When it comes to reggae music, the topic of marijuana looms large in the lyrics and subject matter. In Rastafarianism, marijuana is used religiously and medicinally, in prayer and meditation, to achieve greater spiritual insight into life and the universe. Marijuana is only one aspect of Rastafarianism and you can read more about the subject here.
Below is a listicle of 20 great reggae tracks paying tribute to the herb.
1. Peter Tosh – Legalize It
This song was made in retaliation against the police who were arresting and abusing the people of Jamaica at the time for herb use. In 1978, Tosh proclaimed ‘Herb will become like cigarettes’, in an Interview in the magazine NME.
2. Bob Marley – Kaya
Kaya is a Jamaican word for cannabis.
3. Bob Marley – Easy Skanking
Here’s a quote from Bob Marley about herb: “When you smoke herb, herb reveal yourself to you. All the wickedness you do, the herb reveal itself to yourself, your conscience, show up yourself clear because herb make you meditate. Is only a natural t’ing and it grow like a tree.” Also, have you seen the Bob Marley movie?
4. Lee Perry – Free Up The Weed
Lee “Scratch” Perry worked with Bob Marley and the Wailers back in the day and helped craft some of the greatest music anyone’s ever heard.
5. Linval Thompson – I Love Marijuana
This track is so popular it’s been sampled by Wiz Khalifa and other musicians.
6. Culture – International Herb
In the song they sing the “birds eat it” so “utilize it, man!”
7. Horace Ferguson – Sensi Addict
8. Ganja In My Brain – Ras Matthew
9. Black Uhuru – Sinsemilla
Sinsemilla is marijuana from female plants that are specially tended and kept seedless by preventing pollination in order to induce a high resin content.
10. Eek A Mouse – Sensee Party
11. Eek A Mouse – Ganja Smuggling – BITTY BONG
12. Tony Rebel – The Herb
13. Buju Banton – Gimme The Weed
14. Niyorah – Positive Herbs
15. Israel Vibration – Herb Is The Healing
16. Aswad – Just A Little Herb
17. Mighty Diamonds – Pass the Koutchie
“Pass the Koutchie” was a hit twice internationally!. First on the album Changes in 1982 and again as a cover by Musical Youth with “Pass the Dutchie.” It was turned into the word Dutchie because of un-PC reasons. If you look in the Urban Dictionary you’ll find Dutchie means a dutch master cigar, a cast iron pot over an open fire, and a dirty sex joke.
18. The Toyes – Smoke Two Joints
This is the one was covered by Sublime, y’all. You know it.
19. Capital Letters – Smoking my Ganja
20. Culture – International Herb
There are plenty more reggae tunes out there about the herb. Which ones do you like that aren’t on this list? Let us know on social media or in the comments section below.