Today is 4/20! Man, who would’ve known that the exploits and escapades of five high scholars from California in the 70s would start a worldwide “holiday” observed by multitudes of weed aficionados the world over? Well, I’m pretty sure half of you reading this are already levitating off the high and aren’t interested in thinking too deeply about 4/20. Rightfully so!
We can, however, appreciate that out of the million things that go well with this day, music is very ‘high’ up that list. Few things compare to rolling up bud with good music in the background. What’s even better is listening to songs about the consumption of the ‘erb. Whether it’s beautifully sung melodies or mellow, vivid raps, songs about weed and its consumption are always ‘fire’.
Regardless of whether it’s local or international, R&B, soul or hip-hop, weed makes for a ‘stimulating’ subject matter in songs. To commemorate 4/20, we’ve compiled 4+20 of some of our favourite songs about weed and/or getting high (in its many variations). Enjoy!
Bigstar Johnson enlists the help of a brazen Reason and Zoocci Coke Dope on this cut, where they boast about all the flavours of weed (and other things) they indulge in.
The last Rihanna album has a sweet interlude song tucked in the playlist where she reveals how much she just wants to roll up, smoke weed and do grown up things with her lover.
One of the most exciting rappers in SA hip-hop right now, ChrothaGnostic released a brilliant but slept on album in 2020. The standout song on there is “Marawona”, which is a hard-hitting, creative joint where he shares his ruminations about marijuana.
This deep cut off 50 Cent’s iconic debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ is a sleeper. In an album that’s full of monstrous hits, it can be overlooked but it’s truly one of his best songs ever! He wants all the smoke on this one, purple haze, chocolate – you name it!
Tshego disproving the archaic myth that stoners are bummy people who aren’t fresh. On “Garden” he emphasises how fresh he is despite the heavy hash smoke, proclaiming that he smokes so much he smells like a garden, reeking off that purple!
This classic cut is one of the most recognizable and masterful uses of the chipmunk sampling style. It is also arguably Styles P’s most famous song. Who could ever forget the scene in the film Soul Plane when Snoop Dogg’s character is smoking up in the sky to this heater?
You can always count on YoungstaCPT to approach every subject as diligently as possible. His first line on this song is “Paper, scissors and rollers are the components…” making it sound like smoking is a Science experiment or something. There’s no complaints here though!
This 4/20, roll one up for the daily departed. The ever so talented Amy Winehouse, while alive, was one of the most appreciated of the hemp plant, she even sang beautifully about it, as she does on “Addicted”. She would sadly die over alcohol poisoning. Rest In Peace, Amy!
This was such a mammoth song for Emtee, propelled Emtee into superstardom almost overnight. It was such a big song that by the time most people caught on that it was a stoner anthem (“Start rolling up the jets”) it was too late, whether one smoked or not.
This is for the duality crowd. The ones who see cannabis as some form of vice. Kendrick Lamar balances it out with immersing himself into the Bible as much as he indulges in the herb so perhaps this is the move if you end up feeling conflicted with every puff.
Black Moss represents that stoner who gets contemplative when they’re on that hash. He credits his deep thinking to that Swazi and you know, for some people that’s exactly what it will do. Enhance one’s mental faculties. So, do like Black Moss does, light it up and pass it!
Now this is a masterpiece. I bet this song makes someone that don’t even smoke wanna roll up. I’d suggest, if it’s your first time having a spliff this 4/20, play this jawn. I can almost guarantee that it will be a glorious high, I mean one spliff a day keeps the evil away, right?
Still, on 4/20, we can’t shy away from the reality that some of us smoke a little bit too much because of our problems. Trying to escape. Nasty tackles that subject on here, admitting that the reason he toke so much is because he’s got problems. Y’all be easy though!
If weed had a spokesperson, it would be Spitta. This guy has a trove of songs whose subject matter is just weed. I don’t think there’s ever been a single rapper who rapped about weed as much as Curren$y Spitta has. That said, “Mary” is his best weed song!
Let’s not front, sometimes a joint can get one in their hallucinating bag. Shane is on that here. Mellow ramblings about anything and everything while sometimes seeing things that aren’t there and not seeing those that are there. It’s a vibe nonetheless.
Now, this is a sneaky one. The jury is still out as to whether D’Angelo is talking about nookie or weed on this jawn but, I mean… sometimes those two things do overlap, in theory at least, especially regarding how they make the consumer feel.
Legendary South African hip-hop crew Cashless Society take a bit of a different approach with this one. They reimagine the high as a positive thing and therefore encourage the listener to get high off life. We ain’t mad at this view at all, as long as we’re getting high off something.
“Drugs” is yet another showing of how daring and bold Lil Kim has always been. She was on everything during this time, whether it was sex or drugs – she did it all to the n-th degree and rapped her ass off about it. Her and B.I.G manage to show love to the ganja on here.
During a time when DJ led posse cuts were making the rounds in SA hip-hop, DJ Vigilante snuck in with this scorcher. Featuring Yung Swiss, A-Reece and Maggz, “Mary Jane” is a love letter to the herb, borrowing from the same approach the great Rick James took to do the same.
Peak Lil Wayne was unplayable. He could do no wrong so when he came out with this kush ode? He shut it down even worse than how he was circa 2008. This is not only an impressive song about about, it is one of Lil Wayne’s best songs period!
This that dro that make you just wanna chill and vibe out. Flvme is in that sweet spot of a high early on this one and we can’t blame him because off the rip, he says: “rolling up a backwood in the morning, just so I can hear the angels calling me…”.
Red & Meth are the posterchildren of smoking buddha. Since they linked up in the mid-90s, they have been known to have weed as their mascot or is it the other way round? Either Way, “How High” is a classic by two friends whose bond is strengthened by that cheeba cheeba.
Out of the many collaborations the aforementioned artists have, they have never hit a stride quite like they did on “Heaven”. A song so good, one would be forgiven if they felt like they were on good bud when listening to it. Straight levitation jet music!
It doesn’t get better than this. A group of friends putting some cents together in order to go half on half on a dime-sack is the quintessential 04/20 song. Every stoner can relate to feenin’ so much that they were willing to go halfsies with a friend in order to get a hit of that indo!