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New Study Says Country Music Mentions Drugs More Than Any Other Genre

Photo by Liaison/Getty Images

It’s easy enough to find songs about any drug (or booze) imaginable, but these days the favorite topic among musicians is weed.

But guess who does it the most?

In addition to wailing about love lost, broken dreams, odes to the Good Lord—“Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goal Posts of Life” or bemoaning that “All my Exes Live in Texas”—country music loves to serenade cannabis and does it more than any other genre.

Topping the charts, of course, is “Weed with Willie,” about a sad sack who swears he’ll “never smoke weed with Willie again.” But even after getting smoked under the table “with drool on my chin. We broke down and smoked weed with Willie again.”

But really, who hasn’t smoked a joint—or at least wanted to—with Willie Nelson?

According to a recent study by Addictions.com, aptly titled “Drugs in Music,” country music mentions drugs in general more than any other musical genre, and the most-referenced substance is weed.

Who knew?

One would have thought that rap, hip-hop or some of the sweet sixties music would be up there.

But Addictions.com’s survey notes that out of eight categories, country leads the way with a 1.6 mentions per song on average, followed closely by jazz and pop music.

Hip-hop actually falls into last place at less than 1.3 mentions per song on average.

This data obviously challenges the assumption that all rappers are lyrical drug peddlers. A 2014 New York Times article shed light on a growing and deeply disturbing practice of using lyrics by aspiring rappers as evidence for the prosecution in criminal trials.

It it worth noting that Addiction.com’s study did not classify alcohol as a drug.

According to the methodology, the researchers “scraped song lyrics from Song Meanings API and analyzed drug mentions, what drugs were involved, and how it changed over time, and grouped drug slang words together in their respected drug categories.”

After going over songs from country, rock, jazz, rap/hip-hop, pop, folk and electronic genres from 1933 until now, the drug references were grouped into seven categories: pills, heroin, marijuana, LSD, cocaine (including crack), ecstasy (including MDMA and molly) and meth.

However, once the study results were broken down into individual musicians and who references pot the most, country artists aren’t even in the Top 10.

Anyone fortunate enough to have attended a High Times Cannabis Cup (and ambled about among the vendors with their high powered speakers) would agree that all hip-hop artists—most notably Kottonmouth Kings, Cypress Hill, The Game, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Redman—collectively deserve that honor.

The above musicians are listed on Addiction.com’s website as having the most weed references. The winner? Kottonmouth Kings with 344 reefer references.

For country music stoners, check out this playlist, courtesy of the Boot, of the top 10 country songs about weed, and for everyone else just looking for a stony time, hit shuffle on High Times’ ultimate 420 playlist, featuring 42 songs from all genres celebrating the highest of times.

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