An almost mythological speculation inundates many so-assumed drug-inspired recordings, especially those of the psychedelic ’60s. Despite my late nights of fuzzy research, I thus advise the reader to measure these drugged-out recordings with the highest dose of skepticism. (Michael Krimper)
Ash Ra Tempel and Timothy Leary Seven Up (Kosmiche Kuriere, 1973)
While recording, members drink a 7-Up can laced with LSD.
Dr. Dre The Chronic (Priority, 1992)
The much-imitated and never duplicated source of blunted funk rap.
David Bowie Station to Station (RCA, 1976)
On a cocaine trip to new-wave space.
Sly and the Family Stone There’s A Riot Goin’ On (Epic, 1971)
Famously recorded in Sly’s Bel Air drug mansion.
Leak Bro’s Waterworlds (Eastern Conference, 2004)
Get wet with these rhymers on a PCP holiday.
Quasimoto The Unseen (Stones Throw, 2000)
Madlib gets wicked with psilocybin mushrooms and a voice modulator.
DJ Screw 3 N’ The Mornin’ Pt. 1 (Bigtyme, 1995)
The originator of purple drank (codeine, promethazine, alcohol).
The Cure Pornography (A&M, 1982)
A dark journey into LSD, cocaine, and alcohol.
Pink Floyd The Piper at The Gates of Dawn (EMI Columbia, 1967)
This Syd Barrett acid trip will keep you away from drugs forever. Bonus: songs about love interests that are really about drugs.
Rick James "Mary Jane" (Motown, 1985)
Marijuana’s classic cut just to get your feet wet.
The Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Capitol, 1967)
Heavily debated, but really, is this not about LSD?
Laid Back "White Horse" (Sire, 1967)
Don’t ride heroin, but get up on that white pony!
E-40 "White Gurl" (My Ghetto Report Card, Reprise, 2006)
Another Yay Area cocaine anthem.
Paper Route Gangstaz "Keyshia Cole" (Fear and Loathing in Hunts Vegas, Mad Decent, 2008)
Tribute to the Oakland-based singer — and potent brand of herb.
Don Cherry "Brown Rice" (Don Cherry, Horizon, 1975)
Oh, seductive golden brown of heroin!
Cab Calloway "Minnie The Moocher" (Brunswick, 1931)
Save your wallet and stay away from Minnie, that drug fiend inside you!
Steely Dan "Doctor Wu" (Katy Lied, ABC, 1975)
A tad colonial, but still an insightful meditation on the opiate trade.