From Willie Nelson to Lady Gaga all the way to Snoop Dogg and Kacey Musgraves, artists of all different musical genres have discussed their love of weed throughout their music. Despite the legal state of the mind-altering substance, weed is heavily peppered throughout pop culture, with its popularity prevailing within the music industry.
Weed, or marijuana, is a plant that when smoked can cause an impaired form of thinking that alters a person’s brain, coordination skills and slows down reaction time. As a result of this impaired way of thinking, weed is known for sparking creativity and making it easier for artists to open their minds and create music they might not have thought to make in a sober state.
Throughout history, artists have used marijuana recreationally to help enhance their creative process. One of the most influential weed-smoking icons, Willie Nelson, has been smoking pot and writing music for decades, telling music magazine “Rolling Stone” “Marijuana saved my life” sixty-five years after the country artist smoked his first joint.
Throughout his music, Nelson references his use and love for marijuana, tying the drug into his love life, his music and his career. Songs like “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” and “It’s All Going to Pot” are just a few of Nelson’s songs referencing weed. The country artist writes lyrics such as “all the whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee just couldn’t hit the spot. I gotta hundred-dollar bill, you can keep your pills, friend, it’s all going to pot,” which shows his favor towards weed as opposed to other substances.
On 4/20 at 4:20, Nelson hosted a livestream variety show titled “Come and Toke It,” which lasted four hours and forty minutes. Throughout the livestream, Nelson hosted a plethora of musical artists, marijuana experts and more to come discuss the use of marijuana, as well as promote the use of weed.
The livestream benefited the Last Prisoner Project, which fights against the criminalization of drug use and looking to reimagine drug policies in America. As someone who has been arrested for marijuana in the past, Nelson is a big supporter of the decriminalization of weed.
When artists such as Snoop Dogg come up in conversation, a lot of the time it has something to do with weed. The rapper and marijuana go hand in hand and Snoop is not afraid to let his love of weed be known to the world.
Within his music, Snoop Dogg references weed numerous times, especially in songs such as “Smoke the Weed” and “Smoke Weed Everyday,” two songs continuously referenced in pop culture.
Country artist and advocate for the use of Marijuana Kacey Musgraves continuously promotes the use of weed through platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, as well as writing about the substance in a lot of her songs.
Musgraves is an avid advocate for doing whatever feels the best in life, and for her, one of the best feelings in the world is a marijuana high. In “Follow Your Arrow,” featured on Musgrave’s first album “Same Trailer, Different Park,” Musgraves promotes doing whatever you want in life, because no matter what path you choose, someone is always going to judge.
Musgraves uses the line “when the straight and narrow gets a little too straight, roll up a joint, or don’t,” as a way to justify that no matter what happens, it’s best to just do whatever you want, even if that means rolling up a joint.
Weed and the use of marijuana are extremely prevenient in pop culture, especially here in Atlanta. It is almost guaranteed that you’ll get a whiff of burning marijuana when walking down the street on Edgewood, strolling on the beltline or even in restaurants such as Jack’s pPizza and Wings. As a significant amount of this century’s top rappers are from Atlanta or reside in the Atlanta area, it is exceptionally normalized for marijuana use to be the main topic in a significant amount of rap songs coming out of the Atlanta area.
Rappers such as Donald Glover, better known for his stage name “Childish Gambino,” promotes the use of weed throughout his music, in interviews and his television show named after Atlanta. Throughout the TV show, the main characters are seen lighting up joints in various places around Atlanta. A majority of the TV show’s episodes include weed in one way or another, which is on-brand for characters based in the city of Atlanta.