From the best cannabis rappers to songs about selling weed, we celebrate the most high hip-hop
I still work as a journalist covering cannabis, but my days of reporting on hip-hop full-time for Boston publications and national magazines like the Source are behind me. It’s for good reason; while I actively embrace new music by veteran artists and enthusiastically seek out up and coming talents with newfangled styles, I don’t think anyone should have to listen to what a 40-plus guy who barely goes to shows anymore has to say on these matters.
But when it comes to cannabis and hip-hop together, I still have something to offer. And I’m credentialed, having written liner notes for weed gods Cypress Hill, as well as for Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and other icons, as well as such Pulitzer puff-worthy pieces as the viral oral history of Redman’s episode of Cribs. And yes, I’ve smoked blunts with many great MCs, but more importantly, as a rap and cannabis fanatic first and foremost, I have always stockpiled clever weed references and anthems.
Before we proceed with the task at hand, I want to recognize that all lists are subjective nonsense, including this one. Who’s to say what’s best, anyway? But unlike the AI-generated compendiums I’ve seen on this topic and lists written by interns who are learning by Googling on the job, I’ve been working on these canna rap superlatives for 30 years. Without further ado, here’s my small infused contribution to Hip-Hop 50.
Best Hip-Hop Weed Act (Duo): Red + Meth
Best Hip-Hop Weed Act (Solo): Tie: Snoop, Smoke DZA, Devin The Dude
Greatest Hip-Hop Weed Act (Group): Cypress Hill
Best Weed Rap Collective: Kottonmouth Kings
Best Hip-Hop Weed Act (Regional): DJ Slim
Funniest Weed Rapper: Afroman
Most Slept On Stoner Rapper: Son Doobie
Greatest Rap Song About Weed: Tie: “I Got 5 On It” (Luniz), “Mad Izm” (Channel Live), “Good Times” (Styles P), “Stoned Is the Way of the Walk” (Cypress Hill), “How High (Original Version)” (Red + Meth)
Best Reggae Rap Song About Weed: “The Traffic Jam” (Stephen Marley feat. Damian Marley)
Best Rap Line About Weed: “Watch the minister climb up / Filling in the atmosphere / Like cannabis, and if it’s activating me / Believe I’m captivating heat plus I’m decapitating three emcees / With my ax like Terrax’s / Practice allows me to receive information like faxes” (Pharoahe Monch on “Metal Thangz”)
Most Prosopopoeiacious (aka Best Hip-Hop Song From The Perspective Of Weed): “The Highest Commitment” (Qwel)
Smartest Rap Song About Not Smoking Weed: “Weededed” (Lootpack)
Best Non-US Rap Song About Weed: “Herbaholics” (Phi Life Cypher)
Best Hip-Hop Weed Movie: Tie: “How High”, “Friday”, “The Wackness”
Most Critical Hip-Hop Weed Instructional: “How To Roll A Blunt” (Redman)
Slickest Weed References: Nas
Best Weed + Hip-Hop Album Cover: “The Chronic” (Dr. Dre)
Most Enduring Weed Rap Label: Suburban Noize
Best 2020s Rap Song About Weed: “High Today” (Wiz Khalifa feat. Logic)