The Culture of Hip Hop and Cannabis
| Zaid A.
In today's music industry music industry, weed and hiphop go hand and hand, where there is a rapper there is some form of weed close by now a days. Weed is stationary in hip hop culture, it’s in lyrics, the clothing, social media posts, even interviews. The relationship between hip hop and cannabis has been going strong for over 40 years. But the question is where did it begin?
When hip hop started to become popular, it created a lot of backlash for people in low income communities. The press would report that it condoned gang violence, drug abuse, and degrading women. Hip-hop has even been blamed for stopping the positive progression of black people and their culture. In my opinion that is completely wrong, hip-hop, blues, and jazz were the way black artist projected their feelings, people like Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and the Wu-Tang Clan all rapped about their surroundings, what they saw and how they felt, hip hop can honestly be viewed as testimonials. Now don’t get me wrong some hip-hop nowadays can go a bit overboard with the multiple drug and sex references, but the OG’s, the vets in the rap game kept it real they never held back, and always told it like it was. The biggest misconception about early rap, is that it was all about weed, when in reality the 80’s were still in the cocaine and crack epidemic, and the 90’s tried to be all about the “Just Say No” campaigns. So again I ask, when was weed truly introduced to the hip-hop culture?
Now some may say weed was always a part of the community which agree with, but I would have to give credit to the 1991 Cypress Hill’s self-titled album.The were the never embarrassed hip hop group that said it all, the referenced smoking with adding reggae, and soul to adopt the term very popular term “blunt”. This group was the first to wear pot leaves on their clothing, and openly rapping about getting stoned. Cypress Hill paved the way for legendary albums like The Chronic by Dr. Dre, and the Weed King a.k.a. Snoop Dogg to have a smooth entrance into the culture. Rappers began to gain the confidence to really rap about what they wanted and with the support of their fans they were untouchable. The hip hop culture began to created the slang terminology we still use today like: chronic, Mary Jane, and dank, rap started to become a contest to see who smoked the most weed, who rapped the most about weed, and how popular the nicknames that were made up in the most iconic lyrics became. Weed has become a heavy hitter even a trailblazer in the culture, by the end of the 90’s weed was referenced in over 40% of hip hop tracks. Songs like Because I Got High by Afroman and Just Blaze by Kayne West struck gold, with their catchy beats, and witty weed references.
The hip hop music industry, quickly became the hip-hop movie, fashion, and art industry, mostly thanks to weed. The genre “stoner movies” entered the scene in the 90’s as well. Rappers either written, directed, or starred in movies focused on laughs, real life, and of course weed. Some of the most popular include, How High starring MethodMan and RedMan also Ice Cube’s franchise Friday. These movies are staples in the hip hop weed culture and will always be. The culture of hip hop and cannabis is growing stronger year by year, with it becoming l medically legalized in over half the United States, and fully legalized in 11 states across the country. It has opened the door for weed to become the newest business venture and of course our favorite rappers today have jumped on that bandwagon as well. Snoop Dogg the king of weed, launched a line of edible products and offers a little something for everyone. You are able to choose which food item you want, and he also has many strands of weed to choose from. So if you are ever on the West Coast check out Leafs by Snoop at your local dispensary and Toke the Snoop Way. Rappers like 2-Chainz and Master P have also benefited from the business side of weed as well.
Weed and hip hop may never get rid of their small group of haters in this world but for those who believe, partake and love this relationship will always be unmatched. We can look at the positivity that this relationship has brought to people like Snoop Dogg,Wiz Khalifa, and The Game and can only see more success in the future. Weed and hip hop have the ability to bring people together and create bonds that are unbreakable. So the next time you are rollin down the street, smokin indo, say a little thank you to the 90’s. Without that decade we would probably still be listening to british rock and roll!