Toking Tunes

  • I Wanna Be Down: Smooth sounds of rhythm and blues

    Toking Tunes returns with a mellow playlist, featuring R&B sounds from the 90s to today.

    July 28, 2017

    After our brief hiatus, we return with a soulful, R&B-tinged playlist. Opening with ‘I Wanna Be Down’ from Brandy’s 1994 eponymous album, the playlist traverses ’90s essentials, as well as more recent ventures.

    The playlist also features tunes from contemporary artists like Alexandria and Childish Gambino and the classic title tune from Aaliyah’s 1994 Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.

  • Spiritual State: Hip-hop-infused electronic sounds from Koop, Tokimonsta, and more

    Departing from the warm sounds of influential Japanese producer Nujabes, this week’s playlist features a range of dreamy tunes.

    July 7, 2017

    Nujabes’ ‘Spiritual State’ opens this week’s playlist — the first track from the eponymous album. Released posthumously, it’s a beautiful release from a producer gone far too soon. Enjoy part of his influential soundtrack for the anime Samurai Champloo here.

    The rest of this week’s selections follow a similar tangent.

  • Rising Light: Trance-inducing drone music for stoned listening

    This week’s playlist is full of meditative, drone music, featuring artists like Stars of the Lid and Sarah Davachi.

    June 30, 2017

    Opening this week’s playlist is a minimal, delicate drone piece from Sarah Davachi. ‘For Voice’ is a stunning meditation of familiar timbres made up of layered voices. Closing the playlist is Marielle V Jakobsons’ ‘Rising Light’ — a more texturally varied piece that references psychedelic sounds of the ‘60s.

    In between the two,

  • High Road: The eclectic sounds of indie pop

    This week, we feature the playful pop sounds of artists such as Santigold, Róisín Murphy, and Grimes.

    June 23, 2017

    Our latest playlist High Road features various pop sounds, from the eclectic St. Vincent to the ever-eccentric Róisín Murphy. The former has recently announced a new tour, sparking speculations over a fifth album to follow 2015’s eponymous St. Vincent.

    Also included: The catchy,

  • Jazz Cabbage: How marijuana followed music’s migration

    Marijuana and jazz music share the same roots and migratory paths. Enjoy our latest playlist with some Thelonious Skunk.

    June 16, 2017

    In the early 1900s, a new type of music called jazz was blossoming in the bordellos of New Orleans. Jazz musicians were known to be avid cannabis smokers — “moota,” as it was called, became a popular substance in the red-light district. The genre accompanied the Great Migration of African-Americans to the Midwest and Northeast in the ’20s and ’30s,

  • Take A Hit: Herb-inspired, hip-hop tunes from the ’90s and on

    Rap music and reefer have been rolled into one fat blunt for decades.

    June 9, 2017

    Rap music and reefer, hip-hop and the holy herb; these two things have been virtually rolled into one fat blunt since the ’90s. When Cypress Hill released their eponymous debut in 1991, they sparked a fire that continues to burn strong.

    This week’s playlist decidedly avoids ‘I Got 5 On It’ and ‘Gin and Juice’ (great but overplayed weed songs) or anything by Wiz Khalifa.

  • 28 Grams: Weighty sounds from South London

    The soul-shaking sounds of dubstep form this week’s playlist, with tunes from essential artists like Burial, Benga, and more.

    June 2, 2017

    The title of this week’s playlist comes from Loefah and Skream’s 2005 release ‘28 Grams.’ As a teenager in South London, Loefah’s eventual music career was nothing more than a daydream entertained while smoking weed. ‘Root’ (also released in 2005) would have been an ace track for the playlist,

  • Keep That Same Old Feeling: Funky tunes for toking

    This week’s playlist is filled with the rhythms of funk, featuring Parliament, Tower of Power, and Chaka Khan.

    May 26, 2017

    Opening this week’s playlist is a classic tune from The Crusaders, off of the 1976 album Those Southern Knights. Keep That Same Old Feeling features a range of funky artists, including British ensemble Cymande, Queen of Funk Chaka Khan, and the uncut spirit of Parliament.

    The father of P-Funk himself is,

  • Eight Miles High: A trip through psychedelic rock

    This week's playlist features essential tunes from artists that need no introduction, including Jimi Hendrix and Cream.

    May 19, 2017

    This week’s playlist — Eight Miles High — goes on a trip through the ’60s psychedelic rock. Opening with a jam from Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper entitled ‘His Holy Modal Majesty,’ it also features tunes from The Byrds, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and Small Faces, among others.

  • 3 Feet No Pressure: Sounds of Chicago footwork and beyond

    This week's playlist takes you on a journey from the essential RP Boo to the innovative JLin.

    May 12, 2017

    3 Feet No Pressure is filled with the unexpected rhythms of footwork. From Chicago and beyond, this week we bring you sounds from (and inspired by) the street dance that originated in the ’80s.

    The playlist opens with footwork pioneer RP Boo. ‘02-52-03’ features a banging sample of DJ Slugo’s ‘114799 (The Godzilla Track),’ which listeners may recognize as a fragment of the 1964 Mothra vs.