20 April, 2010@4:52 am
It’s 4/20. While the innanet will probably ablaze with stories about weed, interviews with stoners, and free downloadable albums (see today’s other sticky posts, as new shit has come to light), we present to you, the 20 best hip-hop songs about getting high. With such a wide topic, it was hard to narrow it down to just 20 tracks, so we took some liberties and selected only one song per artist – which automatically disqualifies Cypress Hill’s entire first album. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it…..
20. Domino – “Sweet Potato Pie” - What’s great about this track was that Domino’s clean version was a completely different song – same beat, altered hook, but Dom completely reworked the lyrics to be a song about “hoochies”, as they said back then. The lesser heard album version (at least in comparison to the BDS favorite clean version) does not go for subtlety.
19. Necro – “I Need Drugs” - Wow, just….wow. This video still shocks us – perhaps the greatest drug-addled achievement of the indie hip-hop movement. A cover of LL Cool J’s “I Need Love” finds Necro delivering a parody that’s equal parts hilarious and disturbing. That is his Uncle Howie in the video, shooting heroin. He died two weeks ago – rest in peace.
18. Snoop Dogg – “Let’s Get Blown” – While Snoop is one of the biggest smokers in the game, his music is laced with references to the potent green substance, but rarely does he dedicate entire songs to it. However “Let’s Get Blown” – a duet with Pharrell – is not about inviting Aurora Snow over – but perhaps his best weed anthem. Lots of trees in the video.
17. Quasimoto – “Boom Music” – Weed might have been the reason The Lootpack broke up. Just one album before this, Wildchild was rapping against the sticky-icky on “Weededed” with an A.G. sample on the hook that suggested “I don’t have to smoke a blunt to get pepped up!”. One album later, we see Madlib getting higher than ever before – to the point where he rapped from the perspective of a chipmunked voiced anteater. Here, we find Madlib and his alter ego trading rhymes, as he dreams about the best rap concert ever.
16. Gravediggaz – “Defective Trip (Trippin’)” - Recorded when the Wu-Tang Clan were in their prime, the Gravediggaz debut was one of the few classic albums to come from the group’s extended fam. Much of that success is due to the production of Prince Paul, and the animated theatrics of both Frukwan and Too Poetic, both whom play their parts to the hilt throughout the LP. On “Trippin”, each member is in perfect character, detailing the most otherworldly experiences of their lives.
15. M.F. Doom – “My Favorite Ladies” – Doom’s ode to the women in his life slowly unravels as an extended metaphor for his favorite vices, which seem to be beer, weed, and cocaine. Although we doubt Doom does much coke; it’s impossible to sniff through that mask.
14. Digable Planets – “Nickle Bag Of Funk” - Yeah, we’re a sucker for classic samples – this one nabs Curtis Mayfield’s “Give Me Your Love”. This was pre-Cypress Hill era, so Digable had to be a little less blunt and a little more metaphoric when describing their favorite extra-curricular activities.
13. Dr. Dre feat. Kurupt, Nate Dogg, Six-Two – “Xxplosive” – Perhaps Kurupt didn’t get the memo that this was supposed to be a laid-back weed song, not a “kill-a-hoe” track. Either way, Nate Dogg’s verse makes up for anyone else’s shortcomings, not to mention one of Dr. Dre’s greatest beats of all time. Trivia: The “Xxplosive” beat was originally meant for a track called “The Way I Be Pimpin”, written by Royce Da 5’9. It featured Dre rapping the whole thing, with Royce on the hook. Google it.
12. Styles P feat. Jadakiss – “Good Times (I Get High)” – This one is a blunt dipped in honey, mainly thanks to Swizz Beatz use of the Freda Payne “I Get High (On Your Memory)” sample. It dropped in 2002, but has had a long-lasting, lingering effect.
11. Tha Alkaholiks – “Mary Jane” – The ‘Liks took Rick James concept to another level, with this brilliant play on words, acting as the group’s lone ode to a drug other than alcohol on their classic debut, 21 & Over. This was also Madlib’s first beat ever, subtly sampling James’ hit single in the least obvious way possible, with a simple “Oh, Mary” vocal sample. Later we’d find countless rappers trying to do the same thing, but instead jacking the entire Rick James track.
10. Keith Murray – “Get Lifted” – There was a time when Keith Murray was one of the hottest rappers on the east coast. His ultra smooth “Get Lifted” samples the George McCrae track of the same name and does it justice with unapologetic lyrics about the subject, and memorable lines like “legalize and I’ll advertise”. Fire up this funk.
9. Three 6 Mafia feat. Young Buck, 8Ball & MJG – “Stay High (Stay Fly)” – Another one that wins on sample use alone. How soulful is that Willie Hutch sample? So much that they continued to borrow from his catalog for “Poppin’ My Collar”, “Dontcha Get Mad”, and “Hood Star”. Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But don’t leave your drink or blunts unsupervised if DJ Paul is in the vicinity.
8. Jay-Z – “Feelin’ It” – Rarely does Jay-Z talk about getting high, he’s a businessman, he doesn’t have time for that. But let’s not forget Reasonable Doubt’s “Feelin’ It”. While the song itself plays like a lah anthem, only in the last verse do we get a rare glimpse into Jay’s weed smoking prowess.
7. Eminem – “My Fault (Shroomz)” – Em covered a previously untouched topic in hip-hop with “My Fault”, where he details his experiences with mushrooms. Using his classic Slim Shady LP style, he delivers a darkly humorous, cleverly penned narrative that still impresses and makes us laugh out loud to this day.
6. Kid Cudi – “Day ‘n Nite” – During 2008′s incredibly stale hip-hop market, Kid Cudi emerged with his single “Day ‘N Nite”, a murky, hypnotic, infectious, and most of all, original track that grabbed audiences upon first listen. Lonely stoners, unite.
5. Devin The Dude – “Doobie Ashtray” – While Devin’s got a whole catalog of songs about weed (not to mention an album called Do Not DistHerb (Suite 420) dropping this week). His most gorgeously green track ever has to be the DJ Premier produced “Doobie Ashtray”, a slow burning, down on your luck anthem that inspires blunt tokery.
4. The Pharcyde – “Pack The Pipe” – Sure, “Soul Flower” might be the happy hippy go-to track for this type of list, but dig deeper into Bizarre Ride II and you’ll find one of the greatest, most visual drug songs ever with “Pack The Pipe”. We won’t spoil it for the youngsters, but listen and you may finally be experienced. THE PIPE DAMMIT!
3. Redman & Method Man – “How High” – The quintessential smoke song comes in two different flavors – original and remix. Sure Red and Meth have both had their share of tracks on the topic, but their first collaboration together found them at their best, while the planets, and the stars, and the moon collapsed.
2. Cypress Hill – “Hits From The Bong” – Prior to the release of this song, many hip-hop heads didn’t even know what a “bong” was. While Cypress Hill’s entire catalog is more or less about smoking herb, their use of Dusty Springfield’s “Son of A Preacher Man”, combined with actual bubbling bong-water sound effects made for one of the most outstanding and unique marijuana songs ever.
This deejay was sitting in the theater for Pulp Fiction in 1994 and nearly jumped out the seat when “Son of A Preacher Man” came on, thinking this film that had already sucked him in was going to take a step further and add some Cypress Hill into the mix. Yeah, B-Real, Muggs, and Sen Dog were a year ahead of Quentin Tarantino. How’s that for ground breaking?
1. The Luniz – “I Got Five On It” – While Luniz never really blew up as big as many of the other artists on this list, they are responsible for the greatest weed song ever, “I Got Five On It”. Say what you will about their albums, Yukmouth’s solo career, or whatever, but this timeless classic outdoes them all. Drop it in the midst of any hip-hop set and watch the instantaneous “oooooh” crowd response. Classic.
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