The Best Songs About Weed

From Redman and Method Man’s "How High" to Bob Marley's "Kaya" to Afroman's "Because I Got High," here are all the best weed songs and marijuana anthems ever.

Wiz Khalifa marijuana

Image via Getty/Rick Kern

Wiz Khalifa marijuana

From Bob Marley’s “Kaya” to Young Thug’s “Stoner,” weed anthems have been a staple of popular music for decades. Artists like Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and Willie Nelson have spent entire careers aligning themselves with the magical plant—making incredible music in the process.

Cannabis is still illegal in most areas of the world, but one refuge for stoners has always been music. Regardless of genre, marijuana is a common song themes throughout reggae, rock, jazz, and rap. Countless stars and fans throughout history have bonded over the healing effects of one plant. In honor of this, we compiled a list of the best songs about weed to help soundtrack any high. Happy 4/20!

60. Ludacris f/ Sleepy Brown, “Blueberry Yum Yum” (2004)

View this video on YouTube

Album: The Red Light District

Producer: Organized Noize

In the grand scheme of Ludacris’s discography, most forget the infectious “Blueberry Yum Yum,” off 2004’s The Red Light District. The song sounds surprisingly modern over a decade after its release, thanks in part to the futuristic vision of Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn. The songwriter of the indelible hook is a pre-fame Future, more commonly known around this time as Meathead. Before Future was writing about his one true love, “dirty sprite,” he was the inspiration for Sleepy Brown singing, “Get your lighters, roll that sticky, let's get higher (let's get higher)/Got that blueberry yum yum and it's that fire (it's that fire).”

59. Rihanna, “James Joint” (2016)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Anti

Producer: Kuk Harrell & Shea Taylor

“James Joint” is perfectly succinct. The song, written by James Fauntleroy, only clocks in at slightly over minute, but that is all it takes for Rihanna and Fauntleroy to spin an engaging story. Listeners hear Rih softly sing, “I’d rather be smoking weed whenever we breathe,” as she tells us about a man with a history. By song’s end the cops are coming and the paranoia sticks to the track as the magical strings whisk you away. There is no resolution. We don’t know what happened to Rihanna and her lover, but one doesn’t need to. The greatness of the song lies in the thin and relatable line it paints between love and dysfunction.

58. Missy Elliott, "Pass That Dutch" (2003)

View this video on YouTube

Album: This Is Not A Test!

Producer: Missy Elliot and Timbaland

They'd been making the same cigars since 1911, so the folks at Dutch Masters must've wondered what was up when their sales started spiking in the mid-1980s. Suddenly, if you were not rolling White Owls or Philly blunts—which, as rapper Guru observed, “burn much quicker”—then Dutch Masters was the other primary wrap.

The bugged beat of “Pass that Dutch,” produced by Miss E and her studio homie Timbaland, bounces like a cartoon ball. The video, featuring blunt master Busta Rhymes roaring like a dragon, was directed by Dave Myers (biting the trademark Hype Williams style) and shows dancing scarecrows and a newly thin Missy driving a truck full of man-eating (literarily) BBWs.

57. D.R.A.M., “Broccoli” (2016)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Big Baby D.R.A.M.

Producer: J Gramm Beats

It isn’t often that a song about weed becomes a massive hit. D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” went quintuple platinum, peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, and put the Virginia rapper on the map. The reasoning for this is two-fold. First, Lil Yachty delivers one of the best intros to any song in recent memory with the sweet, “Hey lil mama would you like to be my sunshine.” Second, D.R.A.M.’s hook, “In the middle of the party, bitch get off me (Get off of me)/In the cut I’m rollin’ up my broccoli (My weed, my weed) is insanely quotable.

In an interview with Genius, D.R.A.M. details why he chose to use the vegetable as inspiration for his weed consumption, “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. Kodak Black was one of the first guys I heard refer to weed as broccoli and I just thought it was a thing. I didn’t know it was that rare for broccoli to be considered a term for weed.”

56. Jhené Aiko f/ Rae Sremmurd, "Sativa" (2017)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Trip

Producer: The Fisticuffs

Back in 2017, Jhene Aiko and Swae Lee teamed up and created the perfect stoner anthem, for anyone who prefers to vibe out to sativa over anything else. The Fistcuffs-produced beat is soothing and mellow, but don’t be surprised if the single pops up at a kickback or house party. “Is it hot in here or is it just me?/I’m so high in here, been smokin’ on this weed,” Jhene sings. Layering Jhene and Swae Lee’s vocals on the chorus was the perfect touch. Once this song comes on, it’s easily to get swept up and lost in your own world as clouds of sativa fill the air.

55. A$AP Rocky, “Purple Swag” (2013)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Long.Live.ASAP

ProducerA$AP Ty Beats

“Purple Swag” was iconic from the beginning. In the summer of 2011, the world first saw a problematic white girl with gold grills mouthing the words “This is for my niggas getting high on the regular,” as a braided rapper brought Texas to Harlem streets. The song is a chopped & screwed anthem, made by a New York collective, during a time when Tumblr was still relevant. “Purple Swag” became more than a song about “purple drank” and “purple weed,” but a statement of purpose that real swag wasn’t beholden to any one region.

In a 2012 interview with Complex, A$AP Rocky described the making of the song. “We definitely recorded that shit in some small ass closet,” says Rocky. “I was getting high. I was high as a kite. On some purple drink, purple weed, shouts to this weed. It just felt so natural. Holy shit. I was in a world where everything was purple. I was just high. Purple lights was everywhere. It was just like, dark room, purple lights. Music blasting. That type of shit. Everything is purple.”

54. 50 Cent, "High All The Time" (2003)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Producer: DJ Rad

Did you ever YouTube-channel surf through various 50 Cent non-music videos—the rants against Rick Ross, the popping-up in some kid's messy bedroom to lip synch—and wonder "what he be smoking"? On the other hand, when 50 starts going hard at one of his imaginary enemies, the other thought that crosses your mind might be, "that brother needs to puff and chill."

While 50's official stance is that he doesn't smoke weed, that story crumbles like herb when you hear the Queens native dropping blunted ballistics on “High All the Time” from his now classic debut Get Rich or Die Tryin'.

“Give me some dro, purple haze, and some chocolate,” 50 rapped. “Give me a Dutch and a lighter I'll spark shit.” Still, he claimed to a SPIN journalist that his rhymes were a mixture of fact and fiction: “When I rap lines like, 'I smoke the good shit," that's just me using my head," 50 said. "That's me, knowing that there are 500,000 people out there who just want to play my records and get high. I watched Method Man base his career on that.” Okay, so while other rappers were simply blunted, 50 Cent was being a good businessman.

53. MF DOOM, “America’s Most Blunted” f/ Quasimoto (2004)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Madvillainy

Producer: Madlib

The supreme power of weed can fuel some of the greatest creative heights known to man. Nowhere is this more evident than on the 2004 track “America’s Most Blunted,” off the classic MF DOOM and Madlib album Madvillainy. The beat for “America’s Most Blunted” contains 18 samples, ranging from “Ninety-Nine and One Half” by the Fever Tree to “Come Out” by Steve Reich. Most rappers would get lost in this cacophonous haze, but not DOOM, who’s known “for the best rolled L’s” or Quasimoto “the most blunted on the map/The one astro black, in the alley, with a hoodrat.”

52. Sean Paul, "We Be Burnin" (2005)

View this video on YouTube

Album: The Trinity

Producer: Renaissance Crew Productions

“We Be Burnin’” is an energetic single from Sean Paul, that finds the reggae artist celebrating his endless fortune. And there’s no better way to commemorates your riches than to start a huge cyph. “We be burnin’ not concernin’ what nobody wanna say/We be earnin' dollars turning cah' we mind de pon we pay/More than gold and oil and diamonds, girls, we need them everyday,” he sings. The danceable nature of the record and its carefree spirit is what easily makes Sean Paul’s 2005 a classic.

51. Ty Dolla $ign f/ Wiz Khalifa , “Irie” (2013)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Beach House 2

Producer: DJ Spinz

Ty Dolla $ign’s silky voice is naturally intoxicating, and with Wiz Khalifa riding shotgun the West Coast lothario details the numerous ways he gets high. For those not aware, if you’re running to the bodega for Ty don’t bring back dutchie—he prefers papers. The weed better be organic and either OG Kush or Wiz’s “KK.” These are the rules.

50. Danny Brown, “Blunt After Blunt” (2011)

View this video on YouTube

Album: XXX

Producer: SKYWLKR

“Kush got a nigga feeling awesome/Ate that bitch pussy ’til she squirted like a dolphin,” ranks as one of the best opening lines of any song. “Blunt after Blunt” is a standout track on one of the most underrated projects of the last decade, 2011’s XXX. The song’s hook is so direct it borders on the mundane, if you just read the lyrics on the page. To truly enjoy the song you need to listen to the overwhelming aggression in Danny’s voice as he yells, “And I smoke Blunt after blunt, after blunt, after blunt, after blunt, after blunt.” An inordinate amount of songs about drug consumption use flowery prose, metaphors, and symbolism to get their point across, but on “Blunt After Blunt,” Danny cuts straight to the center, no filler.

49. Chance The Rapper f/ Future, "Smoke Break" (2016)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Coloring Book

Producer: Garren Langford

Leave it to Chance to make smoking sound both heavenly and romantic. On “Smoke Break,” he reflects on how his hectic lifestyle and the birth of a daughter have affected the smoking habits of him and his then-girlfriend (now-fiancée). Chance implores her to linger with him over a blunt instead of a hastily packed bowl, and the song’s sweet melody and celestial synths will have any regular smoker daydreaming back to when smoking was a lengthy, intimate process (and not just a few stealthy vape pen hits while waiting in line for a show). Plus, the track features a choice Future verse where he croons about painkillers and L rides, making them sound like the ideal way to rekindle a lost flame.

48. Busta Rhymes, "Get High Tonight" (1997)

View this video on YouTube

Album: When Disaster Strikes

Producer: DJ Scratch

Back in the 1990s, with the new millennium steadily approaching, brothers became obsessed with a bugged book called Behold A Pale Horse by William Cooper. Having bought my copy on 125th Street, I dived into the murky waters of Cooper's prose on the subway ride back to Brooklyn, and was amazed by his wild thoughts on the New World Order governments, Illuminati control and, of course, the forthcoming apocalypse.

The book was especially popular with truth-seeking/X-Files/Matrix watching, hip-hoppers—RZA, Tricky and Busta were all down with it. Of course, the amount of weed these cats consumed might've had something to do with their end-of-the-world paranoia.

Produced by the underrated DJ Scratch, the track from Busta's second solo disc, When Disaster Strikes, was a dope celebration of friendship and weed. Rapping in his booming style that writer Matt Diehl described as "verbal pyrotechnics," Busta put the blunt where our eyes could see and declared, “Weed smoking got me moving slow motion like we floatin' on relax ocean.” It's a shame director Hype Williams couldn't have brought that image to video.

47. Sublime, "Smoke Two Joints" (1992)

View this video on YouTube

Album: 40oz. to Freedom

Producer: Sublime

White boy reggae that sounded more like Milo Z than a Bob Marley, the boys from Sublime recorded this cover of The Toyes' reggae hit on their debut disc 40 Oz. to Freedom. “I smoke two joints in the morning, I smoke two joints at night/I smoke two joints in the afternoon, it makes me feel alright,” sang the group's late lead singer Bradley Nowell.

A perfect soundtrack for Cali heads who loved surfing, skateboarding, or shooting, the song was a massive hit for Sublime. Their version of the song also appeared in Kevin Smith's flick Mallrats during a game-show scene.

According to the Toyes website, the origin of the song is pure stoner inspiration. “In 1982, Mawg (Jean-Christophe Kay) and his brother Sky (Michael Kay) were rooming together in Waikiki. Sky was working as a Pedicab Driver and Mawg was gigging as guitarist/vocalist in the Honolulu-based cover band The Lifters. In the fall of that year, Mawg and Sky were entertaining some friends who had arrived at their home to party. While jamming on a rootsy groove and improvising lyrics, the hook of “Smoke Two Joints” came tumbling out to the delight of the party guests. Seeing the response, Mawg and Sky completed the lyrics the following day while sitting under a large banyan tree on Kuhio Beach.”

46. Cypress Hill, “Hits From the Bong” (1993)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Black Sunday

Producer: DJ Muggs

A track so meticulous and detailed it doubles as a bong owner’s manual, Cypress Hill’s “Hits From the Bong” is a classic stoner anthem. Built around a lackadaisical guitar sample from Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man,” DJ Muggs’ beat exists in a warm, smoky haze, while B-Real dispenses wisdom (never spill the bong water, make sure you clean your screen, etc.), with veteran ease and charisma. Bongs have never been the preferred smoking apparatus in hip-hop, but Cypress Hill certainly makes a strong case for them here.

45. Clipse, "Gangsta Lean" (2002)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Lord Willin'

Producer: The Neptunes

Coming from the same southern state as Clipse, my Virginia-born grandmother was an old-school country gal who referred to all drugs as “that stuff.” As in, “Boy, you been smokin' that stuff?” or “I think Jimmy is shootin' that stuff.” As far as she was concerned, drugs was drugs—it was all just “that stuff.”

The Clipse's debut Lord Willin', considered a classic disc in rap circles, was all about “that stuff.” While the Thornton brothers Pusha T and Malice mostly rapped about the coke/crack that kept them on their grind, those good ol' boys were also down with getting blitzed on blunts.

With a Neptunes beat and Pharrell's “faux-falsetto” crooning on the hook as smoothly as William DeVaughn, the track “Gangsta Lean” was laced with weed references as the group told tales of the spell their “lady” whipped on them. “'Cuz I'm lovesick, got me all choked up,” Pusha T rapped. “Look, you keep my head in the clouds mami,'till I can't breathe.” As grandma would've said, “That stuff make ya act strange.”

44. Curren$y “Breakfast” (2010)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Pilot Talk

Producer: Ski Beatz and Yasiin Bey

Picking the best Curren$y song about weed is the equivalent of ranking Kanye albums. It is a foolhardy attempt at categorizing that which changes with the seasons and feelings. Curren$y raps about marijuana the way a sommelier can talk your ear off about a Pinot Noir.

“Breakfast” sounds like a wake and bake session attained sentience. Spitta rides over Ski Beatz expertly chopped sample of “Trumpet on the Beach” like it is his birthright. “Rolled Bambus in the Bahamas, momma/It’s either that or them strawberry coladas/Xbox web browser, download an updated NBA roster/Play an eighty-two game season/Condo full of snacks, Spitta not leaving,” has the type of detail that would make a high F. Scott Fitzgerald proud.

43. Young Thug, “Stoner” (2014)

View this video on YouTube

Mixtape: Lobby Runners

Producer: Dun Deal

For years, Young Thug’s existence has been an anomaly. He’s an amalgamation of Wayne’s most martian-like qualities, Gucci Mane’s work ethic, and Prince’s gender-bending charm. However, it wasn’t until “Stoner” that the larger public latched onto these idiosyncrasies.

Over Dun Deal’s stuttering beat, Thug melodically sings about his YSL lifestyle. He slurs the delivery of the undeniable hook, “I’m a stoner, I’m a stoner, I’m a stoner,” his adlibs ooze with reckless abandon, and by the time he sweetly sings, “I feel like Fabo, I feel like Fabo,” the listener transports to his otherworldly multiversal plane. Most people will never know what it’s like inside Thug’s mind, but “Stoner” might be the closest approximation.

42. KC & the Sunshine Band, "I Get Lifted" (1975)

View this video on YouTube

Album: KC and the Sunshine Band

Producer: Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch

Originally recorded by his TK Records label-mate George McCrae on his Rock My Baby album, Miami disco maestro KC sped-up the arrangement and made it a sensation. Sampled by everybody from Madonna (“Secrets”) to Jaz featuring Jay-Z (“Pumpin'), this "blazing" track is still fire.

41. Three Six Mafia, "Where's Da Bud?" (1996)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Chapter 1: The End

Producer: DJ Paul and Juicy J

Years before Three Six Mafia was sippin' on that sizzurp and scaring folks at the Oscars, they were just regular ol' Memphis boys making hip-hop devil music for the masses. (Although Juicy J told writer Ben Westoff in Dirty South, his history of below the Mason-Dixon Line rappers, “There's no way you could have our success worshipping the devil”).

Devil worshippers or not, nothing could keep them from their love of bud; in fact, they like it so much they wrote a song about it. Wanna hear it? Here it goes. With its sci-fi 808 soundscape, and the Mafia's sing-songy vocals, this track is perfect for blunted karaoke.

40. ESG, "Smoke On" (1994)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Ocean of Funk

Producer: Earl Winters and Sean "Solo" Jemison

Reworking the Floaters 1970s classic "Float On," ESG created the cannabis-lovers' anthem "Smoke On." Whatever he was smoking on, must have been powerful because he went on to approve that terrible album art.

39. The Pharcyde, "Pack The Pipe" (1992)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde

Producer: J-Swift

For better or worse, The Pharcyde acted a little crazy, like they were hanging-out with the Joker at Arkham Asylum planning to break him out so they could all go skateboarding. Coming out at a time when other rappers were trying to kill each other, the Pharcyde's goofy debut Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde was a welcome diversion from all the Blood, Crip, crack and guns scenarios. (For an amazing take on the album, buy a copy of Brian Coleman's dope hip-hop text Check the Technique.) Not everybody could be NWA or Above the Law—thank goodness.

Like the Native Tongues with better smoke and garages, these cats embraced the jazzy side of things and on “Pack the Pipe” beat-master J-Swift flips heavy-hitters Coltrane, Herbie Mann and Cannonball Adderly into a jazzy gumbo. In addition, Fuct designed a stunning tribute to P-Funk art kings Pedro Bell and Overton Lloyd for the album cover. It's the kind of cover high people can stare at for hours.

38. Birdman and Lil Wayne, "Cali Dro" (2006)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Like Father, Like Son

Producer: Nasty Beatmakerz

Over the years more than a few obvious drug addicts have crossed over to the pantheon of pop star heroes, in the world of hip-hop no rapper plays that role better than Lil Wayne. When I interviewed him a few years ago, between the weed smoke and his mumbling accent, I thought I was going to lose my mind. “Cali Dro” takes the madness I felt that day and turns it into a bugged weed anthem.

“I get my kush from California, get my dro from Arizona/I can get it cross the boarda, I got a rida name Winona,” Wayne slurs over a T-Mix beat. Having replaced former Cash Money producer Mannie Fresh, the new kid in the studio showed his skills.

In addition, former Dogg Pound members Daz and Kurupt step into the arena a give the “Cali” in the title some real credibility. Hell, youngblood Wayne even mentions the movie Colors, so you know he's talking about the real. Word to Sean Penn.

37. Cab Calloway, "Reefer Man" (1932)

View this video on YouTube

Album: N/A

Producer: N/A

Although Cab Calloway wore white tuxedos and led a big band, don't get it twisted like an L—he was still down with the “Reefer Man.” Hanging hard on the streets of Harlem, as documented in Mezz Mezzrow's classic autobiography Really the Blues, the “Reefer Man” was all around the hood selling loose joints from the shadows of crumbling tenements and inside noted jazz clubs. “He smokes a reefer, he gets high, then flies to the sky,” Calloway wailed over the swinging music.

36. Rita Marley, "One Draw" (1981)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Who Feels It Knows It

Producer: Grub Cooper/Rita Marley/Bob Marley

Released the same year her husband Bob died from cancer, Rita Marley’s enthusiastic ode to sensimillia “One Draw” was a big hit in her homeland and around the world. In England, where her song was treated like the Sex Pistols "God Save The Queen" and banned by the BBC, the track went on to sell over 2 million copies. Back home in Jamaica, the “respectables” were appalled by the skit in the middle of the record where a class of teenagers schools their teachers on the powers of pot. One love, indeed.

35. Mister Grimm, "Indo Smoke" (1983)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Poetic Justice Soundtrack

Producer: Warren G.

Although the Warren G.–produced track features on the Poetic Justice soundtrack, Mr. Grimm was never as big as other West Coast rappers who embraced the G-Funk movement. However, if the G stood for ganja, then Grimm—like my man Dr. Hook—was at least in the right place at the right time.

Looking more like a suburban pretty boy than a boy from the hood, Grimm could still hold his own on the microphone. The “Indo Smoke” video was all in good fun as it reprised all the classic Cali clichés: cars, girls, swimming pools—and cheeba.

34. Method Man, "Tical" (1994)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Tical

Producer: RZA

Darker than a bowl of Count Chocula cereal, Method Man was the first Wu member to release a solo album when Tical dropped from the blackened skies in the fall of '94. “Method Man's gripping rhymes creep out of the darkness and take listeners hostage,” Entertainment Weekly scribe Tracy E. Hopkins wrote.

With or without the killer bees buzzing in the background, the man called Iron Lung had a menacing voice that sounded like grimy fog, all blunted and raw. “What's that shit that they be smoking?” he asks over the spooky RZA beat. Of course, it's Tical.

33. People Under the Stairs, "Acid Raindrops" (2002)

View this video on YouTube

Album: O.S.T. (Original Soundtrack)

Producer: Thes One and Double K

The daring west-coast duo People Under the Stairs were the opposite of gangster. Dropping surreal lyrics reminiscent of black beat poet Bob Kauffman, this song is both streetwise and book smart as it details the cosmic adventures of a So-Cal weed head.

Produced by group member Thes One, who flips a sample of David T. Walker's “Lay Lady Lay,” “Acid Raindrops” featured guest-star MC Camel, whose catchy refrain, “…when the stress burns my brain just like acid raindrops/Mary Jane is the only thing that makes the pain stop,” keeps whirling through mind like a cannabinoid carousel.

32. Outkast, "Crumblin' Erb" (1994)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

Producer: Organized Noize/Andre 3000/Big Boi

Signed by L.A. Reid and Babyface to LaFace Records—the label that was home to both TLC and Toni Braxton—the dynamic duo of Andre 3000 and Big Boi came out the gate hard and funky on their debut as Outkast. Produced by the smoked-out trio that comprised Organized Noize, the hotness of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik remains undisputed.

Like Super Fly meeting up with Shaft to share a blunt, these country boys were all about phat sacks, mack daddy tracks and gleaming Cadillacs. The bass-heavy soulful track “Crumblin' Erb” samples an Isaac Hayes' Blaxploitation beat (the 1974 instrumental “Joe Bell” from the movie Three Tough Guys) while preaching to the converted about the pleasures of escaping “this crazy world” by simply chilling out and crumbing herb.

31. Fats Waller, "The Reefer Song" (1943)

View this video on YouTube

Album: N/A

Producer: N/A

Coming from Harlem where his poppa was a preacher at Abyssinian Baptist Church, pianist Fats Waller wasn't no angel. A p.k. who ran around town misbehavin' with his cocktail-sipping crew, Waller also swung with a few Vipers.

For those not hip to the daddy-o slang of the golden years of the 1920s, “Viper” was a slick name for a pothead. In a revealing 1971 tape recording with Waller contemporary Louis Armstrong—who himself was arrested for pot possession forty years before—Satchmo says “we did call ourselves Vipers, which could have been anybody from all walks of life that smoked and respected gage. That was our cute little name for marijuana, and it was a misdemeanor in those days.”

“If You're a Viper,” a jazz song dedicated to “loco-weed” heads, was written by Stuff Smith, who released his own version in 1936. Smith's song detailed his dream “about a reefer five foot long, might mezz, but not too strong,” which excited those who were down with slang.

When Waller covered the song seven years later, he made it his own. The popular standard was included in Ain't Misbehavin', a musical constructed around the big man's swinging music. A few years ago American Idol winner Ruben Studdard toured with the show, playing “Viper” every night.

30. Afroman, "Because I Got High" (2000)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Because I Got High

Producer: Afroman and Loppy Octopus

Back in 2001, “Because I Got High” was one of the rare songs that shock-show host Howard Stern spun on a regular. With weed icons Jay and Silent Bob appearing in the video, the laid-back track was described by non-weed-smoking writer Dave Bry as an “easy, breezy, catchy as a cold hit that appeals to every demographic.” Afroman was a one-hit wonder who could've been the next Jay-Z, except that he… well, you know.

29. Beastie Boys "Hold It Now, Hit It" (1986)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Licensed to Ill

Producer: Rick Rubin

Not saying that there's any connection, but isn't it strange that this year 4/20 falls exactly five days after the Beastie​ Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? I can remember back in 1986 when the lady in my life threatened to dump me if I played Licensed to Ill one more time.

I suppose she just couldn't understand my fascination with three crazed white-boy rappers sounding higher than a Led Zeppelin as they raced down the broke-down blocks of NYC like freaks out of the deleted scenes from The Warriors.

One only has to peep Ricky Powell's photos in Beasties chapter of the wonderfully dope Def Jam Recordings book to see how much drug-addled fun these guys were having. The song's music video only confirms what Powell's pictures had already documented: life on the road is the shit! Sampling Richard Pryor (“Yo, man, pass that over here,” he says in a junkie voice) and Jimmy Castor (“Hold It, Now”) is dy-no-mite.

28. John Holt, "Police in Helicopter" (1983)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Police In Helicopter

Producer: Henry "Junjo" Lawes

Like an island version of Sam Cooke, this Kingston, Jamaica native sang such smooth love songs you'd never dream he was could be a rude boy. While some yardies were sleeping on his smooth timbre, John Holt hooked up with sound scientist Junjo Lawes and created the politically charged “Police in Helicopter.”

Made as a protest song against the anti-weed policies of Prime Minister Seaga and President Reagan, this track was recorded as a show of support for Jamaican weed farmers (backed up by a threat to "burn down the cane fields.")

27. Tone Loc, "Cheeba Cheeba" (1989)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Loc-ed After Dark

Producer: Matt Dike and Michael Ross

With a voice that sounded as though Loc started smoking blunts in the playpen like a hip-hop Baby Herman, the big man from Cali sampled Stevie Wonder's “Maybe Your Baby” and helped put his label Delicious Vinyl on the rap map. Coming a few years before the world was toking on chronic, this smoky song helped Tone Loc propel beyond being a “Wild Thing” one-hitter.

26. Cypress Hill, "I Wanna Get High" (1993)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Black Sunday

Producer: DJ Muggs and B-Real

Taking over like a blunted multi-culti Beach Boys for the hip-hop generation, Cypress Hill were the original hip-hop prophets of pot. B. Real, Sen Dogg and underrated producer DJ Muggs—the Brian Wilson of the bunch—defined the group's bong-inspired boom.

“Weed makes music sounds better, even your walk has a better stroll to it,” Sen Dogg once said. “Weed is something that enhances life. It's not a drug and I don't see it as a drug.”

The song “I Wanna Get High” was the lead track to their sophomore album Black Sunday. Their strangely sinister soundscapes were a dense wonderland of screaming sirens, eerie echoes, and slowed-down funk. Although rarely given real props, the Cypress cats were game changers for real, son.

25. Amy Winehouse, "Addicted" (2006)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Back To Black

Producer: Salaam Remi

With a pitch-perfect Phil Spector girl group sound courtesy of Salaam Remi and a topic that even bad girls like the Ronettes wouldn't touch, Amy Winehouse sang to all the folks in our lives who toke all our Tical without bringing any buds to the table. “Tell your boyfriend next time he around to buy his own weed and don't wear my shit down,” she wails while patiently waiting for “the green man." We feel her pain.

24. Bone Thugs N Harmony, "Weed Song" (2000)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Btnhresurrection

Producer: DJ U Neek

The video for this dreamy Wake & Bake anthem takes places at 10:30 am on 4/20/2000. "If everybody smoked a blunt, relieved the mind, the world could be a better place," Krayzie reflects. "If everybody took a break and we all just get wasted."

23. Dr. Dre f/ Snoop Dogg, "The Next Episode" (1999)

View this video on YouTube

Album: 2001

Producer: Dr. Dre and Mel-Man

Utilizing the sinister David McCallum/David Axelrod sample “The Edge,” the always on fire Dr. Dre and Snoop took the world higher with this song about “California love, this California bud.” While the smash single was already extremely gangsta, the Paul Hunter–directed video further explored the shoot-'em-up motif with a slick neo-noir clip. Invoking a money, bitches and perms aesthetic, some folks are still wondering what Snoop was smoking when he decided to show up to the set with that black Barbie hairstyle. Church!

22. De La Soul, "Peer Pressure " (2001)

View this video on YouTube

Album: AOI: Bionix

Producer: J Dilla

​​Produced by the late genius child J. Dilla, who made beats as fly as Basquiat paintings, this De La Soul track also features the Smogfather and international toker B. Real from Cypress Hill. With an intro that pays homage to Mos Def's, the track explores the various personalities of potheads. Like Half-Baked on wax, this song might give you the munchies.

21. Society of Soul, "Peaches n Erb" (1995)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Brainchild

Producer: Organized Noize

Featuring members of the Organized Noize production clique that crafted some of the best wicked, weeded and wise tracks of the 1990s for Outkast, Joi, Goodie Mob and Cool Breeze—to name a few—this track features on their slept-on joint Brainchild.

Coming out around the same time as D'Angelo, these bong brothers got lost in the soul sauce. Colder than an iceberg and hotter than July, this is multi-generational mack daddy marijuana music for Mayfield lovers, funk fans, and southern hemp-hop heads.

20. The Steve Miller Band, "The Joker" (1973)

View this video on YouTube

Album: The Joker

Producer: Steve Miller

Sampled by the Geto Boys and covered by Homer Simpson, this 1973 classic is all about the smoking, toking adventures of frontman Steve Miller. So cool, Miller has a few names including Space Cowboy and Gangster of Love, each referring to one of his own jams. Back in the '70s, this was the perfect soundtrack for smoking in the boy's room.

19. Lil Kim, "Drugs" (1996)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Hardcore

Producer: Fabian Hamilton

Hanging out with her marijuana-loving mentor The Notorious B.I.G. and his Junior Mafia cronies surely gave Brooklyn’s Lil Kim more contact highs than she can remember. But instead of talking about her own weed passages on this standout track from her indelible debut disc Hard Core, she spits smack about jewels, furs, cars, and sex.

It's not until Big tells her how addicted he is to the beauty and the booty, that the “Drugs” are delivered. “Damn Ma, I love you like the lah, the ganja, sensimilla—can I feel ya?” Biggie grunts, blowing blunt smoke in the air. Though producer Fabian Hamilton never became a household name, his work on “Drugs” was addictive.

18. Black Sabbath, "Sweet Leaf" (1971)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Master of Reality

Producer: Rodger Bain

Back in the day, a lot of Black and Spanish living in various New York City ghettos 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.

17. Gang Starr, "Take Two and Pass " (1992)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Daily Operation

Producer: DJ Premier and Guru

Always raising the rhythmic bar of what constituted great rap records, b-boy perfectionists DJ Premier and Guru were no joke when it came to making masterful tracks. For two dudes not originally from New York City, these brothers from different mothers adapted to the city's grit, grime, and gruffness and translated their experience into some of the hardest tunes of the 1990s.

Along with DJ Muggs, Tricky and RZA, our man Primo was on top of the heap. Recording at the legendary D&D Studios back when insiders joked that the initials stood for “dirt and drugs,” nobody made records like these dudes.

On “Take Two and Pass,” the late great Guru unleashes an ill flow that's the vocal equivalent of an Abel Ferrara film as he rolls through the maddening metropolis while rolling up. “'Take Two and Pass' is the greatest ode to blunts since (the first) Cypress Hill album,” former Source scribe Chris Wilder wrote in 1992. Twenty years later, this track is still banging.

16. Devin The Dude, "Doobie Ashtray" (2002)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Just Tryin' ta Live

Producer: DJ Premier

Surely a lifelong stoner like Devin the Dude deserves a spot on this list just because well..he's that dude. Mixing funky blues with hip-hop, “Doobie Ashtray” has the feel of the Ohio Players leaning back like ganja gangsters. Devin has got a lot of classic smoker anthems, but this one takes the cake clip.

15. Wiz Khalifa, "Still Blazin'" (2010)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Kush & Orange Juice

Producer: Sermstyle

On a mixtape described by pop critic Simon Vozick-Levison as recounting "endless tales of pot smoke and pretty women,” Wiz Khalifa still needs a little “me” time. Like Virginia Woolf, sometimes all Wiz wants is a room of his own.

“Just gimme a quiet place and lemme roll my weed,” he says over a fake Jamaican beat on the track “Still Blazin'.” Featured on his classic 2010 mixtape, which transformed the Steel City into Smoke City, Wiz's needs were really quite simple, “Just get up out my face and lemme roll my weed.” Sounds like the black and yellow kid ain't sharing.

14. Rick James, "Mary Jane" (1978)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Come Get It!

Producer: Art Stewart

Although, the late punk-funker, Rick James, would go down in history as Black pop's most notorious cocaine cowboy—and comic fodder for Dave Chappelle—there's no denying the stone-cold genius behind “Mary Jane,” a track that combined elements of rock, pop, and doo-wop.

Working alongside underrated producer Art Stewart, who engineered and produced for such Motown luminaries as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, wild boy James' brilliant song about bud paved the way for a whole puff, puff, pass generation of hip-hop and soul heads including Cypress Hill, Snoop Dogg and D'Angelo.

While coke, a least for Rick, was an evil drug that contributed to his decline, the brother could always count on Mary Jane to turn him on “with her love” and take him to paradise. Without a doubt, many parents might have thought their kids were listening to a love song about “the girl-next-door,” but of course it was all about getting lifted.

13. Redman, "How to Roll a Blunt" (1992)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Whut? Thee Album

Producer: Pete Rock and Redman

Although a few old school cats might remember buying loose joints on the schoolyard with Julio, by the late 1980s, it was all about Philly blunts. Formerly the kind of stogies senior citizens smoked while seated on the stoop, the cheap cigars and revolutionized the reefer game when weed heads started buying them seemingly overnight on the grounds that they made weed last longer, the better for passing around. This dope Redman track serves as a streetwise instructional on mastering your technique. Let the good times roll.

12. Curtis Mayfield, "Pusher Man" (1972)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Super Fly (Soundtrack)

Producer: Curtis Mayfield

Wearing eyeglasses and strumming a guitar, 30-year-old singer/producer Curtis Mayfield appeared with his band in the landmark Blaxploitation film Super Fly (1972), for which he also did the soundtrack. Not only was this funky groove a perfect smoking soundtrack, but it was about the man who's always there saying, "have some coke, have some weed."

“Technically, 'Pusherman' was the first song we recorded,” guitarist Craig McMullen recalled forty years later. “Unlike the rest of the album, which we recorded back in Chicago, 'Pusherman' was done in New York City during the same time we came to film our cameo.”

When a journalist asked Mayfield about puffing, the singer who made a point of saying he was never "a victim of ghetto demands," confessed: “I smoked herb. I didn't do nothing until I was 27 years old and smoking herb didn't seem like a heavy cost to pay to cure my curiosity.”

11. KRS-One, "I Can't Wake Up" (1993)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Return of the Boom Bap

Producer: DJ Premier and KRS-One

Billed as the first KRS-One solo joint, as opposed to a Boogie Down Productions record, Return of the Boom-Bap didn't disappoint when it comes to witty wordplay. On the wonderfully whimsical “I Can't Wake Up,” aurally sculpted by DJ Premier, brother Kris approaches the song as though it were a weed version of 50 Cent's fantastical “How to Rob.” Instead of jacking famous hip-hop stars for their gold and money, KRS dreams that he is a blunt getting smoked by Redman, Showbiz, Grand Puba, Fab 5 Freddy and others. With a tone that sounds lighter than usual, this is one of KRS's best.

10. Bob Dylan, "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" (1966)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Blonde On Blonde

Producer: Bob Johnston

There have been a lot of recording sessions that would have been cool to sit in on, but none sound much more fun than Dylan and his band recording “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35” at Columbia Records Studios in Nashville. Passing around joints in the studio, Dylan convinced everybody to switch instruments and swing the best they could.

No wonder the song—a goofy blues about the plights of fame and the joys of weed, which opens Dylan's 1966 masterpiece Blonde on Blonde—sounded like a bunch of New Orleans wild boys stumbling home from a funeral while playing their trombone, tuba, piano, bass, drums and tambourine.

Each line of the song opens with different scenarios when "They'll stone you" then builds to the slurred punchline “But I would not feel so all alone—everybody must get stoned." Although the song reached No. 2 on the pop charts, it was banned from the both American radio and the BBC. As Time magazine informed their square readers, “a rainy day woman…is a marijuana cigarette.” Really? Ya don't say!

9. Kid Cudi, "Day ’n’ Nite" (2008)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Man on the Moon: The End of Day

Producer: Dot Da Genius

Flipping the title of a Cole Porter classic was where Kid Cudi cut his ties to traditional pop music. Inspired by the Geto Boys infamous “Mind Playing Tricks on Me,” Cudi comes across like Portishead without the accent. Working with long time musical partner Dot da Genius, the Cudi constructed one of the coolest chill-out tracks since trip-hop flew into the states via Concorde. For all those lonely stoners out there, “Day ’n’ Nite” is an atmospheric, trippy, dreamy piece of music that takes you higher without inhaling.

8. Bob Marley, "Kaya" (1978)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Kaya

Producer: Bob Marley and The Wailers

Released a year after the seminal Exodus album the year before, yet with songs cobbled from the same sessions, Bob Marley's wonderful Kaya album was all about peace and love. While some hardcore aficionados believed the record soft when compared to past releases, others thought the laidback tracks revealed a well-rounded artist, one who could be both a sonic warrior and introspective observer.

The title track, which Marley had recorded a version of a few years earlier, was inspired after hanging-out with producer Lee Scratch Perry. In 1973, Perry had recorded the original version of the song for his album Soul Revolution Part II.

Not as big a Marley expert as some folks I know, I asked noted writer, teacher and author Vivian Goldman, who penned The Book of Exodus: The Making and Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers' Album of the Century (2006), to give her thoughts on Bob's dreamy love song to weed.

“'Kaya' fulfills Marley's aesthetic criteria of being exceedingly accessible, and its vivid chalice inhalation and hummable hook is instant in both versions of the song—the original cut in the 1973 with dubmaster Lee Perry, where the harmonies of the three original Wailers, Bob, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingstone, seem to hover in the air like parallel smoke signals; and the crisper, better known 1978 version on which Bob's vocal mastery rings out, counterpointed with the I Three's swooning backing.

Each has its charms. Whichever, in both 'Kaya's,' Bob creates a sensual, languorous space out of time; the cosy sense of being sheltered while the rain pounds down outside and we relish a respite from life's turbulence, able to view it from the more serene vantage point of one who is 'feeling irie I, cause I have some Kaya now...'"

7. Styles P, "Good Times (I Get High)" (2002)

View this video on YouTube

Album: A Gangster and a Gentlemen

Producer: Swizz Beatz and Saint Denson

If you don't believe things go 'round in circles like a dusty Billy Preston record, then how come the first official rap record “Rappers Delight” sampled Chic's monster disco record “Good Times” and then twenty-three years later Styles P put out a record called “Good Times.” Unlike Chic founder Nile Rodgers—another New York dude who rose up from rough beginnings—Style's joint is literally about joints.

“I smoke like Bob Marley did,” P spit, “add to that, that I smoke like the Hippies did back in the '70s.” The irony of the song's title is that Style's crazy world, with its random beefs, paranoia and violence, doesn't sound like “Good Times” at all. Keep puffing, P.

6. Ray Charles, "Let's Go Get Stoned" (1966)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Crying Time

Producer: Joe Adams

Ever heard some weed seller claim his smoke was so good it would make Ray Charles see? Well, if brother Ray were still walking the earth, I would say "prove it." Indeed, any of us who watched Jamie Foxx in Ray knows that that piano-playing, gospel-wailing, blues-screaming soul man wasn't playing around when it came to smoking a little somethin'-somethin'.

On “Let's Go Get Stoned,” which came out during the mid-60s when long-haired freaks and short-haired sneaks began puffing as though bud was legal, Charles has no problem getting' his buzz on. Covered by Joe Cocker at Woodstock, “Let's Go Get Stoned” was an early writing credit for Ashford and Simpson, who initially met at White Rock Baptist Church in New York City.

Stone, rock, do you see the connection? The song was later dissed by former Vice-President Spiro Agnew, who thought it and other songs put drugs in “such an attractive light, that for the impressionable, turning on becomes the natural and even the approved thing to do.”

5. The Luniz, "I Got 5 On It" (1995)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Operation Stackola

Producer: Tone Capone

The video may have been shot at a mansion complete with a blue water swimming pool and dancing hoochies, but Bay Area rhyme slingers Luniz kept it reefer real when they took up a collection to buy a phat sack. Funky as a bag of skunk, this blunted beat is habit-formingly hypnotic.

4. D'Angelo, "Brown Sugar" (1995)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Brown Sugar

Producer: D'Angelo and Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Co-produced with A Tribe Called Quest sonic architect Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the soulful “Brown Sugar” served as the D'Angelo's debut single. A sticky-icky ballad where the object of his desire was a strong spliff, the track was as smoked-out as its subject matter.

The Grammy-nominated song could've been a comic novelty record if D'Angelo's haunting vocals, funky drums and churchy textured organ didn't sound so damn serious. Simultaneously retro and revolutionary, “Brown Sugar” was the perfect introduction to a great artist.

3. Snoop Dogg, "Gin & Juice" (1994)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Doggystyle

Producer: Dr. Dre

Before the Death Row Records empire crumbled to the ground like a hip-hop version of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were the baddest boys in Black pop. Death Row was led by super-producer Dr. Dre, whose aural mixture of yesteryear soul and contemporary swagger made his emerging G-Funk a global soundtrack.

Critic David Browne described the G-Funk sound as, “…fluidly weaving together a gaggle of background singers and rappers, quirky samples, his trademark horror-flick keyboard lines. However, the music was only one side of the funk, with Snoop's “witty and gritty” vocals being the lyrical component that made the world scream, “Rollin' down the street smokin' Indo, sippin' on gin and juice.”

According to journalist Kevin Powell, who covered the Death Row camp extensively in the 1990s, the song was essentially a freestyle. “Snoop smoked mad weed,” Powell wrote in 2007, “and had the uncanny ability to craft hit records off the top of his head.”

As for Dre, he once rapped "I don't smoke weed or sess / cause it's gonna give a brother brain damage," but later called his solo debut The Chronic—so draw your own conclusions. As the second single released from Snoop's seminal debut Doggystyle, the party jam “Gin and Juice” was nominated for a Grammy.

2. Peter Tosh, "Legalize It" (1976)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Legalize It

Producer: Peter Tosh

When former Wailers co-founder Peter Tosh sat in a marijuana field smoking an ornate pipe on the cover of his solo debut album Legalize It, he wasn't just striking a pose. The Rasta rebel was making a bold statement directed at any and all governmental entities whose “war on bud” amounted to nothing but Babylonian brutality.

While most stateside stoners had never heard Tosh's terms like “tampee” before, it didn't take a genius to know what the Stepping Razor was talking about—ganja. Considered a roots reggae classic, with its Rasta rhythms and rebellious vibe, thirty years later “Legalize It” is still relevant, although the song's vision statement has yet to be fulfilled.

1. Redman and Method Man, "How High" (1999)

View this video on YouTube

Album: The Blackout

Producer: Eric Sermon

Before becoming the Heckle and Jeckle of rap, these cannabis connoisseurs made no secret of their love for bud, which made their first featured collaboration, “How High,” an ideal match. Produced by EPMD fisherman hat wearing dude Erick Sermon, who sampled the zooted disco track “Fly Robin Fly” by Silver Convention, this is the kind of song that stoner Jeff Spicoli would make love to. The song became the jump-off for the duo's 2001 film of the same name. They also did a remix and a part two of this track, but none tops the funk of the original.

Latest in Music