Oh 4/20, a day when Cheeto dust clouds float above basement couches in an orange haze and Visine clears from store shelves…you know, for April’s “allergy” epidemic. When red eyes and insatiable appetites roam the junk food aisles and fast food lanes of our fair cities like zombies from The Walking Dead. Truly, the highest of holidays.
Here at MTV Iggy, we understand that your day might move a bit slower, that objects may be closer than they appear, and that chocolate covered chicken fingers will dominate your thoughts. So here’s a guide to help all you friends of Mary-Jane get through the 24 hours of 4/20. Complete with a stoner-friendly playlist and the best snack foods from around the world–this is your 4/20 guide to music, munchies, and everything ganja.
Stoner Sub-Genre: Surf Rock
Origin: San Diego, California
Best Local Munchie: In-N-Out Burger
Dopest Song: “Nodding Off” feat. Best Coast
As the self-proclaimed “King of the Beach,” Wavves’ frontman and founder Nathan Williams has a feel for the nostalgic. His reverb-drenched vocals mix fun and melancholy like a trip through your old high school yearbook. Harkening back to an earlier generation, the Cali rocker deftly blends 90s grunge/garage with 70s surf rock. In “Nodding Off,” distorted bass and sunny harmonies courtesy of Best Coast flank the carefree melodies of Williams’ vocals.
Recommended Usage: Equally angst-ridden as it is dreamy, this is the song you’d play while getting high in the back of your parent’s VW van at your senior prom.
Wavves — “Nodding Off” feat. Best Coast
Stoner Sub-Genre: Alternative Hip-Hop
Origin: Kyoto, Japan
Best Local Munchie: Green Tea Ice Cream
Dopest Song: “Playing in the Ghetto”
Kyoto’s Anarchy has a raspy flow that effortlessly floats over his East Coast-flavored beats. A previous MTV Iggy Artist of the Week, you can hear the influence of Nas and other 90s New York rap veterans on the Japanese MC’s music. Raised in a public housing community of Kyoto with ties to a motorcycle gang in his younger years, Anarchy raps about what he’s seen around him — poverty and struggle. With psychedelic guitar riffs fading in and out of tune and Motown vocal samples adding velvet to the track, Anarchy’s “Playing in the Ghetto” rides slow and hits hard.
Recommended Usage: For urban dwellers mostly–escape the crowded city streets and find headspace in the rapper’s “Ghetto of the Mind.”
Anarchy — “Playing in the Ghetto”
Stoner Sub-Genre: Coletera
Origin: Bogota, Colombia
Best Local Munchie: Chocolate Santafereño
Dopest Song: “Mahie (La mata que mata)”
You may not have heard of this high-energy group yet, but Colectro’s brand of Coletera music will get you dancing in no time. What is Coletera, you ask? According to the band’s website, the music originates from a group of monks who would lock themselves in a monastery for months at a time, smoking copious amounts of weed in attempts to understand the Bible. In more musical terms, their sound is a combination of folk, jazz, reggae, disco, soul, and everything in between. This sextet from Bogota, Columbia put all other jam bands to shame with their tenacious live performances, and on “Mahie (La mata que mata)” you can see why we’re so high on their Coletera.
Recommended Usage: In the crowded dance halls, sway back and forth to the trippy vibes of this South American band’s music.
Colectro — “Mahie (La mata que mata)”
Stoner Sub-Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Origin: Perth, Australia
Best Local Munchie: Caramello Koala
Dopest Song: “Lucidity”
Critics and listeners have been gobbling up these Aussies’ melting pot of psychedelic sounds. Their debut album Innerspeaker landed the group Best New Music honors from Pitchfork, and that praise is just the tip of the iceberg. With a sound that borrows from The Beatles in their most psychedelic days, Tame Impala warms the blood and slows the mind. On “Lucidity,” the group’s acid-infused sounds are out in full force, sure to cause blurred vision.
Recommended Usage: Listen to this track when couch hopping with a group of amiable friends—you’re going to be tripping (disco) balls.
Tame Impala — “Lucidity”
Stoner Sub-Genre: Weed Rap
Origin: Brooklyn, New York
Best Local Munchie: Halal (aka street meat)
Dopest Song: “Deep Ass Sh*t (You’ll Get It When You’re High)”
Breaking into the scene in 2008 with their song “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” the trio residing in Brooklyn—Himanshu, Victor, and hype man Dapwell—created the stoner anthem to end all others (Pizza Hut and Taco Bell?!). But if you were to leave it at that, dismissing Das Racist as “joke rap” (as some critics have) than you’d be missing some important subtext from the academic MCs. Having met at Wesleyan University, Victor (aka Kool AD) and Himanshu (aka Heems) can drop lyrics that could turn heads at the Harvard Club. With pop culture references ranging from Shaun Bridgmohan (apparent first Jamaican in the Kentucky Derby) to Anthony Bourdain, these rap scholars have an inclination for the intelligent, giving you a nice heady buzz.
Recommended Usage: In the words of DR, with Cheetohs, Dorritos, Pringles, Kraft Singles, Slim Jims, Sierra Mist / Butter crunch Cookies, Sour Patch Kids – from “Hahahaha jk?”
Das Racist — “Deep Ass Sh*t (You’ll Get It When You’re High)”
Stoner Sub-Genre: Ambient R&B
Origin: Toronto, Canada
Best Local Munchie: Eat-More Candy Bar
Dopest Song: “High For This”
Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, hails from Toronto, Ontario, but isn’t your typical northern dweller. Born of Ethiopian descent, his mix of R&B and ambient hip-hop is a perfect catalyst to create the next baby boom generation. Even without an official album release, the sultry crooner has generated serious buzz with his trio of 2011 mixtapes, beginning with the critically acclaimed House of Balloons, which features “High For This,” a track that can get you lit and lusty at the same time.
Recommended Usage: Play this track with your significant other, pour some wine, and blow smoke rings in the shape of hearts until the sun comes up.
The Weeknd — “High For This”
Stoner Sub-Genre: Ambient Electronica
Origin: Versailles, France
Best Local Munchie: Speculoos
Dopest Song: “How Does It Make You Feel”
Air’s music is as ubiquitous as their name. The French duo’s tunes have appeared in countless television series and movies, appearing on the soundtracks of Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides, to name a few. It’s no wonder their music serves as a good backdrop to other mediums–the mellow sounds from the Frenchmen don’t distract, but function as a sonic pillow made to support. On “How Does It Make You Feel,” warm synth pads, meandering guitar lines, and eerie robotic vocals are Ambien for the ears, lulling listeners into a comatose state of chilled out bliss.
Recommended Usage: Best suited for listening alone in bed. Put on noise-canceling headphones, close your eyes, and breathe in the air.
Air — “How Does It Make You Feel”
Stoner Sub-Genre: Dream Pop
Origin: Gothenburg, Sweden
Best Local Munchie: Maxbox
Dopest Song: “Beautiful Life”
This Dream Pop duo from Sweden has a penchant for world beats and reverb-saturated vocals. Taking typical pop sensibilities, flipping them on their head, and dipping them in a vat of acidy flavored stew — Gothenburg’s jj are masters of the ethereal. “Beautiful Life,” a track off their upcoming release jj nº4, cops the title from fellow Swedes Ace of Base. But unlike their predecessor’s 90s pop hit, this tune’s sounds are stretched and warped to fit a trip-pop formula, and it’s bound to keep you in a trance long after your high fades.
Recommended Usage: Go to your local planetarium and put this song on repeat. Stare at the stars and think about, “how big the universe is…”
jj — “Beautiful Life”
Stoner Sub-Genre: Doom Metal
Origin: London, England
Best Local Munchie: Twiglets
Dopest Song: “Red Tide Rising”
Quite productive for a group of metal/weed heads, Orange Goblin pioneered the British stoner rock movement in the mid 90s with labelmate Electric Wizard. And 15 years later, the British foursome is still making solid metal records and touring relentlessly. Don’t expect a pleasant, high ride to the clouds with these thrashers. On tracks like “Red Tide Rising,” the Brit rockers pummel you with distorted riffs fueled by Jägermeister (the band’s sponsor, seriously) and brutal breakdowns.
Recommended Usage: Grow the fiercest beard you can in 24 hours and head bang until your buzz wears off. Careful, you may need a neck brace after this metal session.
Orange Goblin — “Red Tide Rising”
Stoner Rock Sub-Genre: Reggae/Rocksteady
Origin: Westmoreland, Jamaica
Best Local Munchie: Jamaican Patty
Dopest Song: “Legalize It”
We left the quintessential stoner song for last. Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It” cries for the injustice of all wrongly-incriminated tokers around the world. We hate to say it, but the Jamaican reggae icon’s lyrics are a little blunt: Legalize it – don’t criticize it / Legalize it and I will advertise it. The words certainly advertised his belief in the sticky icky, but he cemented this status with his triptastic take on reggae that lays way back on the 1s and 3s. Add his commanding vocals and phased-out guitar riffs, and the track “Legalize It” will have you writing to your Congressman in no time.
Recommended Usage: Don’t worry about sobering up, tomorrow’s Saturday–sit back, relax, and take a hit of whatever Mr. Tosh was smoking.