A few years ago a friend of mine, whom I’ll call LaRock, got into the annoying habit of calling me every afternoon and screaming, “4-20!” into the telephone while simultaneously lighting a Bambu-rolled joint. At the time, I had no idea what he was talking about, until one day he broke down the history behind 4-20 and the celebration of weed culture.
Of course, that was all he could remember of our conversation, but around the same time (2009), I peeped an interview in the New York Times with former High Times editor Steven Hager where he explained 4-20 to a reporter documenting the reefer ritual: “(4-20) begun in the early 1970s in which a group of Northern California teenagers smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 p.m. Word of the ritual spread and expanded to a yearly event in various places. Soon, marijuana aficionados were using ‘420’ as a code for smoking and using it as a sign-off on fliers for concerts where the drug would be plentiful.”
I recently penned an essay called “Broadway Buddhas and the Birth of Hip-Hop”, which details my own sticky icky adventures—particularly the time when I smoked my first joint. It was back in the old school days and was on the same day I heard hip-hop for the first time when I stumbled on DJ Hollywood and Luvbug Starski spinning at a block party.
We’ve been thinking a lot about the direct connection between weed and music in various musical genres. So we decided to compile this mix-tape styled list of songs about weed for your personal education, edification, and 4-20 pleasure. Roll up, blaze up, click through, and let your mind float...
Written by Michael A. Gonzales (@GonzoMike)