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Pot Sounds: The 20 Greatest Weed-Themed Songs of All Time

From Dylan and the Beatles to Afroman and Snoop – with a little bit of Willie sprinkled on top – the best songs for stoners of all stripes

From Louis Armstrong to Lady Gaga, countless musicians have gone on record about their love for weed. Smoking can help with creativity, aid in relaxation, even expand the mind. But some artists take the practice even further, going out of their way to write musical odes to the sticky green stuff, whether it’s coded as a love interest – see the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” or D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar – or right there in the name, like Afroman’s “Because I Got High.” No matter how you roll it, songs about pot keep the party going in any genre. Here are the 20 best weed-themed songs of all time. 

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Snoop Dogg, “Gin and Juice” (1993)

“With so much drama in the LBC, it’s kinda hard being Snoop D-O-Double-G,” begins the rapper formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg on this tale of a house party in the hood. Indeed, despite his Crip background and occasional penchant for lyrically busting shots, Snoop always seemed more comfortable with a spliff full of bubonic chronic, a pocket full of rubbers and a gang of Tanqueray. On his career-establishing solo hit, Snoop and producer Dr. Dre interpolate Slave’s “Watching You,” turning it into an ode to smoking indo and living the good life no matter how rough or impoverished your background may be. “There’s just all kinds of little ghetto stuff that’s easy for a young black man to get into,” he told Rolling Stone in 1993.

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Tom Petty, “You Don’t Know How It Feels” (1994)

Listeners who
interpreted Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1993 single “Mary Jane’s Last
Dance” as Petty’s kiss-off to cannabis were thoroughly disabused of that
notion by “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” the lead single from Petty’s
1994 solo album Wildflowers: “Let
me get to the point,” sang Petty in no uncertain terms, “Let’s roll
another joint.” The sentiment made the folks at MTV uneasy; but rather
than ban the song’s video, they simply ran an edited version that played the
word “joint” backwards. “Imagine my surprise when this song
comes on television and they say, ‘Let’s roll another noojh,'” Petty told a VH1 Storytellers audience in 1997. “Which
sounded worse to me than ‘joint.’ Because, I don’t know if you’ve ever had a noojh, but that sounds really wicked.” 

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Redman and Method Man, “How High” (1995)

Six years before their 2001 stoner film of the same name, Method Man and Redman released this Erick Sermon–produced weed anthem, originally found on the soundtrack to hip-hop documentary The Show. Built around a vocal loop from 1970s German disco group Silver Convention’s “Fly Robin Fly,” the track found the duo teaming up for the first time and making their aspirations known right in the title. Both rappers have gotten much more literal with their weed references, but this is the song that still causes concert promoters to angrily fire up the ventilators.

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D’Angelo, “Brown Sugar” (1995)

Much like its spiritual predecessor, Rick James’ “Mary Jane,” the groundbreaking title track from D’Angelo’s debut LP is about more than just a smoke-out session. Setting his soft yet husky voice over a crunchy Rhodes piano arrangement, he rhapsodizes about a girl named “Brown Sugar” with so much lovingly vivid detail that it sounds as if he’s falling in love, and making love. “I gets high on your love, I don’t know how to behave,” he lilts, occasionally shifting into an ecstatic falsetto. The effect is so intoxicating that it’s easy to lose sight of the neo-soul weed metaphor at the song’s core. “A lot of people are real busy tryin’ to get their point across. Not letting the listener use their imagination. You should be able to lay back and close your eyes and come up with your own vision,” he told Vibe in 1995.  

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Sleep, “Dopesmoker” (1999/2003)

There has never been
a musical ode to weed more truly epic than “Dopesmoker,” the
63-minute dirge recorded in 1996 by legendary stoner-rock trio Sleep. (The LP-long piece, deemed one of Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Metal Albums, was originally released in 1999 as Jerusalem but was rechristened Dopesmoker upon its 2003 reissue.) “Drop
out of life with bong in hand/Follow the smoke toward the riff-filled land,”
counsels the song, more or less summing up the band’s spiritual and musical
philosophy at the time. “We were just a bunch of massive stoners trying to
do something that nobody else had done – which I think we accomplished,”
guitarist Matt Pike recounted in Decibel Magazine‘s book Precious Metal: The Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces. “We
were smoking a lot [at the time],” he explained. “Between us all, we
were probably smoking two ounces or more a day.” 

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Afroman, “Because I Got High” (2000)

This nursery rhyme–style sing-along reportedly took Joseph “Afroman” Foreman only two minutes to write, and subsequently launched a career that glorified the pothead slacker lifestyle. Though “Because I Got High” remains the West Coast MC’s only major hit, it’s arguably one of the best-loved weed songs of all time. After all, who hasn’t forgotten to clean their room, cheat on their final exam, pay their child support, etc., because they got high? “‘Because I Got High’ put me on the map – it’s what got me a record deal, a Grammy nomination and made me a household name,” Afroman told Rolling Stone in 2014, just as he released an update of his novelty classic for the legalization generation.

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Amy Winehouse, “Addicted” (2006)

Look, we’ve all
sneaked a bud or two from a roommate at one time or another – but it’s just
good manners to replace whatever you’ve taken in a timely fashion. “When
you smoke all my weed man/You gots to call the green man,” sang Amy
Winehouse on “Addicted,” a bonus track included on the expanded
versions of 2006’s Back to Black,
making it extremely clear that she wasn’t playing, either. “I used to
smoke a lot of weed,” the late singer told Rolling Stone in 2007. “I suppose if you have an addictive personality then you go from one
poison to the other.” Perhaps she should have stuck with weed; four years
later, Winehouse was found dead in her home – a result of alcohol poisoning, with a blood alcohol content of more than five times the legal driving limit. 

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Willie Nelson with Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” (2012)

If the trad-honky-tonk sound and lighthearted lyrics (in which Nelson instructs the listener on just what to do with his ashes after he exits this mortal coil) aren’t enough of an indicator that we’re in full-on novelty-song territory here, then the guest verse from Tha Doggfather himself leaves no doubt about it. There are also appearances from country-music royalty both old (Kris Kristofferson) and new (Jamey Johnson), but the show here belongs to longtime pot proselytizers (and marijuana entrepreneurs) Willie and Snoop, the latter of whom delivers lines like “Call my friends and tell ’em/ There’s a party, come on by,” with a genuine faux-country twang. You’d be hard pressed to find a more heartwarming song about cremation. 

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Miley Cyrus, “Dooo It!” (2015)

“I think weed is
the best drug on earth,” Miley Cyrus told Rolling Stone in 2013. “Hollywood is a coke town, but
weed is so much better.” Though she has since quit smoking the stuff, in
part because it was causing her to eat too much and spend too much time at home
playing with her pets,
the former Hannah Montana star blessed
us in 2015 with the stoner anthem “Dooo It!” Recorded with the help of the Flaming Lips
for the album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead
Petz
, “Dooo It!” remains a smoke-filled rallying cry for 21st-century flower children everywhere. “Sing about love/Love is what you
need/Loving what you sing/And loving smoking weed”. Dooo it, indeed! 

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