Two weeks ago, our sister site, The Fab Life, counted down the Top 25 Fictional Stoners in Cinematic History. Of course, it’s a lot easier to be famous for using an illegal substance if you’re not real. So we thought for 4/20 we’d honor (or at least acknowledge) some of today’s most vocal pro-marijuana musicians.
Khalifa’s big hit may be “Black and Yellow,” but he’s been pretty busy using much of the money, attention, and goodwill he gained from that song to rap about weed (though not, surprisingly, on his newest single “Roll Up”). His newest album is even called Rolling Papers. When even “The Lonely Stoner,” Kid Cudi, has given up marijuana, Wiz is holding fast, even writing a sidebar for Rolling Stone‘s Best of Rock 2011 issue, feting OG Kush as “Best Weed.”
Pot never went entirely out of vogue in the indie rock world, even during the clean-cut coke-fueled Lower East Side guitar revival of The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But weed is undeniably “back” in a big way, thanks to the influence of hazy, summery guitar records from bands like Best Coast, whose frontwoman Bethany Cosentino summarized her lyrical inspirations for debut Crazy for You to Pitchfork: “I talk about weed and my cat and being lazy a lot.” When she played the title track at the online magazine’s Pitchfork Fest last summer, she shouted to the crowd, “This song is about WEED!” In the cat-themed video for that song, guitarist Bobb Bruno has a plastic bag of “catnip.” (For that extra bit of meta, watch cat lovers watching “Crazy for You” courtesy MTV Hive.)
Of course, the closer one is to the cultural “mainstream” (if such a thing even exists anymore), the more risky it is to take a pro-marijuana stance. But Lady Gaga is the one pop star who’s always willing to attempt provocation on the most public of stages, and on the issue of pot use she’s no different. She spoke frankly (albeit cannily) to Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes: “I smoke a lot of pot when I write music”—though she clarified that it was for artistic purposes only. So if you ever thought that she must have been high when she thought to arrive at the Grammys in an egg, well….
If you haven’t heard much from Jason Mraz since 2008′s We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things (featuring “I’m Yours” and “Lucky”), the culprit might be pot. Mraz claimed to have twelve songs ready for his new album when he appeared on VH1′s Top 20 Countdown last month, but his pro-legalization activism (and recommendation, in Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide, of watching R. Kelly‘s “Trapped in the Closet” while stoned) give a picture of how he may have passed the time. To be fair, Jason Mraz’s activism is hardly limited to weed; he’s an ardent supporter of VH1 Save the Music and other music-related nonprofits, and told US Magazine that he and his fianceé will not marry until gay marriage is legal.
Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson
How could we forget the elder statesmen of marijuana music? Willie and Snoop have been stridently pro-pot for decades, and weed may be the only thing that could have led to their numerous collaborations, most recently “Superman,” from Snoop’s Doggumentary, for which a video was released to Youtube just in time for today’s “celebration.” Respect your elders, kids!
[Lady Gaga and Wiz Khalifa: Getty Images]