Music has been used to express feelings of love or loss. Some have used music as a way to stand up for something that they believe in. Some write songs of inspiration or about family. Music can be edgy and it’s often associated with sex and drugs. Several artists write songs that are based on personal experiences. For decades, artists have written songs about marijuana as a protest, a celebration and in some cases, both. Many very talented musicians smoke weed, so why not write a song about it? Here is a look at 10 of the most memorable songs about smoking weed.
10) Day ‘n’ Nite February 5, 2008 – Kid Cudi
” ‘ cause day and night/ The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night.” Day ‘n’ Nite was the debut single for hip hop artist, Kid Cudi. The song was originally from a mixtape that helped him breakthrough, and was included as the lead single on his debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, in 2009. The song is based on his experiences when he moved from Cleveland to Brooklyn to pursue a career in music. For a time, he lived with his Uncle who eventually kicked him out and Kid Cudi has admitted to being bitter over it. He was forced to deal with those feelings once his uncle died. Kid Cudi is an avid pot smoker and has released several songs about smoking weed including, The Pursuit of Happiness and Marijuana.
9) Muggles December 7, 1928 – Louis Armstrong
Jazz icon and legend, Louis Armstrong recorded Muggles in 1928, in Chicago. The song is considered one of Louis Armstrong’s masterpieces. He was a very open and avid pot smoker, which was still legal in a lot of America at that time. The song is about smoking marijuana and reflects the cannabis culture of the 1920’s Jazz scene. The title of the song, Muggles, actually represents a slang term that was used for cannabis by Jazz musicians during that time.
8) Dr. Greenthumb October 6, 1998 – Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill are advocates for the recreational use of marijuana. Basically, they love to smoke weed. In fact, they have several songs about smoking cannabis. One of their best known songs is Dr.Greenthumb from the 1998 album, Cypress Hill IV. The song features B-Real’s alter-ego, Dr.Greenthumb, who is a marijuana grower and he explains the process he uses to grow weed. However, Cypress Hill have been recording songs about weed since they first go together. Other well known songs about smoking cannabis by the group include Hits From The Bong and I Wanna Get High from the critically acclaimed album, Black Sunday.
7) Smoke Two Joints 1983 – The Toyes / Sublime
Smoke Two Joints was originally performed by The Toyes in 1983. The song was written by band members, Jim and Sandy, and is done in a reggae style. Apparently, they came up with the song while smoking weed in Hawaii. The song debuted on the Dr. Demento Show and was used regularly as theme songs for other radio stations. There have been many covers of the song but one of the most famous was done in 1992 by ska/punk band, Sublime. The cover appeared on their debut album, 40.oz to Freedom and was their second song to get airplay.
6) Mexico May, 1970 – Jefferson Airplane
The highly influential and iconic, Jefferson Airplane released the pro-marijuana song, Mexico in 1970. It’s basically a rant against then president of the U.S, Richard Nixon and his anti-drug campaign, Operation Intercept. The objective of the operation was to stop the flow of cannabis from Mexico into America. The song was banned in many countries and therefore, at the time received little to no airplay. In fact, Richard Nixon wanted all songs about drugs to be banned from being broadcast. Despite the fact that the song only reached number 102 on the Billboard Hot 100, it is still considered a favourite amongst pot smokers.
5) The Next Episode July 4, 2000 – Dr. Dre
The Next Episode is a song from Dr. Dre’s critically acclaimed 1999 album, The Chronic 2001. The song also includes appearances by fellow rappers and well known pot smokers, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and Nate Dogg. The song reached number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and was nominated for a Grammy award in 2000. However, the song lost to Forget About Dre by Dr. Dre and Eminem from the same album. The track contains the famous line at the end of the song, “Smoke Weed Everyday”.
4) Got To Get You In My Life August 5, 1966 – The Beatles
“What Can I do? What Can I be? When I’m with you, I want to stay there…” This is a lyric from the Beatles 1966 song, Got To Get You In My life. The song appeared on their highly successful album, Revolver. It seems like a love song, but in fact is an ode to marijuana. The song was written by Paul McCartney and recorded at Abby Road Studios. The song is a soulful homage to Motown. In 1997, Paul revealed that at the time of the original recording, he had just been introduced to pot and was inspired to write a song about weed. In 1976, the track was re-released and reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, which was 6 years after the Beatles had split, and a decade after the original release. Earth, Wind and Fire did a very successful cover that reached number 1 on the Soul Charts in 1978.
3) How High August 15, 1995 – Redman & Method Man
How High was the first collaboration between long-time friends, Method Man and Redman. Both were very well known rappers at that point in their careers. Method Man was a member of the highly influential, Wu-Tang Clan and Redman was a part of Def Squad. The song is produced by Erik Sermon and first appeared on the album, The Show. The track was very successful and charted at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has also been certified gold. Additionally, it has served as the main theme for the cult-stoner classic film, How High in 2001, which starred Method Man and Redman.
2) If You’re a Viper 1936 – Stuff Smith/Fats Waller
If You’re a Viper is a classical jazz song about marijuana, first recorded by Stuff Smith in 1936. The song was a hit and is a reflection of the pot smoking culture of the 1930’s. The term “Viper” was a slang word used in Harlem for a pot smoker and may also refer to the “hissing” sound when smoking a joint. It is also one of the most covered songs about cannabis. One of the most famous covers was done by Fats Waller during World War II in 1943. This version of the song makes fun of the first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger. He felt that jazz musicians who smoked weed were a menace to society and promised to prosecute them all. Fats Waller recorded his version, also known as The Reefer Song, in response to those comments. The song is undoubtedly considered to be an iconic song about cannabis.
1) Because I Got High June 20, 2000 – Afroman
Because I Got High is written and performed by rapper, Afroman from his debut album, Because I got High. The song went from being completely unknown, to becoming a major hit in 2001, and helped Afroman breakthrough. After releasing the song, it found its way on the popular and very controversial music sharing site, Napster. From there, the song began to gain some momentum and was eventually aired on the Howard Stern Show. This helped the song become a mainstream hit. It was also the main theme song for the stoner film, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, directed by Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith directed the music video for Because I Got High, and he also made a cameo appearance as Silent Bob alongside Jay. The song is about a man who has failed his college classes, sold weed, missed court dates and forgot to clean his room, all because he got high.
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