Five Songs That Made Weed Lame
When David Draiman of Disturbed, Device, and Everything Nice recently announced that most of his material was written while high, we wailed and lamented and gnashed our teeth (then we got high). Smoking weed is something we love, and we like to believe that doing so enables an artist to create great work. If weed was responsible for Disturbed, what did it say about our favorite passtime?
The thing is, Draiman’s not the first musician to make smoking pot seem incredibly uncool. Indeed, while many bands and musicians out there are sonic proof that a bong rip is the secret ingredient to any good song, so too have many artists — some even talented artists we like — left a band taste in our mouth with their use of weed in their music.
Here, for your perusal, is a list of songs that make smoking weed seem like a lame fucking thing to do. If we’ve forgotten any, feel free to add them in the comments.
1. Weezer, “Hash Pipe“
Eeeasily my #1 on this list. Weezer’s ‘green album’ (already I am ashamed to be a pothead) was a huge return to the music scene for them, but the big single, “Hash Pipe,” raised some eyebrows. Why were Weezer singing about smoking hash and not their suburban emotions? Could it be that emo kids were also smoking tons of weed?
Needless to say, hearing Rivers Cuomo nasally saying, “I got my hash pipe!” made every stoner metalhead lower their lighter and growl to themselves. What if their parents were right about drugs, only instead of a homeless dirtbag they turned you into a sweater-wearing radio rocker?
2. Tool, “Rosetta Stoned”
Does Tool need to tell anyone that they smoke weed? I figured that was a given. And even if they decided they had to make it so obvious, they’re clever guys — they couldn’t have picked a name other than something your dad would’ve called his van in college? But it’s not just the title — the song itself is an indulgent jazz odyssey-style aggro-metal epic that goes nowhere.
I remember seeing this song title on the album and thinking, “Okay, don’t judge a book by its cover! Who knows? Could be cool.” Then I found myself listening to eleven minutes of sprawling clichés and realized that maybe, just maybe, smoking weed had unpleasant side effects.
3. Six Feet Under, “4:20”
Ugh. I don’t mind death metal bands who are big into weed (Origin, Brutal Truth, Malignancy) so long as they don’t sing about weed. But here’s Chris Barnes growling, “Just let nature take effect!” and talking about how “the touch of velvet rubs against my soul,” and it makes me think, Wow, death metal is the stupidest fucking thing in the world when it’s about some hippie bullshit.
No shade on Chris Barnes — that dude is awesome to talk to, and he seems to have a healthy mindset about weed. But this song makes me cringe, every time. It’s just that the vocals aren’t guttural enough to hide the stupid Sublime lyrics.
4. The Union Underground, “Natural High”
Ah, the token nu-metal weed song. As part of its appropriation of hip-hop’s most surface-level imagery and all things Pantera, nu-metal took on the love of weed and putting weed leaves on everything. However, it was always used as a sign of getting fucked-up or being at one with nature in some jam band kind of way, rather than a source of inspiration and clarity.
“Natural High” opens AND closes with the sound of a bong hit, which is the ultimate dickhead stoner song move. It has lyrics about saviors and washing your pain away. It is basically a fluorescent sticker of an alien smoking a joint set to music. Kill me.
5. GWAR, “Nitro Burnin’ Funny Bong”
As always, GWAR save the day with their weed song. Rather than be a weed anthem, “Nitro Burnin’ Funny Bong” is an funky upbeat song about how fucking stupid funky upbeat stoner songs are. It’s basically a group of space aliens pointing and laughing at the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, and you for buying that Chronic the Hemphog t-shirt while you were in NOLA for that bachelor party.
And that’s how it should be! Make no mistake, as a dude who smokes a ton of weed I’m aware that marijuana culture and humor are the most obnoxious things out there. Shit like this and this makes me want to do shots of Drano. [But we’re confident Emperor Rhombus still thinks you should buy this weed-themed MetalSucks t-shirt. -Ed.] And who’s better to remind me of that than a bunch of crackhead aliens from Antarctica?
Bonus Classic Rock Track: Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Marrakesh Express“
“Maybe it was our generation!” I hear you say. “With our Bonnaroo and our Miley Cyrus! After all, in the Free Love 1960s, smoking weed was at its purest form! Getting high was a sacrement.”
NO. Wrong. Your parents were just as stupid and idiotic when they were high at Woodstock as any of us are. Want proof? Here’s “Marrakesh Express,” a song about hash that’s about as inane, nonsensical, and uncool as they come. “I smell the garden in your hair?” Fuck off, dude. Never forget: from its introduction into the American subconscious, weed has been as dumb as it is awesome. There were no good ol’ days.