Despite the fact that marijuana, otherwise known as Ganja, endangers life, musicians still seek solace in smoking what is believed to give them inspiration. A lot of them have died from this habit.. MUTIAT ALLI examines why Nigerian artistes take it and the consequences. Excerpts.
Marijuana refers to any preparations made from the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug. The most common type of cannabis used as a drug is the dried herbal form. Hence, it is one of the largest cash crops in the world and in the United States, it fetches an estimated $36 billion.
Thus, rumor has it that it has even been smoked and used by presidents and geniuses, during research carried out about 3,000 nicknames and derivatives readily surfaced for it from Dubby to Mary Jane, Loco, Panama, Gage, Ganja, Gangster, , Grass, Hemp, Herb , Jane, Loco Weed, Panama , Smoke, Tea, Thai Sticks, Igbo, choko,, Ganger, Hemp, Bush and most popularly weed.
Weed or Cannabis has been present as far back as man, specifically the 3rd millennium.
However, the romance between marijuana and music started in the 20th century at Storyville where the first recorded American use of marijuana occurred in 1909.
Earnest Abel, a cannabis historian revealed that “it was at this time that music provided the background and not the primary focus of attention that marijuana became an important part of the Jazz music era.
It is pertinent to say that the drug seems to make their music sound more original and differs from others, at least those who played under its sensorial influence.
Since marijuana smoking was associated with wild music and crazy behaviors popular among the Negroes and Mexicans, it wasn’t long before it was banned in New Orleans in 1923 with Louisiana following the suit in 1927.
The 70’s however sheared in new types of drugs namely Cocaine and heroine liked by rock stars and heavy metal users. Marijuana seemed to take a place until the Jamaicans came to rescue it and forge ahead by bringing it close as the best drugs for musicians. The chief advocates were legends, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh who were both members of the reggae group Wailers.
Immediately after the break-up between the duo legends, Marley became a world legend not just because of his music but his marijuana life style which is now emulated till date.
According to Bob Marley, Cannabis allowed one to trust the fingers and the ears. When you use cannabis, ideas and changes come out of your hands as if they are waiting to be played.
Your fingers are running over the frets, hitting the right notes, and your soul integrates them into a structure. If you are in a certain mood, that mood is expressed just as if it was waiting to be played in that way.
The 90’s saw rap and hip-hop come into the fore front of music and not astonishing, marijuana became the creative force in this brand of music.
Barely would you see a rap artiste that is not associated with Sinsemilla. Music icons like Tu-Pac, Dr. Dre, Lemar, Sly Stone, James Browns, Akon and the chief of the weed smokers Snoop Doggy, have all cuddle the herbs and refer to it as the evident in their lyrics. Songs like Burn it up by Sean Paul, Coolio’s I’m in love with Mary Jane are authentication to the closeness marijuana and music.
According to Peter Webster, critic of The International Drug Journal revealed that “Cannabis intoxication provides a wonderful basis for musical improvisation by expanding time perception, changing body image, enhancing sensitivity to movement patterns, and evoking auditory and visual cross-modal relationships, heightened association patterns, and vivid imagery”. He went further to say that marijuana opens up a person to something to something he has merely overlooked.
The Nigerian Music industry would not be over-looked out of the popularity of it’s great legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, one of Nigeria’s best ever musicians was a great user of Marijuana, little wondered why he dedicated the shrine towards the art of weed smoking and music making. Another great legend of music was late Orlando Owoh who made use of marijuana in his kind of music and this actually made him popular.
Today, the new generations of music makers are not left out as marijuana has either influenced their lyrics or stage performances.
Sean Tero seems to have found comfort in bringing out weed related theme tracks Choko, Coded Tunes leading singer 9ice has a popular Ganja man hit track, one of his songs that brought him into the music scene, also fast rising singer cum producer Terry-G is a well supporter of Mary Jane by frequency which he mentioned it in his songs most especially in Free Madness.
In true sense, Kpolly is the drive that gives them inspiration of the music they are about to fine-tune, it allows the musicians to clean up their minds before playing, little did I ponder on the reasons for the sudden love of marijuana by our Nigerian artistes.
The recent break-out of the fact that popular artiste Wande Coal was seen to have gone out of his mind have taken a lot of Marijuana. Man on the wheel of steel, Terry-G
A close experience at the popular Oniru Private Beach and Muson Centre tells that most back stages are usually filled with the smell of “Texas Tea”
Panama has the ability to fill an artiste with boldness ensuring he gives that energy driving performance that might be lacking, even fans appreciate the more when they are also high on Grass.
Finally, our able Nigerian artiste should always remember that everything at all has its side effect on the body ranging from loss of brain, lungs and eventually leading to death. Smoke responsibly.