Moments ago, actually earlier this afternoon now, Rocks Off opened an envelope from Universal Music that turned out to contain young No Limit-affiliated rapper Curren$y's major-label debut, Weekend at Burnie's (Warner Bros.). We'll give you three guesses what the New Orleans native's primary recreational drug of choice is; since you're staring at the cover right now, the first two don't count.
Believe it or not, we've also been getting into Wiz Khalifa lately, investigating the charismatic Pittsburgh MC's - and equally devoted pothead, if not moreso - 2011 major-label debut of his own, Rolling Papers (Atlantic), so we could write a preview for his show next week at Reliant Arena. This got us to wondering if this seeming uptick in 420-friendly album titles is a recent phenomenon.
It may be, in which case it stems (as it were) from Cam'ron's 2004 joint Purple Haze. Believe it or not, even noted stoners such as Black Sabbath ("Sweet Leaf"), Sublime ("Smoke Two Joints") and Snoop Dogg (duh) have never released a studio set with a weed-inspired name, although Snoop did put out a live recording of his "Puff Puff Pass" tour in 2005. And Sublime probably would have if not for singer Brad Nowell's certain other habits.
Rocks Off did some investigating this afternoon and found a few others who have as well - and if you're wondering why Orange County crack-ups Kottonmouth Kingz (Hidden Stash, Rollin' Stoned, Fire It Up, Joint Venture, Cloud Nine) are nowhere to be found, we limited the list to people we actually enjoy listening to. Sue us.
Peter Tosh, Legalize It (1976)
Helping out anyone who couldn't recognize the abundance of marijuana plants on the cover of his 1976 LP - thus raising the question of why they would be buying the album in the first place - the late Wailers co-founder and Mick Jagger bud explains what "it" is within the first 35 seconds: "Some call it tampee/ Some call it the weed/ Some call it marijuana/ Some of them call it ganja." Tosh, who goes on to list common occupations of marijuana smokers besides musician (doctor, lawyer, judge) as well as the herb's health benefits (asthma, flu, tuberculosis), definitely called it friend.
Cannabis Corpse, Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise (2011)
Every day Rocks Off gets an email from Catharsis PR about these Richmond, Va., "death-dealing stoner lords" is a good one. Since CC's new album and follow-up to 2008's Tube of the Resinated is due next month, we've been getting a lot. In fact, as we were writing this up, we got two more inviting us to download the album. While we investigate "Chapel of Bowls" and "Gateway to Inhalation," give Morbid Angel swipe "Where the Kind Lives" a listen and tell us how a band that adores getting baked to the gills this much can still sound angrier than anything coming out of Norway these days.
Meat Puppets, Too High To Die (1994)
Although weed turned out to be least of the Arizona-bred Kirkwood brothers' worries, listeners could be forgiven for thinking the hit single from their Kurt Cobain-endorsed acid-country trio's breakthrough album was called "Bongwater," not "Backwater."
Cypress Hill, Greatest Hits From the Bong (2005)
We'll take "album titles even a stoner could have predicted" for $200, Alex.
Dr. Dre, The Chronic (1992)
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When Dr. Dre recorded his G-Funk masterpiece, "chronic" was pot slang largely confined to the West Coast. Thanks to the Zig Zag-biting cover, and about 60 percent of the lyrical content - less than you might think due to all the shots at Eazy-E, as well as Dre, Snoop, et. al. hyping their own lyrical skills - as the triple-platinum album approaches its 20th anniversary next year(!), "chronic" is now synonymous with ganja worldwide. (Cf. Cannabis Corpse, "Slave to the Chron.") Rocks Off was hoping to find it in the Oxford English Dictionary, but it turns out you need a subscription to look up words in their database. We'd rather have a pre-scription.
Like we said, this is by no means intended to be a definitive list. It's just something we, cough, rolled up in an afternoon. (Sorry, Devin.) What else is floating around out there?