time.” The savvy businessman makes certain that he informs hip-hop fans that he gets high, high, high every night, every day, and all the time. This is definitely a song dedicated to cannabis culture.
Outkast– Crumblin’ Erb (1994)
The laidback sounds can only make you want to place a spliff between the lips. Big Boi and Dre allow everyone listening to this song to get in the mood to just relax and roll a blunt. This track was grooving off the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzic album.