Happy 420 to all the KCSBong rippers and KCSBlunt smokers out there supporting community powered radio. Hip Hop has a long history of producing music about marijuana and, over the years, some truly fire joints about firing joints have made their way into the world. During last Thursday’s episode of The Majellan Show, DJ Lekha and I broke down 2 hours of our favorite ones and I encourage you to check out the playlist or listen to the archive at this link. However, to start you off here are 4+2+0 songs that I particularly love from that show.
Being from San Francisco, only a short drive south from Marin County where the 420 celebration originally began, the members of rap trio RBL Posse are well versed in their cannabis knowledge. Most importantly, they know that they should avoid “bammer weed,” especially when they can smoke “dank” instead. The instrumental, produced by Hitman, is effortlessly groovy, and Mr. Cee’s and Black C’s verses provide great reasoning for their weed consumption preferences. Don’t Give Me No Bammer Weed is a bay area classic and a must in any 420 playlist.
Some collaborations are guaranteed to result in perfect records to light up to. Even though they’re from different continents, London MC Lord Apex and New York MC Smoke DZA both have whole album series about weed with tons of songs that could merit inclusion on this list. However, the spot is occupied by this absolutely top shelf track from Apex’s Smoke Sessions 3. Built around a funky synth melody that is guaranteed to worm its way inside your head, both rappers are in their pocket for the duration of the song, and the result is one of the most laid back sounding pieces of music I’ve ever come across which, to paraphrase the intro, sounds like you’re hearing marijuana.
On the more uptempo side of the stoner song spectrum is Kush Coma from Detroit rapper Danny Brown, who also has plenty of experience writing about the subject matter. It also features Rihanna’s soon to be baby daddy A$AP Rocky & recent performer at KCSB ZelooperZ! The song itself, which is produced by DJ Skywlker, but might as well be produced by DJ snake for how electronic and danceable it is. Nonetheless, Danny and Rocky both get their flows off about their love for Kush and hand things off to ZelooperZ for the chorus, who does it in an almost unrecognizable performance per his usual sound.
Off of Quelle Chris’s phenomenal album Being You is Great, I Wish I Was You More Often, Fascinating Grass is a song about weed that very much embodies the positive theme of the album. On top of an industrial and hypnotic sounding groove all 4 MCs give descriptive accounts of their cannabis usage that give you the imagery you need to celebrate 420. In particular look out for Roc Marciano’s verse (3rd out of 4), which is one of my all time favorites.
Few producers in Hip Hop history have ever had the longevity that DJ Muggs and, even more impressively, he’s been producing tracks about weed for about 30 years with artists new and old. He got his start with classic rap group Cypress Hill, famous for Ganja smoking anthems like Hits From The Bong, but released this track in 2021 on American Cheese, his collaboration album with east coast rapper Hologram. I think this is a great pick for late in your 420 playlist. The beat is slow and woozy, and the filtered and delayed vocals make this record ideal for the peak of your celebration.
Last but not least is I Can’t Wake Up by KRS-One, one of the most hilarious songs I’ve heard across all genres and subject matters. The track follows a tight narrative structure, prefaced by the idea that KRS-One had a dream he was a blunt being passed around a bunch of rappers and pop culture figures (from the 1990s, when the song was written. I won’t spoil any of the antics of the rest of the song, but it is absolutely worth a listen during your 420 holiday.
Have fun, stay safe, and tune into The Majellan Show, Thursday at 10 PM.
Words by DJ Majellan
Music Curation by DJ Lekha and DJ Majellan