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Tokin' Tunes

The artists with the most mentions of the green stuff

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It's summer—which means getting together with friends and family, some who partake, and partaking with those who do. Do you have a playlist for these times? Much like a joint, it would be much cooler if you did have a banging summer soundtrack with you at these BBQs, parties and al fresco sessions.

Gucci Mane took the top honors with 313 songs that mention cannabis. - WIKIMEDIA/JASON PERSSE
  • Wikimedia/Jason Persse
  • Gucci Mane took the top honors with 313 songs that mention cannabis.

A cannabis-themed collection of cuts from artists inevitably include chestnuts such as "Legalize it," "I Got Five On It," or virtually anything from Snoop Dogg. Compiling a list of all the songs I could think of which had a reference to cannabis in some form—growing, smuggling, consuming, selling—quickly became a lengthy yet enjoyable YouTube rabbit hole session.

Cannabis is referenced in nearly every musical genre, save for Christian music. As far as that last category goes, there may pro-weed Christian artists of which I am not aware, but the "Puff Puff Pray" tracks appear few and far between.

Hip-hop has, by far, the greatest number of cannabis references, and underscores what a crucial role hip-hop has played in normalizing cannabis. Example? A recent Oreo cookie commercial features well-known weed baron Wiz Khalifa, who has his own cannabis products line and his too-cute-for-words offspring. This from the man who once spit "Smoking my ganja public, I'm all about that money / Dress like everyday sunny / Rolling weed like a Marley." As someone who's eaten multiple sleeves of Oreos while high, Nabisco made a great choice.

Killer Mike, part of the duo Run the Jewels, made an eloquent case that hip-hop is under-credited for its role in cannabis legalization. As Merry Jane reports, he stated during a recent appearance that, "We know that with national decriminalization of marijuana now, a lot of people are going to get credit for it—a lot of activists, a lot of workers...But I can show you a line that leads straight back to Cypress Hill, that leads straight back to Snoop Dogg, that leads straight back to people like Rick James."

He's correct, and hip-hop artists' enjoyment and advocacy of cannabis is explored in a great piece on Medium, which combined three of my fav-or-ite things: Weed, hip-hop and pushing- glasses-up-bridge-of-nose level of statistical geekery. The writer used an n-gram analysis of Rap Genius to explore the number of times individual artists referenced cannabis, and it's on par with how often modern country references "trucks" and "dusty roads." (As the piece was published in 2015, some of your more stoned bangers won't be listed.) This should help give you some ideas for the aforementioned playlist.

The top 10 hip-hop artists, based on their mention of cannabis:

1) Gucci Mane - 313 songs/52.78% of all songs

2) Wiz Khalifa - 247 songs/69.97% of all songs

3) The Game - 214 songs/49.54% of all songs

4) Curren$y - 204 songs/67.33% of all songs

5) Snoop Dogg - 159 song/46.36% of all songs

6) Mac Miller - 136 songs/50.56% of all songs

7) Lloyd Banks - 125 songs/64.10% of all songs

8) E-40 - 122 songs/52.81% of all songs

9) Redman - 113 songs/70.19% of all songs

10) Raekwon - 112 songs/48.91% of all songs

That list is for solo artists. Here's a list of some hip-hop bands fond of the cheeba cheeba:

Three 6 Mafia - 117 songs, 54.17% of all songs

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - 106 songs, 50.24% of all songs

Kottonmouth Kings - 89 songs, 80.91% of all songs

Cypress Hill - 85 songs, 50.60% of all songs

The article also mentions, "The states that have most weed songs, and yet weed is still illegal, are Louisiana (1,358 songs), Texas (1,186 songs) and Pennsylvania (1,027 songs)." They concluded that "almost all states that have either legalized marijuana for medical use or decriminalized the possession have artists rapping about weed," and "There ain't a lot of rappers from states that legalized marijuana for recreational use, and they rarely rap about it."

So burn one down, and start creating your own "tunes to toke" playlist.

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