What Is a Weed Album, Exactly?

Famous weed-music girls Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and … Lorde? Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images, Lorde/Youtube

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Lorde said her newest release Solar Power is a “weed album.” She initially thought it was going to be an “acid record,” but said, “I had one bad acid experience in this album and was like meh, it’s a weed album. It’s one of my great weed albums.” (She didn’t categorize her other albums, but I’d guess Melodrama is molly music, and Pure Heroine? Ironically, a cocaine album.) Lorde’s comment was clearly tongue-in-cheek, but it begs the questions: What even is a weed album?

There’s stoner metal and psychedelic rock, which have more defined parameters. It’s not hard to find playlists of music to get high to, which usually have a lot of Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, and songs that wouldn’t sound out of place in the musical Hair. Willie Nelson, Pink Floyd, and Snoop Dogg are also all synonymous with weed music but have little overlap with each other stylistically. But the stipulations of what classifies a modern-day “weed album” are unclear. Is it an album created while the artist was high? Is it music best enjoyed while stoned? Both?

I don’t have a wide breadth of experience when it comes to weed. I’ll smoke to help me fall asleep. I’ll gladly have an edible and watch something humiliating like the 2000 live-action classic The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. I’ve learned Love Island is even more enjoyable while completely zooted. However, I absolutely don’t give off weed-girl energy like famous cannabis connoisseurs Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and, I guess, Lorde. I would guess I have “shh don’t tell Mom and Dad” vibes. All this to say, I am by no means a gatekeeper of Weed Culture.

But that will not stop me and my hot, dumb takes! If we are willing to expand the genre to “music that would sound good/better/even more buck wild while high,” here are some weed albums for your consideration:

Unfortunately, Solar Power would not be my weed album of choice. My apologies to Lorde and her fennel bong.

What Is a Weed Album, Exactly?