18. Black Sabbath "Sweet Leaf" (1971)
Album: Master of Reality
Producer: Rodger BainBack in the day, a lot of Black and Spanish living in various New York City ghetto were fans of Ozzy Osbourne. Years before becoming the wonderfully brain dead dad beloved by America, he was an unruly drunk pothead touring the globe with his group Black Sabbath.
One graff king, the late Dondi White even named his most famous subway painting series “Children of the Grave,” after a track on Black Sabbath's stoner rock masterpiece Masters of Reality. Blaring the album at the crib before trekking to the train-yards, Dondi created three separate “Children of the Grave” cars between 1978 and 1980.
Opening the album was a song called “Sweet Leaf,” which—not surprisingly—was all about getting zooted. “Marijuana was still the band's drug du jour,” biographer Paul Wilkinson noted in Rat Salad: Black Sabbath, The Classic Years, 1969-1975. Taking the song title from a pack of Irish cigarettes, “Sweet Leaf” featured guitarist Tony Iommi coughing up a lung before Osbourne swoops in like a giant bat.
At the end, he proclaimed, “Straight people don't know, what you're about/They put you down and shut you out/You gave to me a new belief and soon the world will love you sweet leaf.” Long before Spinal Tap, this was what being a metal head rebel was all about.