Cannabis & Brazilian Popular Music

As we saw in the last text I wrote here on the SDF blog, the relationship between music and Cannabis is already centuries old, both as a lyrical theme and as fuel for musicians and poets who use the herb to broaden their perception and sensitivity (not by chance, the joint is also known as an “artist’s cigarette”). It is now known that geniuses of the caliber of João Gilberto, Tim Maia and Cazuza were addicted to marijuana during different periods of their lives, further enhancing the creativity of each one of them. In Brazilian music, mentions of weed are numerous and permeate many musical genres. already at the beginning  in the 1970s, Erasmo Carlos and young guard Roberto Carlos composed the psychedelic Maria Joana.
See below:

Released by Erasmo in 1971, one of the first direct references to marijuana in Brazilian music. MPB is full of references to cannabis, as Chico Buarque does in Hino de Duran.
See below:

A song in which, with class and a critical attitude towards the criminalization of life, he warns: “If you carry a misdemeanor in your pocket, / Muambas, baganas and not a penny / The law watches over you, unhappy bandit / With its X-ray eyes”. In the song “Evil is what comes out of the mouth of man”.
See below:

Pepeu Gomes (with Baby and Galvão), which generated a lot of controversy when it was released in the late 1970s, there is a clear defense of the herb: “You can smoke joint”, he says: evil is not in what enters a man’s mouth , but in what comes out of it. Gilberto Gil never hid his appreciation for ganja, which, according to him, provides “more peaceful walks through the field of music, melody, rhythm”, having stated in 2019 that “bossa nova would not exist without marijuana”. His partner Caetano Veloso, although he claims not to smoke weed, addresses it in numerous songs such as “A Tua Presença Morena”, “Odara”, “Meu bem, meu mal”, “Chuva, Suor e Cerveja”, “Eu sou neguinha” and “Out of order”. The not-so-straight-faced Paulo Diniz advises: “Put a Rainbow in Your Moringa”.
See below:

In a song of the same name, there is also a clear reference to cannabis. And the presence of cannabis is not limited to MPB, with numerous mentions also in reggae and samba, from which I highlight the immortal Bezerra da Silva and his classic interpretations for “Malandragem Dá Um Tempo”, “Erva Proibida”, “A Fumaça Já Subiu For Cuca” and “Semente”. In recent decades, references to ganja have spread even more around here, as in “Veneno da Lata” by Fernanda Abreu or in “Tora tora” by Raimundos. Although all these efforts are commendable, none of these artists did for weed what the collective known as the Hemp Family did: Planet Hemp, Funk Fuckers, Black Alien, O Rappa! led by Marcelo D2, who from the 90s put the cards on the table and guided the demands for the legalization of marijuana in the country. Many of his songs relied on the fine research of samples, the production and/or the scratches of the SP DJ Rodrigo Teixeira, musically known as DJ Nuts, an expert in Brazilian music, an excellent researcher and vinyl collector who has traveled the world leaving jaw-dropping audiences with their select and very fine DJing capable of reinvigorating classic Brazilian music and artists, in addition to providing us with incredible tracks from artists who were sadly erased from the history of our music. For more than a decade he has been running his Disco é Cultura project

Two of his mixtapes:

Young Pack:

Culture Copy:

These Mixtapes feature vinyl sets full of the best quality Brazilian music. Currently, he has presented this project live on Sundays with publicity on all Squadafum's social networks.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.