12 dope weed songs from the streets of hip-hop

Hip-hop’s relationship to marijuana is a little bit different but the roots run deep.
Snoop Dogg at Live 50
Snoop Dogg at Live 50 / Theo Wargo/GettyImages
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“I WANNA GET HIGH” by Cypress Hill (1993)

May as well begin with a clear statement of purpose. That’s what Cypress Hill did on their second album, Black Sunday. The first words you hear are “I want to get high, so high,” Then B-Real launches into his story “Well, it’s the funk elastic, the blunt I twist it – The slamafied, Buddhafied funk on your discuss.” And a few lines later, Yes, I smoke s**t, straight off the roach clip – I wrote s**t for the blunted ones to approach it.” In a few lines, we have an agenda (the song’s title) as well as a suggestion that getting high is part and parcel of the creative process. How very reggae of B-Real.

But what puts this song over the top is DJ Muggs’ incessant beat which you can almost smell. It begins seductively, then grows more and more frenetic as he scratches away. And then it all fades away, like the sounds of distant sirens that no longer concern you. Later on Black Sunday, Cypress would serve up “Legalize It” and “Hits From the Bong,” the second of which is an excellent track in its own right. But to kick things off, I’m sticking with that song they chose to lead with.

“BLUEBERRYYUM YUM” by Ludacris and Sleepy Brown (2004)

The first thing we hear is someone taking a couple of long drags. Then the march-like groove and Sleepy Brown’s instructions “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)” It’s very hard to resist.

Ludacris picks up the story – “Got a little bit of blueberry yum yum – and I never thought it could taste that good – Thank God for the man who put it in my hood.” Now that is a radical notion to slip into a drug song. In the minds of some critics and fans, Ludacris’ album, The Red Light District, was a bit of a letdown from his previous work. But I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this song.

“GIN AND JUICE” by Snoop Dogg (1993)

Snoop would later release a song called “Stoner’s Anthem,” and he would close out his Dr Dre collab “The Next Episode” with the command “Smoke weed every day.” But this song, from his debut Doggystyle remains his most iconic weed rap, even though he named it after the accompanying beverage. He makes it clear in this early pillar of g-funk that sex and alcohol may be central to his laid-back lifestyle. But weed remains essential.

“Rollin’ down the street, smokin indo, sippin’ on gin and juice.” David Ruffin Jr, son of one of the primary voices of the Temptations, sings that chorus, linking the song to classic African American music. Later on, Snoop will tell how Dre shows up with his bubonic chronic. Snoop, like Willie Nelson and Bob Marley, has an ease and effortlessness about him that seems particularly well-suited for singing about relaxing trips.