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 CAN’T WAKE UP” by KRS-One (1997)

A lot of musicians take on roles when they sing about pot. Farmers, dealers, users. Some are drawn from reality, while others are complete fiction. But leave it to Kris Parker to assume the role of the blunt itself. “I’m a blunt getting’ smoked and I can’t wake up.” He repeats that refrain, growing more and more desperate throughout his dream.

KRS fills his nightmare with all manner of public figures. Redman and De La Soul both take a hit off of him. Then Bill Clinton smokes but does not inhale. (If you lived through that era, you’ll get that joke.) That’s just a small sampling of the name-dropping. It is all propelled over a groove that could have come from DJ Muggs and Cypress Hill. KRS, especially as he got older, could be prone to preaching. But there is none of that here. It’s actually just a smartly written nightmare, that acknowledges that getting high is not all blueberry yum yum.

“TOMMY CHONG” by YBE (2024)

I was shuffling through a dozen or more possibilities for my 12th entry (11th, actually, because I always knew what was going last). Then on 4/20 of this year – unofficial weed day – West Covina’s own YBE, formerly known as Lil Yogi, released a killer track, built around the chorus “All I do is smoke weed and get high – I’ll be smokin’ every day and I ain’t never gonna change.”

He patterns his verses on Eminem’s classics and concludes “Everybody in the world likes to blaze – so f**k what they say, I’ll be smokin’ my weed to ease the pain.” YBE wasn’t exactly the first rapper to release a weed song on 4/20. He just happened to release an outstanding one.

Four bands too good for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four bands too good for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. dark. Next

“BECAUSE I GOT HIGH” by Afroman (2001)

“I was gonna clean me room, until I got high – I was gonna get up and find the broom, but then I got high – My room is still messed up and I know why – Because I got high, because I got high, because I got high.”

I think you get the gist. Afroman takes you on a trip through his tragic life. And you can’t help but smile.

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