Cannabis has long served as inspiration for artists all over the world, and while the herb’s influence on all genres of music is undeniable, it’s especially prevalent in hip hop.
Although there are many drugs rappers write songs about, cannabis seems to be the one that outlasted them all. Cannabis culture is synonymous with hip hop culture, no matter which way you smoke it. Some artists even seem to be more well known for their association with cannabis than with their music itself; Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky and Cypress Hill come to mind. So, grab your headphones and your smokables, and listen up. Here are 10 of the best hip hop songs ever written about cannabis.
1.Cypress Hill – “Hit From The Bong” (1993)
From Cypress Hill’s 1993 Black Sunday Album, which went triple platinum in the US, “Hits from the Bong” may have been taboo at the time but cemented Cypress Hill as America’s stoner kings. Cypress Hill were such outspoken cannabis advocates that they included facts about the benefits of cannabis and hemp in their album booklet.
2. Afroman – “Because I Got High” (2001)
Afroman’s ear-worm of a song rose from obscurity in the year 2000 as an ode to the woes of cannabis consumption. The lyrics trace a day of a stoner and all the misfortunes that come to him because of his habit. In 2014, the song got a new pro-cannabis remake, listing some benefits of legalization including access to the healing properties and societal benefits around criminalization.
3.OutKast – “Crumblin’ Erb” (1994)
Outcast have been spitting out bangers since they were teens, yet another gift that they’ve bestowed upon the world is their introduction to the colloquial language of the south. And “Crumblin’ Erb” is one of those phrases (described in the hit song of the same name); a philosophy that shares the meditative power of weed framed against the destruction of gun use.
4. Luniz – “I Got 5 On It” (1995)
Luniz 1995 hit”I Got 5 On It” refers to the smoking of cannabis, specifically the 5 being a five-dollar bill. The song features R&B singer Michael Marshall’s smooth croon and touches on the problem we’ve all had: if you want to smoke some cannabis, you have to pitch in some money!
5. Snoop Dogg – “Young, Wild & Free” (2011)
“Young, Wild & Free” has been praised as “a stoners graduation song,” an upbeat pop-rap song by Snoop Dogg and Whiz Kahlifa featuring the always anthem inspiring Bruno Mars on the hook. Snoop has always been loud and proud about his love for the “bubonic chronic” and the lyrics in this 2011 jam are no different.
6.Missy Elliott – “Pass That Dutch” (2003)
“Pass that Dutch” was another one of the handful of hits by Missy Elliot, produced by her long time partner Timbaland. MTV initially edited the title of the song, fearing controversy as “dutch” referred to dutch cigar rolling papers, used to roll blunts.
7. Scarface – “Mary Jane” (1997)
Throwing out tough rhymes on the benefits of cannabis, Scarface spits a love letter to his favourite herb. “Mary Jane” is featured on his 1997 album The Untouchable, an album which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart for the first time in his career.
8. D.R.A.M – “Broccoli” (2016)
Recording under the name D.R.A.M (abbreviation for Does. Real. Ass. Music.) Shelley Massenburg Smith named the hip hop jam “Broccoli” from his experiences with the abundance of nicknames for the green. He has been quoted as explaining that broccoli is a slang term for cannabis, although maybe not even a particularly popular one, he says” “Broccoli is a general term. I only smoke OG Kush, that’s all I smoke, but broccoli is just trees. I didn’t know that this wasn’t a much-used term. We used vegetables [as words for] weed but broccoli went off for me.”
9. Dr. Dre – “The Next Episode” (2000)
Possibly containing one of the most well-known cannabis-related lines in hip hop today, Dr. Dre with Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg created the iconic “SMOKE WEED EVERYDAY” line that has been shouted from the rooftops the world over.
10. 50 Cent – “High All The Time” (2003)
“High All the Time” is a lesser-known song from the album Get Rich or Die Trying that has such memorable hits as “in Da Club” and “21 Questions.” This album was claimed as one of the top albums of the 2000s and “High all the Time” conveys 50’s love of the purple haze.
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