Friends, the holiday weekend is upon us. By that I mean Easter, sure, but also 4/20 — a silly, unnecessary occasion that tends to attract and evoke the very stupidest, most cliché elements of stoner culture. But hey, it’s also a great excuse to make a playlist. In this case, inspired by both The Cut’s excellent lady-tokers-on-film supercut and the appallingly poor representation of women on these types of lists, it’s a collection of stoner anthems and weed shout-outs by female artists (and female-fronted bands). Because in these post-Broad City times, none of us should ever have to hear Bob Dylan bleat “Everybody must get stoned” again.
Missy Elliott — “Pass That Dutch” Has anyone ever sounded more baked than Elliott does, rapping, “Come on, pass that Dutch, baby/ Shake, shake, shake ya stuff, ladies”? The pleasure of this 2003 song, a classic Missy/Timbaland collaboration, is in the way it mixes stoner languor with manic, dance-floor percussion.
Courtney Barnett — “Lance Jr.” Over a riff that sounds comfortingly similar to Nirvana’s “Come as You Are,” Australian semi-newcomer Barnett (who has put out a few EPs but no full-length album yet) sings listlessly about how she “masturbated to the songs you wrote” through the haze of “a little bit of weed mixed with some sentiment.”
Charli XCX feat. Brooke Candy — “Cloud Aura” Suggested alternate title for this track, which features the lyrics, “I was the queen bee, and you were like my Jay Z”: “Stoned in Love.” It’s not a full-on stoner anthem, and the lyric about Chris Brown makes me shudder, but “We were on some Bonnie and Clyde shit/ Kept the blunts rolled, always let you take the first hit” is pure pot poetry for a new generation.
Tacocat — “Volcano” Last month, feminist punk-rock stoners Tacocat scored a duo of ideal feminist punk-rock stoner sponsorships: one from Femenstrual Cups (which are exactly what you think) and another from the legal e-joint company JuJu Joint. But they should really also be on the Volcano people’s payroll, because this bouncy paean to its “silver cloud of science” has to have sold a vaporizer or 50.
Cypress Hill and Sonic Youth — “I Love You Mary Jane” The ’90s were full of unexpected rock-hip hop collaborations, including this mind-altering example from the Judgment Night soundtrack. Sonic Youth enters Cypress Hill’s lyrical domain (quick: try and name a Cypress Hill track that isn’t at least a little bit about weed), for a love letter to that friend named Mary Jane, who makes you feel strange. Always the coolest chick in the room, Kim Gordon coos “Sugar come by and get me high” and becomes the coolest stoner chick in the room.
Rita Marley — “One Draw” Just like she said, it’s going straight to her head. As this song suggests, Rita Marley was as enthusiastic about weed as her late husband on this party-worthy 1981 hit, which was banned in England. Apparently, a teacher evangelizing drugs to her class wasn’t a big hit with the BBC.
Lady Gaga — “Mary Jane Holland” The pot innuendo that runs through every line of this song is cheesy as hell, but if you can’t play it on 4/20, when can you play it?
Jefferson Airplane — “Mexico” Better known for their love of acid, Grace Slick and co. also found time in 1970 to rail against President Nixon’s Operation Intercept, which prevented “tons of gold and green” from flowing into the US via our neighbor to the south. Those of us who think all Jefferson Airplane songs sound the same will at least get a chuckle out of its hippie self-righteousness.
Pistol Annies — “Hush Hush” What do you do when your brother gets out of rehab just in time for Christmas, and suddenly the whole family has to get through the holidays without beer? Everyone’s got their own “hush-hush” way of surviving, but Miranda Lambert and co. are lighting up a joint behind the barn. “Since everybody here hates everybody here/ Hell, I might as well be the joke,” indeed.
Lil’ Kim — “Drugs” Let’s let the other Queen Bee have the last words: “My girls rock Chanel and smoke mad marijuana.”