It’s no secret that weed occupies a special place in American music culture. Whether we’re talking about stoner garage rock or blunts and hip-hop, most artists aren’t shy about speaking on marijuana’s creative power. For many musicians, it alters their creative consciousness, enabling them to access an artistic space they would be unable to experience otherwise. As Arca collaborator Jesse Kanda told The FADER last year, Alejandro Ghersi’s alter ego Xen (and the inspiration behind his 2014 album of the same name) emerges when they smoke together.
While icons like Snoop Dogg (never Snoop Lion) are pretty open about their love of ganja, that kind of candor hasn’t always been the case in Latin America. Fifteen years ago, there was still a pretty big stigma surrounding artists who smoked, and those who did were the exception to the rule. Bands like Molotov have always embraced the way weed influences their creative process, but their involvement in a recent scandal surrounding Mexico’s first weed and lifestyle magazine proves they haven’t totally escaped critics. These days, the stigma has somewhat dissipated, so we decided to reach out to some of our favorite musicians and see what they had to say about weed and creativity. From taming their inner critics to allowing them to vibe with collaborators, here’s how these 11 musicians work weed into their creative process.
Weed Week is a cross-platform collaboration with our friends at Latino USA. All week long, we’ll be diving into the many ways cannabis culture and policy intersect with Latino communities – leading up to Latino USA’s marijuana-themed episode “Smoked Out,” airing on Friday.
[Making music] is more fun with marijuana, because you laugh more, and you kind of lose contact with reality – which is the disease we all suffer from. You can get in touch with your mind, and concentrate better on your own ideas, which is what I think we’re all seeking. Sometimes you can’t smoke, because you need to drive in the city, or ride a bike, or take a math test – but the rest of the time you’re in this individual bubble of frenetic solipsism, all thanks to a little plant you can grow in your own house. I’m not trying to say that weed will turn you into a zen monk, but, well – you laugh, they beat you at poker. And who cares if they beat you when you’re already flying?? It almost makes me want to cry. Viva la marihuana, viva all of the drugs, down with laws and borders, free will, brotherhood, mass murders, and the end of the world!