Let’s be blunt: Southern California is the perfect place to get high. The skies are sunny year-round and the beaches are beautiful and plenty. There’s the bountiful surf of Malibu, the craggy rocks and gnarled trees of Joshua Tree, and the sweeping canyons and mellow vibes of San Diego; the landscape is the stuff of myth. Inspiration can be found all around, so perhaps it’s no surprise that so many great artists, all from the region but from different genres, sing marijuana’s praises.
The list of artists is seemingly endless: In Los Angeles alone there’s The Mamas & The Papas, who were definitely thinking about lighting up when they sang “Safe In My Garden”; there’s Sublime, who made their interests obvious enough when they covered The Toyes’ reggae classic “Smoke Two Joints”; and of course there’s Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg, the latter who has built a whole brand as the champion of weed smokers. These are just some of the obvious picks, of course, but put your finger practically anywhere on the SoCal map and you’ll find tendrils of smoke and pleasant sounds rising up, from Kyuss out in Palm Desert to Wavves’ Nathan Williams, who got his start recording tunes like “Weed Demon” at his parent’s house in San Diego.
In honor of the release of Wavves’ latest album, You’re Welcome, out May 19 via Ghost Ramp, we’ve put together a playlist of SoCal stoner classics. Taking this in is sure to lighten any social engagement involving a bubbler, spliff, or vape pen, but it also offers a little slice of SoCal history and legacy through the bloodshot eyes of some of its greatest talents.