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Over the past few decades, one thing has remained entirely constant in music: the love of cannabis. Cannabis has massively influenced artists from the jazz age all the way to the present day.
Musicians around the world share their love of cannabis, and entire genres have evolved around the use of sweet sinsemilla.
Countless songs have been written about cannabis, so picking 10 out of all the amazing options was a real challenge. Join us as we dive into various genres and list our top 10 cannabis anthems of all time.
#10. Afroman - Because I Got High
Released by Afroman in 2001, the song became an instant hit for stoners everywhere. This catchy song became a classic because it tells the truth about how smoking can sometimes kill your motivation to do things you don’t want to do.
The song is presented ridiculously and has lots of funny lyrics, but the message is real. Sometimes you can have too much or smoke when you probably shouldn't.
Cannabis in music is always presented as a creative substance or the perfect drug. That being said, Afroman knows that isn't always true, and created this humorous song to explain it.
#9. John Holt - Police In Helicopter
This reggae classic comes from John Holt, and was released in 1983. It's a rebellious song aimed against the Jamaican government crackdown against marijuana.
A relaxed and bassy dub beat lays the background of Holt's soulful singing and powerful lyrics. Holt describes police searching for marijuana plantations to burn from their helicopters.
Holt details that he's not going to take it lying down. He says that he'll burn down sugar cane plantations if they continue to destroy precious marijuana.
#8. Three Six Mafia - Bin Laden
It's no secret that the famous Memphis trio loves to get high. They continually rap about cannabis in many of their hits.
That being said, Bin Laden takes it to the next level. Like “Bin Laden weed” itself, a mythical strain of cannabis that's almost too powerful.
This song is an excellent example of southern rap - the dark beat drones behind each rappers' experience on and with weed. While not the most cheerful song, it's powerful and has a fantastic beat.
#7. The Toyes - Smoke Two Joints
The Toyes wrote this classic reggae hit in 1983. The song is also often mistaken as a song written by Bob Marley or Sublime.
The tune goes through a day in the life of the singer who is always smoking two joints. He smokes two joints when he wakes up, before he goes to bed, and basically when he does anything. We definitely don’t condone the “while driving” part though.
The relaxed reggae beat and catchy lyrics make it the perfect stoner jam. It'll make you want to smoke two joints every time you hear it!
#6. Black Sabbath - Sweet Leaf
Black Sabbath was one of the original heavy rock bands of the '70s that influenced punk and heavy metal. Before Ozzy Osbourne became a reality star, he was the lead singer for this rebellious band.
The first track on their album Master of Reality is called Sweet Leaf, and of course, they aren't talking about tea.
Ozzy Osbourne sings about how cannabis has been shunned from society, that he knows how good it is, and how society will eventually embrace it. Ozzy must be able to see into the future because he was absolutely right.
#5. The Luniz - I Got 5 On It
We're not sure if we need to introduce this classic reefer anthem. The Luniz is a bay area rap duo, mostly known for this hit song.
No one smokes for free, and you always have to do your part. As the classic chorus puts it, “I got five on it” - meaning The Luniz are pitching in five dollars for some cannabis.
Make sure that the next time you smoke with friends, you put “five on it”.
#4. Ray Charles - Let's Go Get Stoned
The pioneer of soul music, Ray Charles, is one of the most influential figures in music history. Not only did he push the boundaries of music, but he loved getting elevated too.
After he tried marijuana for the first time in the 1940s, he started to use cannabis regularly. He was such an avid supporter because he thought it could boost his and other musicians' creativity.
He remade this classic song in 1965 when marijuana was still very illegal and America was at the height of reefer madness. But Ray Charles didn't care, and he continued to enjoy and write about cannabis.
#3. Rick James - Mary Jane
Most people know Rick James from his comedic portrayal on Chapelle’s Show. However, Rick James was an accomplished soul and funk singer.
This uplifting and groovy song is Rick serenading “Mary Jane” with all his praise and love. On the surface, the tune seems like a common love song between Rick and a girl named Mary Jane, but we know who, or rather what, Mary Jane really is. Back in the day, that might not have been as obvious to some, which makes the song such a classic stoner tune.
#2. Fraternity Of Man - Don't Bogart Me
You've probably heard the term, “don't bogart that joint,” and it came from this classic song. Written in 1968, the song became famous because it was featured in the 1969 movie Easy Rider.
The term has become popular in stoner culture for scolding someone who holds the joint for too long without passing it (thanks to Humphrey Bogart’s smoking habits). Besides creating the classic line, the song is also catchy and relaxed.
Most people wouldn't think that a lot of stoner music came from the sound of country music. But classic country music was the perfect platform because the rhythms are laidback and easy going just like reggae.
#1. Peter Tosh - Legalize It
This tune from Peter Tosh would be the one that represents the world's struggle to legalize cannabis. Created in 1975, the song would later be banned in Jamaica.
That didn't stop it from becoming a massive hit with a message that still resonated with the world. The slow reggae jam repeats the message to legalize cannabis.
Peter Tosh goes on to say that “doctors, nurses, judges, and lawyers” smoke it. Basically, everyone smokes it, and it has many benefits, so why shouldn't it be legal?
Unfortunately, we're still asking the same questions to this day, so let's legalize it already!Check out our post on the top ten stoner movies of all time here too.