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How Is Music Going to Change With More People Consuming Cannabis?

by Robert Gitau about a year ago in culture

The impact of having more people legally consuming cannabis is already showing in the music industry, with most genres responding positively to this new development.

Different music genres across the world have different outlooks and traditions, but nearly all of them are connected by one common factor—cannabis. Some genres, such as reggae and hip hop, have their foundation firmly entrenched in weed while in others, such as country and jazz music, weed is cleverly curved into their lyrics. There are also genres that do not actively promote weed, but their fans still get high during concerts.

The Shifting Ground

There is no doubt that music and cannabis bring out the best in each other. The stumbling block to the growth of this would-be explosive relationship is the illegalization of the drug in most parts of the world. The status quo is, however, gradually changing, with countries such as Spain, Jamaica, and Uruguay legalizing the production and recreational consumption of the drug. In the US, states such as Oregon, Alaska, and Colorado have made significant steps towards making marijuana legal. The world is, indeed, gravitating towards the full legalization of weed.

The impact of having more people legally consuming cannabis is already showing in the music industry, with different genres responding positively to this new development. Here are the three music genres that I feel will be impacted most by widespread weed consumption.

1. Reggae

Reggae is anchored on the Rastafarian culture; a culture that openly champion for the legalization of the sacred herb. Reggae visionaries such as Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, and Bunny Wailer wrote songs in praise of weed, arguing that it made people more creative and peaceful. These visionaries, however, faced tons of challenges, including some of them becoming victims of extrajudicial executions from the 70s through the 90s.

Since Jamaica—the undisputed home of reggae—decriminalized possession and use of marijuana in 2014, ganja anthems have increased exponentially. Today, the Jamaican police refrain from arresting ganja vendors and smokers, a move that has allowed the reggae spirit to spread through the Caribbean and the US. If this trend is anything to go by, fans will soon be allowed to smoke weed freely in Reggae concerts in Colorado and other American states and this will significantly increase revenue collection in the industry.

2. Hip Hop

Hip Hop powerhouses such as Jay Z, Snoop Dog, Kanye West, and Wiz Khalifa have extensively rapped about marijuana. But cannabis is entrenched in Hip Hop deeper than most people think.

The key uniting factor between cannabis and Hip Hop is the stigmatization that society subjects to both. Most critics argue that Hip Hop songs spoil the mind and make its fanatics irresponsible. That is why for decades now, most Hip Hop lyrics have been purposed to counter this open discrimination. Hip Hop lovers—most of whom are people of color—feel discriminated against, just like weed is. If this discrimination is addressed, we are likely to see more non-colored people embracing Hip Hop music.

Hip Hop artists will be the greatest beneficiaries of cannabis legalization around the world. As a matter of fact, stakeholders in the industry have started making huge investments in the lucrative business of acquiring and selling the drug. Snoop Dog, for example, started a cannabis-selling brand “The Snoop Leaf,” through which he claims to spread peace and love. This development will take shape in the near future as Hip Hop music continues to make inroads into the marijuana-loving population.

3. Country

Country music artists have for the longest time steered away from cannabis, preferring to associate themselves with beer and whiskey. Contemporary artists in this industry are, however, departing from this tradition and are now openly praising cannabis in their songs.

Eric Church in his song “Smoke A Little Smoke” glorifies weed, just like Kacey Musgraves in her “Follow Your Arrow.” Other cowgirls and boys who seem to have fallen in love with the “love herb” include Willie Nelson, Florida Georgia Line, and Merle Haggard. As a result of this bold move, country music is gaining ground among liberal cannabis users.

From the look of things, there is a potential country music takeover by marijuana following its legalization. This will, in turn, lead to the shifting of fan bases within the global music industry.

Parting shot

The effects of cannabis legalization or decriminalization are far more consequential than this article could explain. One thing remains clear though: The global music industry is on the verge of permanent transformation all thanks to weed. As of whether the effects are positive or negative, that is your call to make.

Robert Gitau
Robert Gitau
Read next: What is Black Cannabis?
Robert Gitau
See all posts by Robert Gitau

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