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Few calendar days are as celebrated in the hip hop culture as April 20, otherwise known as 4/20, a holiday for cannabis lovers to partake in their favorite herb of choice. In a culture genre filled with creatives and fans who are unabashed of their usage, there have been numerous musical references to the plant throughout the years.
With laws being passed to decriminalize cannabis throughout the nation, weed is no longer a taboo topic, and hip hop can be credited in large part with helping remove the stigma. So today, REVOLT lists some of the greatest stoner anthems in hip hop history to get you prepared for the smokey day ahead. Check them out below.
1. “I Got 5 On It” - Luniz
In 1995, Bay Area rap duo Luniz provided the ultimate rallying cry for cash-strapped smokers worldwide with this breakout single from their debut album, Operation Stackola. Produced by Tone Capone, who jacks elements from Club Nouveau’s 1986 hit “Why You Treat Me So Bad,” and features vocalist Michael Marshall on the hook, this smooth groove peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, reached platinum status, and stands as a defining moment for the Bay Area rap scene.
2. “Good Times (I Get High)” - Styles P
For many, smoking weed is a recreational past time. For others, it is an integral part of their being. Styles P, who’s been vocal about his love affair with the plant for years, wore those feelings on his sleeve when recording this pulsating thumper from his solo debut, A Gangster and a Gentleman. Detailing any and every situation in which you can find him stoned over a sample of Freda Payne’s “I Get High (On Your Memory),” the rapper teamed up with Swizz Beatz and Saint Denson, rolled up a few, and cooked up the crown jewel of his catalog.
3. “How High” - Method Man & Redman
Asking permission to take a second to kiss the sky, Method teams up with fellow green-thumb club member Redman for this hazy collaborative effort, which finds the pair bonding over their affinity for the sticky green. Produced by Erick Sermon, this song marks the genesis of Red and Meth’s creative partnership, inspired the 2001 stoner-flick of the same name, and helped put stoner rap on the national map.
4. “Hits from the Bong” - Cypress Hill
For those interested in a change of pace from the cigars and rolling papers, this mellow ditty from Cypress Hill should serve as your introduction, a must-have in the arsenal of any true smoke champ. Planting the flag for Mary Jane’s various suitors with cuts like this one from the crew’s Black Sunday album, this DJ Muggs production is the perfect setting the ambiance as the water bubbles and the smoke clears.
5. “Mad Izm” - Channel Live
The sound of flickering lighters is prompted upon pressing play on this rugged ode to marijuana by New Jersey duo Channel Live, which finds the pair waxing poetic about “The Izm” over a brooding soundscape courtesy of Buckwild. Featuring KRS-One, “Mad Izm” was Channel Live’s lone notable hit, peaking at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart.
6. “How To Roll A Blunt” - Redman
If this is your first time partaking in the festivity that is 4/20, this tutorial on how to twist up a Phillie blunt by Redman should be your guiding light to ensure you’re not playing the flute the moment you spark up. Produced by Pete Rock, whose signature horn stabs are scattered atop riffs from “Risin’ To The Top” by Keni Burke, this jam is an essential listen for weed enthusiasts, and is equal parts informative and entertaining.
7. “Up” - Wiz Khalifa
Everything is better when you’re high, a maxim that Wiz Khalifa lives by and shares with the public on this languid number from his Kush & OJ mixtape. Leaving the lyrical miracles at home and going for more of a stream-of-consciousness approach, the rapper croons about the positive benefits of letting a paper plane fly and landing below the heavens by the time the ash is clipped.
8. “High All The Time” - 50 Cent
50 Cent’s admission that he’s not a marijuana user himself takes away a bit of its luster for hardcore potheads, but this standout deep cut from his Get Rich or Die Tryin’ album saw Fif playing the part. Produced by Sha Money XL, Eminem and DJ Rad, this cut captures Fif taking a few hits of Cali bud in the midst of his crime wave.
9. “Doubie Ashtray” - Devin The Dude
What do you do when the jive is all gone, you ask? Well, throwing on this classic toker anthem by Devin The Dude would be a good place to start. Produced by DJ Premier, who flips a sample of “Quit It” by Miriam Makeba into a twangy, sublime backdrop; this number will keep you busy crooning, while chasing the next smoke cloud.