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Birds Flying High: 11 Stoner Anthems From Mixtape Weezy For 4/20

Puff, puff, pass. 

The day that’s known around the world as National Weed Smoking Day (April 20) – the ultimate stoner’s holiday – has arrived. Fun fact about 4/20: The origins stem from a group of five California teenagers called The Waldos and the exact time they used to meet up with each other before scoring some bud.

Throughout hip-hop’s existence the attitude toward marijuana in the culture and genre radically shifted from artists such as Dr. Dre famously saying, “I still express, yo I don’t smoke weed or cess” to the culture fully embracing the ganja with open arms. As the '90s came into full swing, weed smoking pioneers like Cypress Hill, Method Man & Redman, Snoop Dogg, Devin The Dude, Three 6 Mafia and OutKast broke down the doors for the marijuana culture to exist as we know it. These rappers also helped lay down the foundation to exist one of the most prolific and legendary lyricists and weed connoisseurs, Lil Wayne.

From the moment Weezy F. Baby (F.K.A. Birdman Jr.) stepped off the Hot Boys porch and began making solo albums, he was destined for greatness. However, his legendary mixtape run of the early and mid-2000s is what helped not only make him a household name (gotta give credit to his scores of genre crossing collabos, too, in that regard), but made him into an icon that will stand the test of time as one of the greatest and most unique lyricists of all time. And within thousands and thousands of records, he made some of the best weed smoking music on the planet. In fact, it’s safe to say that Lil Wayne is one of the significant artists that defines what 4/20 is all about because of his free-spirited nature as an artist, man and ganja smoker.

In honor of this glorious day we all know as 4/20, VIBE pays homage to his legendary mixtapes as we present 11 of Lil Wayne’s best mixtape songs to spark one up to. So without further ado… Happy 4/20 ladies and gents!

“Birds Flying High” (ft. Juelz Santana) | Mixtape: Blow

Best way to enjoy: While smoking a blunt in deep meditation in solitude. Back when the often-teased (but sadly cancelled) joint album with Lil Wayne and Dipset’s Juelz Santana was practically the hottest thing to never exist, fans were given Mick Boogie’s classic mixtape prequel, Blow to hold us down until then.  The two have recorded tons joints together over the years, but “Birds Flying High” is one of their greatest that will forever stand the test of time, especially as a stoner anthem. The slow, groovy magic they’ve made with the Nina Simone sample makes it a catchy and smooth song to smoke to.

“Kush” | Mixtape: Tha Carter III Leak

Best way to enjoy: While smoking at least blunts full of OG Kush with the squad. “Kush” is one of Weezy’s more playful stoner jams that showcases his stream-of-consciousness style bars and arguably one of his most memorable mixtape records of all time. His light-hearted randomness through the song fits the mood perfectly after smoking some good OG Kush with the squad. This also includes one of Wayne’s most hilarious bars when he randomly spits, “Cristal, please/Crackers with cheese/N***a please.”

"Swag Surfin’" | Mixtape: No Ceilings

Best way to enjoy: At the most lit 4/20 party you can find while faded. Wayne’s No Ceilings mixtape is arguably one of the greatest mixtapes of the 00s and bangers such as his take on F.L.Y’s “Swag Surfin’” is the very reason why. Listen to Wayne’s explosive introduction as he goes on a dizzying four-minute rampage on the classic K.E. On The Beat production. Especially as he spits high octane bars like, I'm talking big s**t, n***a/Join my hit list, ni**a/What's the matter?/Check your bladder/I'm the s**t, piss n***a/Shoot the witness, n***a/Hold court in the streets/And convict this n***a/Oh dickless n***a. Smoke one to that.

"I Feel Like Dying" | Mixtape: Tha Carter III Leak

Best way to enjoy: While smoking the last of your stash in bed. The beauty of Wayne at his deepest is when he’s in that mode, he often produces some of the most cathartic music a rapper could make. And this is highly evident on both his mixtapes and albums. “I Feel Like Dying” is one of his more releasing moments where the moody soundscape is highly stimulating in a way that can make listens feel like they’re on his same cloud, but without smoking anything. It also brings his off-the-cuff lyrics to life as they set the stage for a brooding, somewhat depressing, and releasing melody.

"Single" | Mixtape: No Ceilings

Best way to enjoy: When you smoke the first joint after a liberating break up. For all intents and purposes, Lil Wayne made one of the greatest, cathartic break up songs of this generation. It’s a very liberating song listen to after being in a long and tumultuous relationship and nothing has ever gotten better. And when you smoke that much-needed fat joint after breaking up with them on 4/20, the 40’s signature dreamy and mellow soundscape amplifies Wayne’s universal declaration of being single.

"Poppin" (ft. Curren$y) | Mixtape: No Ceilings 2

Best way to enjoy: While dabbing in the VIP at the and popping bottlesAny real Lil Wayne fan knows that his older collaboration with Curren$y back in the back in the early Young Money days were some of the most lit records of his career. But this one is significant because it was one of the first songs they’ve reunited on since Curren$y left YMCMB to build his name in the indie world. The two spit some heat together over Rico Richie’s original hit, “Poppin”. And because its Lil Wayne and Curren$y together, it would be a crime not to light one to this.

"Magic" (ft. Gudda Gudda) | Mixtape: Dedication 3

Best way to enjoy: While rolling up and you’re lounging. Lil Wayne and Gudda Gudda flips UGK’s classic “Wood Wheel” to give us another solid stoner’s anthem from Dedication 3. As the project served as a coming out party to the Young Money collective we know and love today, Gudda Gudda showed a lot of promise on their collabo together as the two traded solid flows. The smoky, funked-out soundscape creates a the much needed smoked-out vibe that’s reminiscent of the cloudy haze of a smoked filled room.

"You Song" (ft. Chance The Rapper) | Mixtape: Dedication 5

Best way to enjoy: While smoking pre-rolled joints of loud with bae on 4/20.  Before they linked up for their epic collabo “No Problems”, Wayne and Chance got together to create a beautiful “love song” that supposedly isn’t a love song. The poetically beautiful lyrics and chorus by Chance matches very well with Wayne’s blunt and nonchalant approach when rapping about love (or his own version of it). On April 20, today, save that nice moon rock joint you copped with the nice wax drizzled around it and save it for your that special stoner woman in your life, because like “You Song”, that would make her feel special

"Fingers Hurting"| Mixtape: Sorry For The Wait 2

Best way to enjoy:  While smoking fat joints of Lemon Kush at beach. Preferably at the parking lot or the sand. That or while rolling up. This song is the unofficial theme song for when you first get that bag of that “good” and you inhale that strong, musk aroma, break it down, and roll up on a nice sunny day on the beach. The light and glitzy production sets the scene for this, along with a solid Wayne verse (although not one of his top tier performances of all time). The vibe “Fingers Hurting” gives off is certainly a fun one that fits 4/20 perfectly.

"Get High Rule The World" | Mixtape: Da Drought 3

Best way to enjoy: While smoking some Grandaddy Purp out of a Swisher Sweet, think about your dreams and plotting for the future. Or Monday. “Get High Rule The World” is one of Wayne’s more focused freestyles as he spits some of his most clever, wittiest, and grittiest bars from his classic mixtape, Da Drought 3. Weezy masterfully reworks Nas & Lauryn Hill’s classic duet into a track that describes something that most of us want to do. And that’s get high and rule the whole world! Who wouldn’t want to do that with this song serving as the soundtrack?

"Pussy, Money, Weed" | Mixtape: The Drought Is Over 4

Best way to enjoy: During a late-night creep or a romantic night fill of ganja. Wayne trades in his usual abrasive bluntness for a more sensual and alluring flow. He a flips well utilized sample of Outkast’s “Jazzy Belle” into a smooth and dreamy ode to loving a woman a much as he does his favorite three things. It’s a mood setting song that captures not only Wayne’s very rare romantic side, but it’s the perfect theme song for chilling with bae.

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Solitary Alignment: 5 Self-Affirming Reads For Single Ladies On Valentine’s Day

Ahh, the Feast of Saint Valentine—the Hallmark holiday that strikes us with its arrow each year, for better or for worse, depending on your bae status. While the romantic holiday is adored and celebrated by many, if you’re still reeling over, say, your ex’s refusal to commit, chances are Feb. 14 is more of a heartache for you than anything.

But as a wise woman once said, “If they liked it then they should’ve put a ring on it.” So whether V-Day has you scared of lonely or sulking over a lost love, as another wise woman once said, they “would be SUPER lucky to even set eyes on you this Valentine’s Day. That’s it. That’s the gift.” Shout out to The Slumflower.

Sure, having a bae on Valentine’s Day is cool, but so is reminding yourself why you’re just fine without one (cue Webbie’s “Independent”). In fact, single folks have better relationships overall, according to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. You know how the old adage goes: love yourself before loving someone else.

For this Valentine’s Day, VIBE Vixen rounds up a nourishing list of books for our sisters doin’ it for themselves. Consider this your reminder of how badass you are—because you are! Oh, oh, oh. *Beyoncé voice*

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Young M.A. onstage during the BET Hip Hop Awards 2018 at Fillmore Miami Beach on October 6, 2018 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images for BET)
(Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images for BET)

Young M.A., Boogie And Summer Walker Make January's #MusicMonday List

Last year was vibrant and diverse with the number of memorable songs and albums that were released, and now, music fans are looking forward to seeing what 2019 has to offer. With this new series, #MusicMonday, the VIBE staff will be sharing our favorite songs released from the previous month. Below, see our standout songs released during January 2019.

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Young M.A., “Bake Freestyle”

Outside of R&B singers like Jacquees, it’s no longer the trend for artists to take on a well-known beat and make it their own anymore. But Brooklyn’s Young M.A. bodied the instrumental for Jay-Z’s “Dynasty (Intro)” in 2017, and she’s outdone herself with “Bake Freestyle,” her shot at The Neptunes’ iconic beat for the Clipse hit “Grindin’.”

Young M.A. weaves in, out and around of the table-pounding percussion with an acrobatic flow that differs from others who have tackled the beat in years past. Young M.A. is flexing talk of money, baddies, and guns as always, but the quotables are at one of the highest clips we’ve ever heard from her. “White car brown seats, look like a Henny Colada / Made the Audi matte black, license plate say Wakanda / My b*tch said she mad at me, I just bought her designer / And some 30-inch Brazilian, now she thinks she's Chewbacca.” The video is even better, showing a cocky, smirking Young M.A. walking around a fly crib with text and small animations acting as adlibs. “Was looking for a reason to even keep rapping, and finally I found one,” she says near the beginning of the song before pushing her foot on the pedal. That’s good news for rap fans. — William E. Ketchum III

Summer Walker, "Riot"

What initially started out as an Instagram post of Summer Walker crooning over an electric guitar has turned into the addictive lead track from her latest EP, CLEAR. While the song's name is the definition of anarchy, Walker's careful delivery of each word places her delicate yet piercing approach to singing on full display. The criminally short song not only leaves the listener yearning for more, but also the Atlanta native's need to satisfy her passion. "You said you want love, babe/ You said you can give it to me just how I, I yearn it/ And you think of roses and daisies/ And I think of passion and fire like Hades." It's the 2019 version of Melanie Fiona's fevered "Give It To Me Right" with lyrics that demand a love that's delivered on an orgasmic platter every single time the two bodies meet. — Camille Augustin

Boogie, “Skydive II”

Anthony “Boogie” Dixon—not to be confused with his sing-songy East Coast namesake, A Boogie wit da Hoodie—is easily one of the most promising penmen hip-hop has right now. From The Reach to Thirst 48, Pt. II right on up to his Shady Records debut, Everythings For Sale, the Compton torchbearer has been consistent in pairing potent, on-the-sleeve reflections with soulful melodies that seep deep into the skin. (He already told us that he’s got a soft spot for R&B.)

“Skydive II,” arguably one of the album’s most entrancing songs, is as much of a poster child for this musical marriage as any. For one, he taps 6lack to be a Frank Ocean plug-in of sorts (in the best way possible). The Atlanta singer’s trippy rap-sung intonations, akin to Mr. Breaux’s on Blonde’s “Nikes,” complement Boogie’s rugged tones. Alongside his decent crooning over airy background vocals, Boogie’s gentle pacing and bittersweet poetry about the fallout of a relationship puts him at eye-level with his listeners. “Mother of my skies, why you always gotta intervene?/Father of my Time, don’t you got some more to give to me? Anything?” Ever the thoughtful emcee, he’s unafraid to let the proverbial tears fall where they may. — Stacy-Ann Ellis

Lil Duval and Ty Dolla $ign, "Pull Up"

While his first hit single “Smile (Living My Best Life)” went further than expected by hitting the Billboard Hot 100, Lil Duval’s music career doesn’t appear to show any signs of slowing down. While I’m not a fan of his by any means, I do have to say, his feel-good track is guaranteed to put me in a great mood. The infectious beat and the incredibly well-placed vocals of featured artist Ty Dolla $ign makes the intoxication of the nearly-four-minute song undeniable. It’s too early and (too brick outside) for a summer anthem, but had this dropped months from now, this could have been a front-runner. — J'Na Jefferson

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A Timeline Of J. Cole And Kanye West's Challenging Relationship

It's hard to label J. Cole and Kanye West's situation a beef. Traditionally, feuds in rap have always played towards one subject coming after the other, lyrically and later, physically. But Cole's observations of Kanye are kin to someone realizing their favorite auntie is lame and misguided. As a youth, you may have been inspired by her carefree disposition, only to realize her trips out of town were just to Virginia Beach and her fondest concert memories only include Summer Jam sets from 2004.

Kanye isn't that lame, but several of his anti-groupthink moves have only pushed him further into a shadow of the man we thought we knew. It's a challenging thought to someone like Cole, who like many, has been widely inspired by the super producer. It's a thought not lost on Cole with the release of "Middle Child." Cleverly released in the middle of the week, the Dreamville titan is confident in lyrical nature while sharing his perspective on an artist he once admired.

"Middle Child" is something of a declarative statement for Cole. As an older millennial, the rapper exists within a unique position on hip-hop's timeline. No longer a rookie but not enough stripes to be considered a veteran, Cole enjoys the space of being at the center of the genre's rich history.

But "Middle Child" isn't without a few rewind moments, including the potential digs at West.

"If I smoke a rapper, it’s gon' be legit/It won’t be for clout, it won’t be for fame/It won’t be ‘cause my sh*t ain’t sellin’ the same/It won’t be to sell you my latest lil' sneakers/It won’t be ‘cause some ni**a slid in my lane."

While it may seem like Cole has inserted himself into Drake's battle with West, Cole's observations of the super producer go back to the days when Twitter had a favorite button.

The stars would rightfully align with him signing with 'Ye's "big brother," Jay-Z under the Roc Nation umbrella. From there, Cole and Kanye's paths would cross musically but that didn't stop Cole from being a voice of the people several times about West's involuted career.

Enjoy a somewhat brief history of Cole and West's challenging relationship.

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Cole's Debut Mixtape The Come Up Features Freestyles Over Kanye-Produced Beats

In May 2007, Cole's introduction to the game came with help from his favorite producers. More than half of the mixtape was produced by the then 22-year-old with the others being his favorites from future collaborators like Salaam Remi and West. Four tracks (“School Daze,” “College Boy,” “The Come Up,” and “Homecoming") are beats produced by West.

Cole Features More Kanye-Produced Beats On The Warm Up

In June 2009, Cole's breakout tape The Warm Up birthed classic tracks like "Grown Simba" and "Lights Please" but it also continued his admiration for West with three interpolations: "Last Call" gives an ode to the Late Registration track of the same name, "Dollar And A Dream II" borrows a bar from "Can't Tell Me Nothing" while "Get By" and "Knock Knock" are West's productions for Talib Kweli and Monica, respectively.

Cole Signs To Jay-Z's Roc Nation

In addition to signing with Jay in the spring of 2009, Cole is featured on The Blueprint 3's prophecy track, "A Star is Born" produced by Kanye West. As the story goes, Cole attempted to hand Jay his CD by waiting outside of his studio. It took two years and a listen of "Lights Please" to convince Jay to sign Cole. With the help of  Mark Pitts, now President of Urban Music at RCA Records, Cole's life changed for the better.

"I get a get a call from Mark Pitts and he’s like, 'Yo ni**a, Jay just hit me. He said he got something big for you.' I was like, 'Oh sh*t, what you mean?' He said, 'He got this Kanye track… something about a star is born…some sh*t about a star.' I thought, from his explanation, because you can tell he wasn’t too clear on it, I thought Jay just had a joint for me," he recalled to Complex in 2009. "I thought it would be mine, and I was on some sh*t like, 'Ahhh, I don’t like being told ‘get on this’ or whatever. But I’m like, 'Damn!'"

Cole Has The Breakout Verse On G.O.O.D Friday's Cut, "Looking For Trouble"

The concept of G.O.O.D. Fridays in Nov. 2010 is something I can't wait to share with my future spawn. The brilliant tactic to release master collaborations every Friday to coincide with the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy included many heavyweights like Yasiin Bey, Lupe Fiasco and Cam'ron, but it was rookies like Big Sean, Teyana Taylor, CyHi The Prynce and Cole that would shine the brightest.

Cole, in particular, would own his verse on "Looking For Trouble," a posse cut with Pusha T, CyHi The Prynce, and Big Sean. The song was such a fave Cole included it as a bonus track on Friday Night Lights, his follow up to The Warm Up.

J. Cole Reacts To Kanye West Comparisons

While promoting his debut studio album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, from 2010 to 2011, Cole would go on to big up Kanye. Speaking with Karmaloop in 2010, the rapper reacted to the comparisons.

“If it feels like that, then that’s great. I would love to be as successful as he has been, putting out hits and making hits consistently that still represent him. All his hits, you would never look at him like, ‘Aw, why you make that?’ It all felt like Kanye West, which is dope.”

He also expressed how he wanted to work on a joint project with West.

“I’m such a Kanye West fan,” Cole told Vulture. “I would love to work with him on a major scale. Not just a song here or a song there I would love to do something extraordinary with him, but I feel like I gotta step my game up and kind of earn my spot before I can worry about that.”

A year before, Cole would continue to pay homage with his verse on Young Chris' "Still The Hottest."

Uhh, what if somebody from the ville that was ill Got a deal on the hottest rap label around But he wasn’t talkin bout coke and birds It was more like spoken word Can’t you see I’m putting it down

Cole's Debut Single "Work Out" Includes A Sample Of 'Ye's "The New Workout Plan" J. Cole - Work Out from the ghettonerd co. on Vimeo.

Keeping it in the family, the Roc lineage continued on Cole World with Cole sampling West's "The New Workout Plan" for "Work Out," his official debut single in June 2011. The track hit platinum status and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard charts in 2012.

Cole Switches Release Date For Born Sinner To Compete With Yeezus 

Speaking on MTV's now-defunct RapFix Live, Cole explained his decision to move his release date for Born Sinner to directly compete with Yeezus in May 2013.

"This is art, and I can't compete against the Kanye West celebrity and the status that he's earned just from being a genius," Cole said. "But I can put my name in the hat and tell you that I think my album is great and you be the judge and you decide."

In addition to outselling West, "Forbidden Fruit" also included the first of many digs to the producer.

When I say that I’m the greatest I ain’t talking about later I'mma drop the album same day as Kanye Just to show the Boyz the man now like Wanyá And I don’t mean no disrespect, I praise legends But this what’s next

Kanye And Cole Work On Unreleased Music Together 

From 2015 to 2016, Genius points out the two finally began working side by side on music...for other artists. The two shared co-producer credits on Pusha T’s King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude track “M.P.A.” Pigeons And Planes reported the two also worked on Yasiin Bey's final album in 2016 including a track titled "Assalamualaikum." Sadly, we haven't heard much about the album or track since.

Cole Releases "False Prophets" With Thoughts On Kanye And Wale

Before the release of 4 Your Eyez Only in 2016, Cole released the mini-documentary Eyez with two tracks, "False Prophets (Be Like This)" and "Everybody Dies" in Dec. 2016. The former would go on to highlight two important people in his life — Wale and Kanye West.

While Wale and Cole have remained friends (Wale released a response titled "Groundhound Day"), West remained quiet.

Kanye Tells Charlamagne Cole Is Always Dissing Him

Charlamagne made the claim during an April 2018 episode of  "The Breakfast Club" citing "False Prophets" as a reference to possible jabs. "He said he feels like J. Cole is always dissing him in records," Charlamagne said. He also pointed to specific lyrics on Cole's 2014 song "No Role Modelz," in which he rapped: "Now all I’m left with is ho*s from reality shows / Hand her a script, the b***h probably couldn’t read along." Charlamagne said Yeezy thinks it was a reference to his wife Kim Kardashian.

"Who else out here is in love with people from reality shows like me," Kanye allegedly questioned, according to the show host. As previously reported, despite feeling subliminally attacked by J. Cole, Charlamagne asserts that Kanye isn't taking it too hard.

"[Kanye] didn’t say it in a malice way at all, he was laughing about it."

Kanye Screenshots And Tweets Personal Conversation With Cole

Days before Kanye boasted that "slavery was a choice" in May of 2018, he released a stream of consciousness on Twitter that also included a phone conversation with J. Cole. “I’m posting this but not as a diss to J. Cole. I love J. Cole,” Kanye tweeted.

Cole Felt Used By Kanye West After His Phone Call Was Leaked On Twitter

After finding out their conversation didn't stay private, as Kanye screenshot the call and uploaded it on Twitter, Cole expressed to Angie Martinez his disappointment in Kanye. "He called me, but I would've never posted that or tell him to post that," he said.

"That made me feel a certain type of way. I told him that. He apologized, for the record. I told him that it felt like you just used my name in that very quick conversation for social media and to keep your thing going or whatever you were doing. It felt like it wasn't sincere because of that."

Cole's Video For "Work Out" Is Wiped From YouTube

Weirdly, the popular video for "Work Out" is removed from J. Cole's VEVO page over a copyright issue, possibly in November of last year. A raw unedited version of an alternate video is now the only visual on the platform. The alternate video features Cole in a club setting and was uploaded in 2011.

Cole Releases "Middle Child," Comments On Kanye's Feud With Drake

Reuniting with Elite nine years after creating "Who Dat," Cole revises his spirited lyrical banter while addressing his views on Kanye's feud with friend and collaborator Drake.

But I'd never beef with a ni**a for nothin' If I smoke a rapper, it's gon' be legit It won't be for clout, it won't be for fame It won't be 'cause my sh*t ain't sellin' the same It won't be to sell you my latest lil' sneakers It won't be 'cause some n***a slid in my lane

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