Devin the Dude.
Devin the Dude.
Westword archive

The Twelve Best Songs About Weed

Unless you're into mosh pits or heavy bass, no substance accompanies music better than marijuana. Plenty of musicians are known for singing about their love of ganja, which left us wondering: What are the best THC tributes? Sure, there's the cannabis canon of Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson that comes to mind. But we wanted to dig deeper for the best beats about buds.

Below are twelve of our favorite songs about weed. You can disagree. You can make a fuss. You can make your own list. But as your anger rises because your favorite Kottonmouth Kings track didn't make it, twist one up and listen to one of these. The nostalgia will ease your pain before you know it.

"Mary Jane," by Rick James
Although it might be a bit diluted now thanks to Rick James's appearances on Chappelle's Show and multiple remixes and samplings of the song (213's remix is worth a listen), it's hard to disagree with the Super Freak's confession of love for his mistress. I've said the same thing many times. "I'm in love with Mary Jane. / She's my main thing. / She makes me feel alright. / She makes my heart sing."

"I Got 5 On It," by Luniz
We can only hope the young people of today continue to bump this cannabis classic as they begin to experiment with the plant – and practice what this song preaches. Luniz, a duo known for little else beside this hit, combines West Coast hip-hop and the process of collecting a few bucks from your friends for herb to create a stoner anthem all of us can relate to: QUIT BEING A MOOCH!

"Champagne & Reefer," by Muddy Waters
I was a little heartbroken to find out the father of modern Chicago blues didn't play this during the '40s as he started strumming strings in his native Mississippi or eventual home in the Windy City, but "Champagne & Reefer" is still a timeless homage to the plant for anyone who likes the blues. Waters, who recorded the song less than three years before his death in 1983, even advocates for the plant's health benefits in the song's lyrics: "Well you know there should be no law / on people that want to smoke a little dope. / Well you know it's good for your head / And it relax your body don't you know."

"Doobie Ashtray," by Devin the Dude
Devin the Dude has been rapping and crooning about his love for blunts since his debut album in 1998, making regular stops on his tours in pot havens like Denver, Amsterdam and Barcelona. My first introduction to the Dude was on a DVD recording of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's Up in Smoke Tour, long before I even tried cannabis. Once I did, though, he became a regular on my puffing playlists, with his new songs continuing to make potheads smile. "Doobie Ashtray" is one of his most popular songs, speaking on the lows of discovering that your stash is gone.

"Smoke Two Joints," by Sublime
I'd be remiss to not include at least one Sublime song here. Many of us went through our Sublime phase before we were old enough to puff, but the band's timeless mix of reggae, ska and hip-hop will remain stuck in the back of our heads for the rest of our lives. Although "Garden Grove" and its rendition of "Let's Go Get Stoned" are both perfect for an outdoor session, the band's cannabis anthem is undoubtedly "Smoke Two Joints," which counts both as a weed banger and dietary supplement instructions.

"Hits From the Bong," by Cypress Hill
Few hip-hop groups have embraced cannabis like Cypress Hill, which can claim multiple stoner anthems in its catalog; one of its members, B-Real, started his own medical marijuana dispensary in California. Hits like "Dr. Greenthumb" and "Roll It Up, Light It Up, Smoke It Up" could easily be on this list, too, but "Hits From the Bong" sticks in the head more than any of the group's other songs. The sampling of "Son of a Preacher Man" throughout the song, especially in the beginning, has a certain ring that seems to remind users of wake n' bakes and hazy rooms filled with kush clouds.

Ray Charles.
Ray Charles.
Westword archive

"Let's Go Get Stoned," by Ray Charles
The first live music show I ever attended was a Ray Charles concert in 1998 at the Flamingo Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. I would have never guessed that the small, nice-looking man hitting the piano keys like a god was singing about bottles of gin and reefer thirty years earlier. "Let's Go Get Stoned" was originally recorded by the Coasters, an R&B group from the '50s and '60s. Charles's version, recorded in 1966, amps up the fun with his background singers, turning it into a finger-snapper that you can use to convince grandma to get high with you.

"Day n' Night," by Kid Cudi

Finally, something for the youngsters. This doubled as Kid Cudi's coming out party for many of us, but "Day n' Night" was also an anthem for the lonely stoner, chronicling his fights with depression as he looks for an escape at the end of the day. Yeah, I know: The one song on here by a millennial artist is emotional and introspective... what a surprise. But we've all been that person who has nobody to smoke with at one point. Maybe now you won't fell so alone anymore, at least for 2 minutes and 43 seconds.

"Because I Got High," by Afroman
I've always felt Afroman was a more talented musician than his most popular song suggests ("You Aint My Friend" is a great blues-y warning to the Eddie Haskells of the world). But it's impossible to deny how relevant to stoners his excuse is in "Because I Got High." Look, I've forgotten and put off hundreds, if not thousands, of tasks, chores and responsibilities because, well, I got high. And so have you. So get off your high horse, and be lazy with me.

"Crumblin' Erb," by OutKast
We can only hope for a permanent reunion between OutKast's two members, Andre 3000 and Big Boi. But as we wait for the Detox of comeback albums, relaxing to the group's classics never gets old. Great for a stressful day, "Crumblin' Erb" reminds us that there's only so much we can do in this crazy world – but at least we can control how much herb gets stuffed in the next joint.

"Where's Da Bud," by Three 6 Mafia
Like Cypress Hill, Three 6 Mafia could probably release an entire album or two made up entirely of songs about weed. While "Bin Laden" and "1,000 Blunts" provide enough inspiration to get out, buy some weed, and get back inside before the pizza arrives, the group's go-to song for potheads has and always will be "Where's Da Bud." Not only does it ask a question many of us are wondering, it also tiptoes the line of catchy and annoying just well enough to stop you from resenting it.

"Pass the Kouchie," by Mighty Diamonds
Not to be confused with "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth, which covered the song for mainstream success, "Pass the Kouchie" is the real, reggae version of the song, and it's not as vulgar as you're probably thinking. "Kouchie" is a Jamaican word for "pipe," brought to our attention by the Mighty Diamonds, which have been around Rastafarian culture and reggae music for nearly forty years. Ever wonder why you're told to pass joints to the left? You can thank the Mighty Diamonds, and its lyrics, "Pass the kouchie pon the lef' hand side," for that.

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