A dozen rad weed songs from the land of reggae

Not confining ourselves to the island.
Bob Marley
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“GANJA BABY” by Queen Omega (2004)

Like Marlon Asher, Queen Omega was born in Trinidad. But she found success after moving to London while still in her teens. Her songs show the clear influence of reggae but also incorporate elements of neo-soul pop that Brits from Amy Winehouse to Jorja Smith have explored.

On the particular subject of weed, she is very clear. “I am a ganja baby – I a ganja lady – I love to burn - because I love to learn.” And she gets in her subtle call for legalization as well, going through a roll call of all the types of smoke that should be legal.

Artists like Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths carved out a niche for female reggae performers, but often, the women have been relegated to a 20-feet-from-stardom role, providing backup support for male artists. Queen Omega has been able to build a career outside the confines of the Americas that now counts seven albums, with a voice that continues to grow stronger.

“SMOKE THE WEED” by Snoop Lion and Collie Buddz (2013)

As we shall see, the artists commonly known as Snoop Dogg will be captaining Team Hip Hop. He may be the single most recognizable proponent of weed in the world of music. He has already appeared as a guest on one of Team America’s songs. But this is Snoop Lion, a short-lived persona of the Dogg who dived headfirst into reggae with his Reincarnated album in 2013.

The message is fairly obvious in the title. “Smoke the weed – every day – don’t smoke the seeds – no way.” Snoop brings a touch of gangsta to his verse, but the song remains fully rooted in positive solutions to some of life’s problems. Collie Buddz, a reggae artist from Bermuda, adds a more traditional spin in his verses, and even offers up new recipes for listeners to consider – “Me mix the weed with a lil’ Grey Goose and tonic.” Snoop can afford the Goose. No word on whether it mixes well with Indoggo.

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“I LOVE MARIJUANA” by Linval Thompson (1978)

We’ll return full circle back to the early days for this very simple, very definitive declaration. No need for analysis. I’ll let Thompson say it for himself. “I like to smoke marijuana – It gives me a deep meditation – I love to draw marijuana – It give me a deep meditation -It keep the natty dreadlocks jumping – It keep the natty dreadlocks rocking.” And later, maybe the truest lines ever written in a song about weed...“The white man love to smoke marijuana – The black man love to cultivate it.”

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