As many of you know, yesterday was “national surprise drug test day.” Why? Sunday was April 20th. April 20th, or “420” is a date usually marked on the calendar by marijuana smokers, as a day of “observance” for their toking habit. It is a subculture holiday that is usually only noticed by those that practice, but since smoking weed continues to find it’s way into the mainstream because of increased medicinal use or legalization in some states, the holiday seems to be getting more of the spotlight than usual. We, the staff of Clizbeats took the day off to celebrate Easter so we’re a little late on our recognition of things, but we put together a fun list marijuana related music with a lot of fun facts about them.
We put them into a countdown list based our opinion. Hope you enjoy the fun!
10:) Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” Via The Simpsons
First on the list is “The Joker” by Steve Miller Band. We were introduced to this song through the classic The Simpsons episode, “The Way We Was.” The show, which aired on January 31st 1991as part of season 2, features a teenaged version of Homer Simpson singing along to the classic when it comes on the radio on his way to school. Like we assume many little kids of the time would, we got a kick out of the delightful blend of Homer’s goofiness, and the song’s distinct guitar rifts. It helped us learn every word, and we would sing along with a joy fit to honor the animated sitcom whenever it hit a classic rock radio near us.
In addition to featuring cool lyrics that have miller referencing to himself as the “Space Cowboy”, and “The Gangster Of Love” as a call back to his previously released songs of the same names, he also famously calls himself “a midnight toker.” Prior to hearing the song, which was introduced by Homer Simpson, we didn’t know what a midnight toker was. Because of how life is, odds are we were going to learn one day, and what better way is there than that. “The Joker” topped the charts in the 6 counties in 1973. Check it out below and see if you dig it as much as we do. Enjoy!
Steve Miller Band
9:) “A Bag Of Weed”
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we shamelessly love animated sitcoms as much as some of you love 420. From what we’ve seen, actor/producer Seth MacFarlane has a love for both. His Fuzzy Door Productions team even named the episode that gives us our number 9 song “420.” The song is very appropriately titled, “A Bag Of Weed.” It comes from episode 12 of Family Guy’s seventh season, which just so happened to be released to air on April 19th,2009. In short, the episode follows the family’s human like dog Brian, as he gets arrested for drug possession. In the aftermath, he and the family’s baby Stewie, (both voiced by McFarlane), use the song to lead their campaign to legalize marijuana in their fictional town of Quahog Rhode Island. As you’ll hear, not only is the song convincing, but its very well composed, and shows off Seth’s often overlooked skills as a singer and musician.
Fun fact, MacFarlane did moonlight as a singer/musician when Universal Republic Records released his album Music Is Better Than Words in 2010. For more details on his album, click here.In the mean time, take some time out and enjoy “A Bag Of Weed” below!
“A Bag Of Weed”
From: “420” Episode
Fuzzy Door Productions/20th Century Fox
8:) “Jamaica Mistaica.” by Jimmy Buffett
A Slightly unexpected choice is a family favorite by famed “Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett called “Jamaica Mistaica.” We chose it because the song tells the true story of when Buffett’s seaplane was mistaken for a drug smuggling plane, and shot at by Jamaican authorities. Buffett’s song sets the scene with his lyrics, and characterizes the apology he got from Jamaican authorities in the song’s hook. Buffettworld.com, reports that U2’s Bono, and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell were with Buffett during the incident. The funny thing is that he has made reference to smoking in other songs, but this one is all about his innocence. It’s a fun story and a fun song. Check it out below.
From: Banana Wind
7:) “Ashtrays and Heart Breaks” by Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus
When it comes to Snoop Dogg there are so many songs about smoking “that skicky icky” that he could have a list of songs that are all his own. Therefore, in the spirit of keeping it moving, we had to make our choices based on the reasons the different songs stood out to us. As a result our number 7 choice ended up being “Ashtrays and Heart Breaks” from his 2013 reggae album Reincarnated. On the track Snoop Dogg is “reincarnated” with the moniker of Snoop Lion, but the song is significant because it features teen pop star turned “bad girl” Miley Cyrus.
Serving as one of her first complete post Disney efforts of music, “Ashtrays” gave many fans their first look at Bangerz era Miley before Mike Will’s “23” or her own “We Can’t Stop” were released. When “Ashtrays and Heart Breaks” made its debut, entertainment blogs were saturated with stories of her and fellow teen star Justin Bieber getting caught, very publically smoking weed and doing other hedonistic things in the LA club scene. In some ways this was “Ashtrays and Heart Breaks” was a “gateway” track that lead to what became her year long “infamy,” and this whole new chapter in her career. Some of you may find it corny, and if you do we understand. That said, it did spark a little something in the reggae genre because it peaked at number 1 on Billboard’s reggae digital songs charts. What do you think? Check it out below.
Snoop Lion Featuring Miley Cyrus
“Ashtrays and Heart Breaks”
Berhane Sound System/Vice/Mad Decent/RCA Records
6:) Snoop Dogg Featuring Willie Nelson “My Medicine”
5:) “We Be Burnin’ (Legalize It)” By Sean Paul
Sean Paul’s “We Be Burning (Legalize It)” hides in plain sight at number 5 of our list. We chose this song because it follows in the Jamaican tradition of songs that celebrate marijuana, while also pleading for its legalization. Those of you who are more familiar with Reggae culture probably remember the similarly named cult classic, “Legalize It” by departed Wailers member, Peter Tosh. Well, we can’t help but think that Paul was listening to it while mid blaze one day and said, “I’m going to make the dance hall version of that song.”
“We Be Burnin’” was the first single from his third album, The Trinity, which followed his multi-platinum global breakthrough Dutty Rock. As a result, Paul’s career was perfectly positioned for him to take a weed smoking anthem a pop hit off of his momentum alone. Between his fast rhyme delivery, and a radio version with drastically changed lyrics, the song’s pro-ganja agenda went largly unnoticed by the uninformed, and within a year was certified platinum. Are you part of his movement? Check out the song below.
“We Be Burnin’ (Legalize It)” (Explicit)
4:) “Mind Of A Stoner” by Machine Gun Kelly Featuring Wiz Khalifa
Machine Gun Kelly offers up one of the coolest cautionary tale music videos about smoking weed for the number 4 spot. In the music video for his track “Mind Of A Stoner” Wiz Khalifa joins a down on his luck Kellz at the local bus stop where the two meet as they’re starting their day. Before boarding his bus to presumably head to work, Wiz finishes his on screen “wake and bake” and lets MGK get a hit. Then, he leaves. We then watch the contrast as time passes. Wiz goes about his business while MGK sits there at that same bus stop talking to a rotating cast of charaters while the clock ticks and the day passes.
What the story’s specific moral is can probably be left up to interpretation to a degree. More conservative folks may view it as an anti-drug message coming from the users themselves. The slightly more liberal approach on the other hand may be that the video shows that the danger of weed and its use depends on the responsibility of the individual user, just as it is when drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or using over the counter or prescription drugs. We’ll let you come to you’ll own conclusion. Whatever your belief, we’re betting you’ll dig the cameo from what appears to be Boy Meets World’s Tanga, Daniell Fishel. Check out “Mind Of A Stoner” below. Cheers!
Machine Gun Kelly Featuring Wiz Khalifa
“Mind Of A Stoner”
3:) Kendrick Lamar Featuring Dr. Dre “The Recipe”
Few artists last long enough to repeat their own history, but Dr. Dre proves that when he does, he’s in a class all by himself. We were influenced to find a way to place Dre in our number 3 spot, because of the influence he’s had on both weed culture and several of the Hip Hop artists we’ve loved for decades. Athough his career began with NWA, his impact on everything this post is talking about began with his solo debut album. Appropriately titled The Chronic, the album’s smash hit single “Nothin’ But A G Thang” introduce the one and only Snoop Dogg, then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg to the world. The chemistry of their combination has lead to several songs that according to several 420 surveys get blasted while people are getting blasted. One of the best examples of this is their 2001 smash “The Next Episode.”
Chronic lovers must also be in a welcoming state of mind while they’re listening to Dre’s work. In addition to promoting weed culture in stand out tracks like “Kush” he’s also regularly used his productions to promote the careers of industry favorites like Eminem, and 2 Pac Shakur, in catchy, nearly ubiquitous anthem’s like “My Name Is” and “California Love.” Knowing this, he helped his latest Aftermath signee Kendrick Lamar catch fire with Kendrick’s “California Love” for 2012, “The Recipe.” The distinctive Dre track, which also features the good doctor as a guest rapper, was the first single from Kendrick’s debut album m.A.A.d city, which was released in April of 2012. The song that expresses Dre and Lamar’s love for Cali’s “women weed and weather”, turned heads of music fans and the industry alike. Only months later, he’s one of the rap game’s most talked about MC’s going toe to toe with industry leaders, and is even the featured rapper on The Amazing Spider-man 2’s lead single, “It’s On Again” with Alicia Keys.
Maybe there’s something in the “women weed and weather” because it certainly served as his “recipe” for success. Check it out with us below and see if you agree!
Kendrick Lamar Featuring Dr. Dre
“The Recipe” (Explicit)
Top Dawg/Aftermath/ Interscope Records
2:) Redman “How To Roll A Blunt”
For our number 2 spot, there are many options rapper Redman has for us to choose from. He and well-known Wu-Tang stoner Method Man have made weed smoking seem magical and nearly make believe in ways that rival even Snoop Dogg. Naturally, many of you probably assume that we’re talking about the dynamic duo of doobie’s weed themed hits, “How High” “How High Part 2”, and their Danny Devito produced 2001 comedy film, also called How High. We could help but think of all of those, but no. The number 2 song on our list is a how-to instructional track from his 1992 debut album called, “How To Roll A Blunt.”
On the comically stereotypical song that embodies the definition of “bad influence”, Redman Rhymes a step-by-step process of how to actually roll a blunt in a manner that is so overt that you’d probably think we were kidding if we didn’t provide it to listen to. It reaches levels so high it is a satire of itself. satirical cartoonist Aaron Mcgruder probably knows what we mean. He did nearly the exact same thing when showing how “Thugnificent”, the rapper character from his urban satirical cartoon The Boondocks learned how to make crack. In this case the song and the Thugnificent video clip really are worth 1,000 words. Check em out below, you’ll see what we mean.
“How To Roll A Blunt” (explicit)
Def Jam Records
1:) Afroman “Because I Got High”
For the top song on our list we chose to keep the comedy going with Afroman’s clever anti-drug track that every smoker still seems to love, “Because I Got High.” The song’s narrative tells the story of a guy with a variety of increasingly important things to do through out the song’s verses. Each time the song’s hook comes back in and he explains that he didn’t get any of them done “because he got high.” Unlike most songs on the list, “Because I Got High’s” glamour is met with Afroman also very clearly spotlighting the down sides of being a pothead. It is a hit of sorts that hasn’t been copied to the same degree ever before or since.
Following its release in 2001, shock jock radio personality Howard Stern got a hold of it. He helped promoted it, not as the anti-weed song of the moment, but as the weed song of the moment. “Because I Got High” was successful in large part because even though Afroman’s in-song character kept messing up constantly, smokers related to it as the smoker’s version of a drinking song that tells the story of when a person had to much to drink and got drunk It was instantly relatable and became a hit.
Within its short window of one hit wonder like buzz, “Because I Got High” was featured in movies like A Thousand Words, Disturbia, and The Perfect Score. Indie film director Kevin Smith then took it one step further, making it the official theme song of his movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Jason Mews, and Smith are also featured in the song’s official video as their characters. Put simply, it’s a good time to watch. Join us in capping off Clizbeats’ Most Unexpected 420 countdown, and enjoy Afroman’s “Because I Got High” below. Cheers!
“Because I Got High”