The day that’s known around the world as National Weed Smoking Day (April 20) – the ultimate stoner’s holiday – has arrived. Fun fact about 4/20: The origins stem from a group of five California teenagers called The Waldos and the exact time they used to meet up with each other before scoring some bud.
Throughout hip-hop’s existence the attitude toward marijuana in the culture and genre radically shifted from artists such as Dr. Dre famously saying, “I still express, yo I don’t smoke weed or cess” to the culture fully embracing the ganja with open arms. As the ’90s came into full swing, weed smoking pioneers like Cypress Hill, Method Man & Redman, Snoop Dogg, Devin The Dude, Three 6 Mafia and OutKast broke down the doors for the marijuana culture to exist as we know it. These rappers also helped lay down the foundation to exist one of the most prolific and legendary lyricists and weed connoisseurs, Lil Wayne.
From the moment Weezy F. Baby (F.K.A. Birdman Jr.) stepped off the Hot Boys porch and began making solo albums, he was destined for greatness. However, his legendary mixtape run of the early and mid-2000s is what helped not only make him a household name (gotta give credit to his scores of genre crossing collabos, too, in that regard), but made him into an icon that will stand the test of time as one of the greatest and most unique lyricists of all time. And within thousands and thousands of records, he made some of the best weed smoking music on the planet. In fact, it’s safe to say that Lil Wayne is one of the significant artists that defines what 4/20 is all about because of his free-spirited nature as an artist, man and ganja smoker.
In honor of this glorious day we all know as 4/20, VIBE pays homage to his legendary mixtapes as we present 11 of Lil Wayne’s best mixtape songs to spark one up to. So without further ado… Happy 4/20 ladies and gents!
“Birds Flying High” (ft. Juelz Santana) | Mixtape: Blow
Best way to enjoy: While smoking a blunt in deep meditation in solitude. Back when the often-teased (but sadly cancelled) joint album with Lil Wayne and Dipset’s Juelz Santana was practically the hottest thing to never exist, fans were given Mick Boogie’s classic mixtape prequel, Blow to hold us down until then. The two have recorded tons joints together over the years, but “Birds Flying High” is one of their greatest that will forever stand the test of time, especially as a stoner anthem. The slow, groovy magic they’ve made with the Nina Simone sample makes it a catchy and smooth song to smoke to.
“Kush” | Mixtape: Tha Carter III Leak
Best way to enjoy: While smoking at least blunts full of OG Kush with the squad. “Kush” is one of Weezy’s more playful stoner jams that showcases his stream-of-consciousness style bars and arguably one of his most memorable mixtape records of all time. His light-hearted randomness through the song fits the mood perfectly after smoking some good OG Kush with the squad. This also includes one of Wayne’s most hilarious bars when he randomly spits, “Cristal, please/Crackers with cheese/N***a please.”
“Swag Surfin’” | Mixtape: No Ceilings
Best way to enjoy: At the most lit 4/20 party you can find while faded. Wayne’s No Ceilings mixtape is arguably one of the greatest mixtapes of the 00s and bangers such as his take on F.L.Y’s “Swag Surfin’” is the very reason why. Listen to Wayne’s explosive introduction as he goes on a dizzying four-minute rampage on the classic K.E. On The Beat production. Especially as he spits high octane bars like, I’m talking big s**t, n***a/Join my hit list, ni**a/What’s the matter?/Check your bladder/I’m the s**t, piss n***a/Shoot the witness, n***a/Hold court in the streets/And convict this n***a/Oh dickless n***a. Smoke one to that.
“I Feel Like Dying” | Mixtape: Tha Carter III Leak
Best way to enjoy: While smoking the last of your stash in bed. The beauty of Wayne at his deepest is when he’s in that mode, he often produces some of the most cathartic music a rapper could make. And this is highly evident on both his mixtapes and albums. “I Feel Like Dying” is one of his more releasing moments where the moody soundscape is highly stimulating in a way that can make listens feel like they’re on his same cloud, but without smoking anything. It also brings his off-the-cuff lyrics to life as they set the stage for a brooding, somewhat depressing, and releasing melody.
“Single” | Mixtape: No Ceilings
Best way to enjoy: When you smoke the first joint after a liberating break up. For all intents and purposes, Lil Wayne made one of the greatest, cathartic break up songs of this generation. It’s a very liberating song listen to after being in a long and tumultuous relationship and nothing has ever gotten better. And when you smoke that much-needed fat joint after breaking up with them on 4/20, the 40’s signature dreamy and mellow soundscape amplifies Wayne’s universal declaration of being single.
“Poppin” (ft. Curren$y) | Mixtape: No Ceilings 2
Best way to enjoy: While dabbing in the VIP at the and popping bottlesAny real Lil Wayne fan knows that his older collaboration with Curren$y back in the back in the early Young Money days were some of the most lit records of his career. But this one is significant because it was one of the first songs they’ve reunited on since Curren$y left YMCMB to build his name in the indie world. The two spit some heat together over Rico Richie’s original hit, “Poppin”. And because its Lil Wayne and Curren$y together, it would be a crime not to light one to this.
“Magic” (ft. Gudda Gudda) | Mixtape: Dedication 3
Best way to enjoy: While rolling up and you’re lounging. Lil Wayne and Gudda Gudda flips UGK’s classic “Wood Wheel” to give us another solid stoner’s anthem from Dedication 3. As the project served as a coming out party to the Young Money collective we know and love today, Gudda Gudda showed a lot of promise on their collabo together as the two traded solid flows. The smoky, funked-out soundscape creates a the much needed smoked-out vibe that’s reminiscent of the cloudy haze of a smoked filled room.
“You Song” (ft. Chance The Rapper) | Mixtape: Dedication 5
Best way to enjoy: While smoking pre-rolled joints of loud with bae on 4/20. Before they linked up for their epic collabo “No Problems”, Wayne and Chance got together to create a beautiful “love song” that supposedly isn’t a love song. The poetically beautiful lyrics and chorus by Chance matches very well with Wayne’s blunt and nonchalant approach when rapping about love (or his own version of it). On April 20, today, save that nice moon rock joint you copped with the nice wax drizzled around it and save it for your that special stoner woman in your life, because like “You Song”, that would make her feel special
“Fingers Hurting”| Mixtape: Sorry For The Wait 2
Best way to enjoy: While smoking fat joints of Lemon Kush at beach. Preferably at the parking lot or the sand. That or while rolling up. This song is the unofficial theme song for when you first get that bag of that “good” and you inhale that strong, musk aroma, break it down, and roll up on a nice sunny day on the beach. The light and glitzy production sets the scene for this, along with a solid Wayne verse (although not one of his top tier performances of all time). The vibe “Fingers Hurting” gives off is certainly a fun one that fits 4/20 perfectly.
“Get High Rule The World” | Mixtape: Da Drought 3
Best way to enjoy: While smoking some Grandaddy Purp out of a Swisher Sweet, think about your dreams and plotting for the future. Or Monday. “Get High Rule The World” is one of Wayne’s more focused freestyles as he spits some of his most clever, wittiest, and grittiest bars from his classic mixtape, Da Drought 3. Weezy masterfully reworks Nas & Lauryn Hill’s classic duet into a track that describes something that most of us want to do. And that’s get high and rule the whole world! Who wouldn’t want to do that with this song serving as the soundtrack?
“Pussy, Money, Weed” | Mixtape: The Drought Is Over 4
Best way to enjoy: During a late-night creep or a romantic night fill of ganja. Wayne trades in his usual abrasive bluntness for a more sensual and alluring flow. He a flips well utilized sample of Outkast’s “Jazzy Belle” into a smooth and dreamy ode to loving a woman a much as he does his favorite three things. It’s a mood setting song that captures not only Wayne’s very rare romantic side, but it’s the perfect theme song for chilling with bae.