Rick James, "Mary Jane" (1978)
Cocaine may indeed be a helluva drug, as Rick James memorably attested on Chappelle's Show, but the man clearly had a prodigious appetite for the sticky green stuff, as well. "I have to buy marijuana," James told Rolling Stone in 1982, at the height of his fame. "I don't buy ounces, I buy pounds." A Number Three R&B hit in the fall of 1978 – but only making it to Number 41 on the pop chart, probably because the song's message was too blatant for many radio programmers – "Mary Jane" is sensimilla-infused soul of the highest order. James would often perform the song onstage flanked by two gigantic fake joints, and punctuate the lyrics by taking exaggerated hits off a real one. Coolio, who obviously understood where James was coming from, would sample the song on "(I'm in Love With) Mary Jane," recorded for the soundtrack of the 1998 stoner comedy Half-Baked.