A few weeks ago Willie Nelson’s official Twitter account converted to an entirely new account called “lolwut?,” and started exclusively posting links to stories on viral content farms like Viralthread and Distractify—in other words, content from a bunch of aggregated clickbait funnels that have consumed the internet over the last few years.
In mid October, Toby Keith lent his voice to the litany of artists criticizing modern country music in one capacity or another, specifically taking on the recent country rap trend. In another recent interview with Country 92.5 in Connecticut, Keith expanded on his statements, saying that his remarks weren’t a “diss,” but then doubled down on his opinion that rap shouldn’t be a predominant part of the country format.
2013 very well may go down as the year when referencing marijuana and other drugs in your songs is no longer cool as much as it is conformist—a lyrical hook, a well-recognized buzz word made for marketing an artist or song just as much as anything else. There has ceased to be either the generational gap, or the exclusivity of drug references in music to make them “cool.”
Arlo Guthrie, Ashley Monroe, Brandy Clark, Charlie Daniels, Cypress Hill, Eric Church, Gram Parsons, Green Day, Hank Williams Jr., Hank3, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Luke Bryan, marijuana, Miley Cyrus, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Pantera, Pistol Annies, pot, Snoop Dogg, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The irony of Bieber’s situation is that many music entertainers do the opposite of what he’s done, purposely using marijuana in their public image and music for marketing purposes. Artists who want to appeal to certain demographics or want to portray themselves in a certain way will many times integrate marijuana into their lyrics or logos of their public brand.
Willie Nelson just released his latest memoir Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die, and many college students that grew up in an era when Willie’s songs were virtually nowhere to be found on the radio, are shocked to read that Willie Nelson is a musician, and an influential one at that. To them he’s known as one of America’s most notorious pot heads.
This album is good both because it is Willie, and because it is good. After years of navigating through a gray area in his career and having to dabble with some record labels probably less able to do a Willie release justice, he’s back with the same company who released Red Headed Stranger, and back to making albums worthy of the world stopping down to pay attention to.
Late last week, Willie Nelson released a new song “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die”. It’s a good, catchy song, just like his recent collaboration with Snoop Dogg called “Superman”, that starts out, “Too many pain pills, too much pot. Trying to be something that I’m not.” And we can’t forget (though many of us have tried) the Toby Keith joke song “I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again.”