It’s the most wonderful time of the year for those immersed in Vancouver’s cannabis culture. Yes April 20, or 4/20, is almost upon us, giving tens of thousands of Vancouverites an excuse to ditch work early to participate in the city’s annual (and let’s remember unsanctioned) fatty festival.
The event, designed as a protest to end the prohibition of pot, has been moved from the Vancouver Art Gallery to Sunset Beach due to overwhelming popularity.
So, to help you get ready for the 4/20 festivities, we’ve put together a playlist of our favourite toke-friendly tracks. Grab a bag of Doritos and a decent pair of headphones and chill to these cornerstones of stoner music.
Bob Marley – “Kaya”
A pot-friendly playlist wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from the godfather of ganja Bob Marley. We loves us some “Buffalo Soldier” and “No Woman, No Cry”, but it’s “Kaya”, Marley’s ode to Mary Jane, that really gets us jamming. And lucky for us, a line of weed and weed accessories bearing Marley’s name was launched in the U.S. this year. Is Vancouver next?
Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg – “Young, Wild & Free”
If Bob Marley is the godfather of ganja, then Snoop is the doggfather of doobies. This collaboration with the weed lovin’ Wiz Khalifa is the perfect song to toke to on a lazy Wednesday afternoon. Both rappers are slated to appear at the Pemberton Music Festival this summer and if we’re lucky, they’ll perform this dope track for the dope smokers.
Rush – “A Passage To Bangkok”
Everything Rush does is great, but “A Passage to Bangkok” from the band’s iconic 2112 album is an anthem for nerdy, prog-rock loving stoners everywhere. The lyrics are kind of dumb (“wreathed in smoke in Lebanon we burn the midnight oil/the fragrance of Afghanistan rewards a long day’s toil”) but hey – a little “midnight oil” makes everything better, right? Seriously, try baking chocolate chip cookies with it.
Afroman – “Because I Got High”
The perfect excuse song for stoners who just can’t get around to doing anything productive. In fact, this article was due a couple of days ago but it’s late…because I got high. Just kidding! I had a busy week. Anyway, the song received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo performance (must’ve been a really slow year) and the video featured some pretty fly girls, a couple of chickens, and cameos by film stars Jay & Silent Bob.
Lana Del Rey – “High By The Beach”
The title says it all – Lana Del Rey’s groovy track, when coupled with a little kush, is the perfect cure for summertime sadness. In the song, the singer ditches her lame-ass lover and finds solace in a fatty and a flowered crown – we imagine Sunset Beach will be crammed with thousands of hipsters looking to do the same thing.
Steve Miller Band – “The Joker”
The cannabis-loving curmudgeon (check out Miller’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame freakout from earlier this month) released this ode to smokers, jokers, and midnight tokers in 1973 and it’s still a favourite of stoners the world over. “The Joker” is one of very few pro-pot anthems that you’re just as likely to hear at the dentist’s office as you are at Sunset Beach.
Kid Cudi – “Day N Nite”
Kid Cudi’s club banger tells the story of a lonely stoner (or a “lonely loner”, as he’s referred to in the edited version of the song) who manages to “shake the shade” with a little help from some herbal essences. Pair the Crookers remix of “Day N Nite” with Sour Diesel, an energetic Sativa strain that’s guaranteed to put a little spring in your step.
Tom Petty – “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”
A classic. Petty has never fessed up to the song’s official meaning (he split from his wife Jane a year before the song was released), but the rocker laces many of his songs with pot references. “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” is no exception – the lyric “one more time to kill the pain” is a dead giveaway. In 2013, Petty praised the idea of medicinal marijuana in a Rolling Stone interview.
Paul McCartney – “Hi, Hi, Hi”
In 2015, McCartney revealed he’d given up ganja to set a positive example for his grandchildren, but the singer’s 1972 high-flying hit is included in his current One on One Tour which hits Vancouver on…4/20. Expect 20,000 Beatle groupies to hot box Rogers Arena as they sing “We’re gonna get hi, hi, hi!” in unison with Sir Paul.
Musical Youth – “Pass the Dutchie”
The song is basically a rip-off of “Pass the Kouchie”, a reggae song by Mighty Diamonds that touted the badass benefits of blunts. For their version, UK group Musical Youth ditched most of the pot references (“how does it feel when you got no herb?” is replaced with “how does it feel when you got no food?”) but the song is still popular with potheads everywhere.
Redman – “How To Roll A Blunt”
Before there was reddit, there was Redman. Millions learned to roll joints thanks to his 1992 tutorial.
Sublime – “Smoke Two Joints”
Two thumbs up for “Smoke Two Joints”, which was featured in the stoner film Mallrats.
C+C Music Factory – “Take A Toke”
The 90s hitmakers made us sweat with this sweet track (despite rapper Freedom Williams’ pleas to have fans “huff and puff some of my funk stuff”).
Peter, Paul & Mary – “Puff The Magic Dragon”
The song’s writers have denied for decades that the song is about pot, but c’mon – Puff’s human friend is named Jackie Paper, as in rolling papers.
Weezer – “Hash Pipe”
A closer look at the song’s lyrics reveals that it’s not about hash at all, but it’s still a pretty great song to kick a hacky sack to. Oh, and it was on their Green album to boot.
Toby Keith – “Weed With Willie”
The reefer-loving redneck’s tribute to pot enthusiast Willie Nelson.
Bob Dylan – “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35”
No beating around the bush on this classic track – Dylan finishes each verse by demanding that “everybody must get stoned!”