Wherein unreasonably free time is dedicated to proving Jonah Hill is funnier than you.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Love as Parable for Pot (NOT the Other Way Around)

We've all heard songs that speak about relationships through metaphors, be they food, vehicles, precipitation, or soda & soap [1]. I'm more interested in when the referentiality is flipped and love is a stand-in for something else. There's this joke that if you switch "girl" for G-d, then all of a sudden a Christian song sounds exactly like a secular ballad. Rap runs rampant with artists loving music as a person. Apparently it's all the rage nowadays to compare cocaine to Caucasians.

Amy Lee Isn't Asian, Is She?Mostly, I'm interested in weed.

The most famous marijuana-metaphor song is undoubtedly "Mary Jane" by Rick James.[2] James is being pretty obvious with that song, however, what with the titular pun. I prefer it when artists are crafty.

Jaheim's Styles P collaboration "Fiend" is a pretty good example of this, and what really attuned me to the possibility of sticky-icky songs. I had to listen intently a couple times before deciding if lyrics like
She gets me all chocked up /I can barely catch my breath /Don't want to pass her around /I keep her to myself was about a woman or some spliff. Maybe I'm just slow?

Upon the first listen of Lloyd's "Hazel," however, I knew it was about great ganja.
Ya got my eyes so low/And they damn near closed was a dead giveaway — if only because I learned from "Fiend"[3]— and once Lloyd started talking about Hazel's purple highlights I was cracking up.

Fidelity is a somewhat disturbing theme in all of these songs. "Mary Jane"
likes to spread her love, although Jaheim warns All of my dogs wanna hit her/Right after I'm with her, Styles P lets the team take a stab at her, and Lloyd admits usually I'd share you. Now this is all well and good if we're talking about bud, but if you read the lyrics solely by their denotation, you end up with a patriarchal polyamor of the worst kind. The mere fact that it is so easy to express the consumption of cannabis in terms of dating suggests something twisted about the state of modern relationships.

Although Lloyd, Styles, Jaheim, and James all laud la cucaracha for lifting them up, what do they give her in return? Lloyd is the only one who offers to prove his affection, but in saying he loves Hazel so much he'd
scrape the guts out a dutch for her leaves us with this weird Goofy/Pluto image of some anthropomorphic THC blazing a blunt. Granted, burn one tree and there's still the forest, but that leads to a big Kantian question about abstract conceptions like Hazel versus intuition of a high/woman and I'm pretty tired as is.[4]

[1] "Soda and Soap" might be better considered a foo-as-metaphor-for-anything track in the vein of "Taxi Driver," or Kanye's verse on "Hold On," but it was the only thing I could think of that didn't involve R Kelly A.K.A. the real monster of the double-entendre. Okay, I'm going to stop before I get trapped in a recursive loop of indexicality.
[2] Wikipedia claims that "Purple Haze" is actually the eponym for weed, and not a reference to it. Of course, Wikipedia ain't exactly the pope.
[3] Also Chingy, or possibly 欧阳靖. Wow, I can't believe Chingy got away with that.
[4] Just want to point out that I'm tired and not high. I mean, I don't even drink caffeine.