Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 420


Sam Kuramoto

Happy April 20th. Regardless of whether or not you’re participating in today’s informal holiday, you should still be listening to good music. I wanted to take the opportunity to share my go-to lazy tracks that are sure to make your Wednesday more enjoyable, whether partaking or not.

“Doobie Ashtray” by Devin the Dude

This is one of the most criminally underrated tracks I’ve probably ever heard. I think it has every element it needs to be a household hit, but here we are. Devin the Dude is a Houston native that has been flying under most people’s radars for almost two decades now with a few notable projects, but this single originally released in 2002 is something special. Devin raps to the everyday struggles that give us the urge to relax like a thin wallet or a tough job, but contrasts it with dreams of a yacht and an everlasting stash. For all of the Mac Miller fans out there, he flipped this track for a remix featuring Dee Goodz in 2010, and I think it’s just as good as the original. All in all, this is a quintessential anthem made for the people.

“Officer” by Slightly Stoopid

I swear that it’s not mine, officer. This one goes out to everyone not living in a legal territory. If you’re not familiar, Slightly Stoopid is a California reggae/jam outfit that has been defining 4/20 culture for decades now. Their music is a beautiful new age take on reggae and dub music with organic instrumentation and all around good vibes. Officer is a narrative about a hazy party getting busted and law enforcement giving everyone a hard time for just wanting to have fun. The heavily-reverbed guitars sit on top of a strong reggae style bass and organ and an infectious drum groove. This is just one of those songs that you can’t help smiling about when it’s stuck in your head. I wish I could write an entire column just about Slightly Stoopid, but in the meantime, I implore you to check them out for yourself.

“Althea” by Grateful Dead

Last but in no means the least, this list isn’t finished without a touch of Jerry Garcia. Without a doubt, Grateful Dead played a huge role in the pioneering of and solidification of 4/20, but the exact origin itself is fuzzy. In Greek mythology, Alethea is Zeus’ daughter and the personification of truth, and the woman in the song Althea represents the divine and spells out the singer’s troubles. The melody is absolutely infectious and makes this 6-minute track worth every second. Like most of the Dead’s music, this song is so easy to get lost in. This track is a great example of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter’s poetic prowess that has kept this legendary group alive for so long. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can check out the show that the Dead did at American University in 1972.