B-Real of Cypress Hill. He's probably rapping about something else.
It just hit me that today is 4/20. I often get this day confused with 3/14 (Pi Day) because I celebrate them the same way (um, eating pie sober, duh?). I kinda got over the 4/20 culture once I moved out of college dorms, though now ironically, the greatest signifier that I’m home is the welcoming waft of weed smell suffocating my apartment hallway, thanks to my stoner neighbors. I know we already gave you the 4/20 rules for music, which I’m sure most of you have been following all week, but I have some friends out there who have been off the pot and in serious withdrawal due to work-related drug tests in the near future (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE). I, too, will be celebrating this holiday sober, which is fine with me because I am high on life 24/7. NO SUBSTANCE NEEDED.
Thus, I give you the non-stoner’s playlist to 4/20, a list of songs that seem like they’re about getting high but actually aren’t. I realized there aren’t too many out there because most songs seem like they’re about chicks/life/whatever but are actually about drugs and weird sexual fantasies. Here are a few exceptions:
1. “Puff The Magic Dragon” – Peter, Paul, and Mary
Not all 60s music with a reference to “puffing” has to be about drugs. OK, so Puff is a dragon (sounds like “draggin’,” as in taking a drag) and his human friend is named Jackie PAPER (like rolling paper?) but the band has always denied the song’s ties with marijuana. Peter Yarrow has said, “Even if I had had the intention of writing a song about drugs – which I may have had at a later time – I was 20 years old at Cornell in 1959 when it was written and I was so square at that time, as was everyone else. Drugs had not emerged then. I know Puff was a good dragon and would never had had drugs around him. Now you've heard that from the mouth of the dragon's daddy." YEAH, DRAGON DADDY.
2. "She's So High" - Blur
I guess she may have been high, but Damon Albarn is singing about a girl he can’t get with cause she’s way out of his league. The wordplay is definitely intentional though, considering how cheeky these Brits are.
3. "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" - Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan sings “Everybody must get stoned!” at the end of each stanza, but he’s not calling for a massive drug den gathering. It was banned on many radio stations because of that line, but the song is more about how you’re gonna face criticism, whatever you do in life. Or, actually, it might be about how women are bitches and chicks #12 and 35 especially are riding his ass (not literally).
4. "Never Let Me Down Again" - Depeche Mode
According to its first YouTube comment: “This song is about eating ravioli out of a can with your fingers because you can't afford a fork because you sold it for heroin.” Totally. Nah, this song vaguely sounds like it’s about drugs because the lyrics are like “He knows where he’s taking me / Taking me where I want to be” and “We’re flying high” but Martin Gore denies the connection. It’s probably just about feeling on top of the world with his best friend.
5. "Roll It Up, Light It Up, Smoke It Up" - Cypress Hill
Siiiiiike. This shit’s definitely about drugs, as is pretty much every other Cypress Hill song. Don’t listen if in withdrawal.