1991: Blue Lines ? Massive Attack
The most collectable copies of this, the most influential British record of the 1990’s, are those issued during the first Gulf War, when the record company persuaded the group temporarily to drop the “Attack” and call itself simply, “Massive.”
1993: I Can’t Wake Up ? KRS-One
For Return of the Boom Bap, KRS-One hooked up with Gang Starr’s DJ Premier for an album that heralded the return of hard beats and real rap in hip-hop music and included this crafty rhyme, in which the rapper dreams he’s a blunt being passed around the hip-hop fraternity.
1993: Passage to Indica ? Zion Train
The UK Dub Pioneers’ debut album is archetypal digidub: it’s all programmed; there is no “live” instrumentation. Tracks with titles like, Earthrush and Burning Indica blend seamlessly into one another. Also check out ZT’s major label debut, Homegrown Fantasy, from 1995.
1994: Smokin’ Stix ? Coolio
The breakthrough album by the artist formerly known as Artis Ivey Jr, It Takes a Thief, includes this track about the dubious practice of dunking joints in “some kind of embalming fluid” which, as the lyric makes clear, is not recommended.
1994: Tical ? Method Man
“In Staten Island we used to call weed ‘method,'” explains Clifford Smith, aka Method Man. “Then my man Lounger cut it down to metical. And then, over the course of time it got cut down to tical.” Stepping from the ranks of the Wu Tang Clan, this is the title track from the Meth’s solo debut album.
1994: Caught by the Fuzz ? Supergrass
The British trio’s first single, included on their first album, I Should Cocao, tells the true story of singer Gaz Coombes getting busted: “I talked to a man who says ‘better to tell’/ Who sold you the blow?/ Well it was no one I know/ If only you’d tell us, we’d let you go…”
1995: Dope Dogs ? George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars
According to President Clinton, “We’re talking seven dogs in total: US Customs and Coast Guard dogs; one from the DEA, the FBI, the police and from laboratories where drugs are tested… All these dogs are working undercover. And if you replace people with dogs, you can say anything.”
1995: Wanna Be a Hippie ? Technohead
This ravey summer hit sampled I Like Marijuana by David Peel and the Lower East Side: “I wanna be a hippie and I wanna smoke pot/ I wanna be a hippie and I wanna smoke a lot.” Don’t we all?
1996: Hempton Manor ? The Shamen
As Lord of Hempton Manor (H.E.M.P.T.O.N = Help End Marijuana Prohibition Turn On Now), Colin Angus and Mr C, returned to their underground roots for their sixth studio album, recorded in just five days and promoted with low-key gigs as The Shamen Soundsystem.
1996: Super Sharp Shooter ? Ganja Kru
The DJ crew of Hype, Zinc and Pascal, united by their enthusiasm for potent pot and breakbeat music, pooled their talents on this influential EP, which features the classic Jungle track, Super Sharp Shooter, by DJ Zinc, plus Hype’s True Playaz Anthem.
1996: Blunt Time ? RBX
Unmistakably a Dr Dre production, from The Aftermath, the chorus unfortunately equates smoking blunts with drinking brandy and toying with 9mm firearms: “Blunt time ? pull out your Philly/ Sip a glass of ‘gnac, reload your nine milli/ Dancin’, puffin’, sippin’ or set trippin’/ Dimes keep on flippin’, flippin’…”
1996: Fuzzy Logic ? The Super Furry Animals
The sleeve of the enduring Welsh eccentrics’ first album featured multiple portraits of the celebrated hash smuggler, Howard Marks, in various disguises. The album contains a track called Hangin’ Out With Howard Marks and Mr Nice evidently hung out with the boyos long enough to get a production credit for a mix of their single, The Man Dont Give a Fuck.
1998: Can-I-Bus ? Canibus
The Jamaican-born rapper’s first album, produced by Wycleff Jean, delivers “twin turbine rhymes with four thousand pounds of thrust” that are unequivocally powered by the herb, although overt weed rhymes are few. The track, Buckingham Palace however, is unmistakably inspired by U-Roy’s Chalice in the Palace.
1999: One Good Spliff ? Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers
From the Spirit of Music album, the cover of which shows a young Rasta ? possibly Ziggy ? obscured by wreaths of smoke, the words to this song were written by Stephen Marley: “Said I don’t drink coffee/ For they say/ It’s just not right for me/ But what makes me irie/ Is if I could get a little piece of tree/ And build one good spliff…”
1999: 100 Dollar Bag ? Beenie Man
“An a guess mi a guess/ Dis is what I believing/ Get di sensimilla is di real born healing/ When mi smoke di sensi, make mi reach to di ceiling/ I nah go deal with no stealing/ Well, di coke, di crack, di heroin/ Dat mi no dealing/ An di sensimilla give yah natural feeling/ Coke mash dem up an leave di whole a dem screaming/ Good sensimilla man burning…”