1. Becoming X by Sneaker Pimps
Sneaker Pimps is best known for their ’90s hit “6 Underground” but their entire debut album is actually spectacular. Trip hop, as a genre, isn’t particularly known for being a ray of sunshine but with then-lead singer Kelli Dayton’s bubblegum vocals, the record is injected with a certain kind of lightness and accessibility. It takes sinister beats and doses them in stellar hooks and melodies, making it the perfect accompaniment to any drug experience. Before things ever get too #dark and you risk feeling paranoid, the band delivers a Top 40 vibe that brings you back to the land of happy happy joy joy.
2. Mezzanine by Massive Attack
While we’re on that trip hop tip, I would feel remiss to not mention the seminal album Mezzanine by Massive Attack. It is SUCH a drug album. The opening track “Angel” sounds like it was created by two people in their living room who were just like, “Wanna see how high we can get? Like for fun?” Plus, there are some gorgeous haunting moments on tracks like “Exchange” and “Teardrop” that will feel like a back massage to any stoned person.
3. L.A. Woman by The Doors
Sometimes you just gotta let yourself have a “I’M STONED AND LISTENING TO THE DOORS” moment. Their weird, ambient, sexy rock and roll sound was practically made for it. Sidenote: When I was in high school and a wannabe stoner, “Riders On The Storm” was my ringtone. Sooooo deal with that.
4. The Best Of Jimi Hendrix by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
I’m sorry to take you down this hippy dippy ’60s k-hole but it’s not my fault that all of these musicians were on so many drugs back then! They essentially provided soundtracks to your drug trip that magically made it to the top 40. This was pop music! Anyway, I remember being REALLY high one warm night last summer and laying in bed with my window open playing “Wind Cries Mary” approximately 40,000 times. It sounded so comforting at the time, like a nice hug from your stoner friend who likes to talk about aliens and is annoying but ultimately harmless. There’s something about Jimi Hendrix. His energy manages to radiate through his music and all of a sudden you feel like you’re in the ’60s hanging out in an opium den. (Do they still have those?)
5.The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd
This isn’t my fave drug record but I had to include it because it was so influential… or something. In high school, we used to smoke weed and synch it up with The Wizard Of Oz but I never really thought there was a synchronicity. Let’s face it, when you’re high enough, EVERYTHING will start to feel connected. Besides, I’ve never done hallucinogens before and I’ve heard that’s what you need to do in order to get the “full effect.”
6. Souvlaki by Slowdive
Like trip hop, shoegaze is a fantastic genre of music to get high to. The swirling guitars, the vocals drenched in reverb, and the hazy beat all act as the perfect backdrop to any drug experience. Slowdive is an iconic shoegaze band and their album Souvlaki is a touchstone of the genre. Tracks like “Allison” and “When The Sun Hits” envelop you in a dreamy fog and spit you out in some exotic spa in Eastern Europe. You can even listen to this record sober and feel stoned, which is great and saves brain cells!
7. Soul Rebels by Bob Marley & The Wailers
I’m putting Bob Marley on this list purely for sentimental reasons. The first time I ever smoked pot, I listened to this album in my backyard with my best friend and we pretended like we couldn’t speak. We then decided to have a photo shoot on my front lawn and posted the pictures on our Deadjournals with the caption: WE GOT STONED! Incidentally, my Honors English teacher had spies that checked our online blogs and found about it. She came up to me the following week and said, “I heard you got stoned last weekend. We need to talk.” Then, straight out of Black Swan, she proceeded to give me a lecture on how much I’ve changed and asked me, “Where did my sweet Ryan go?” If the movie had been out already, I would’ve responded curtly, “HE’S GONE!” But since it wasn’t, I just said “Um, he’s still here?!” and had a panic attack.
8. Badlands by Dirty Beaches
(Note: “Lone Runner” isn’t technically on the record but WHATEVER.) Drug music can either be super mellow or sort of tense and edgy, as you’ve probably surmised from this list so far. Dirty Beaches — the new(ish) band that sounds like Roy Oribson writing a suicide note — definitely falls into the latter category. Some of their tracks are actually terrifying but depending on what drug you’re on and what mood you’re in, it could be just the thing you need.