Third-Degree Burns: XXL Magazine Article on Hip-Hop’s Favorite Weed


Rappers like Cypress Hill, Method Man and Redman have spent much of their careers crafting tracks dedicated to marijuana. Songs like Cypress’s “I Wanna Get High” (1993) and Meth & Red’s “How High” (1995) are just two of hip-hop’s more popular cannabis odes. Dr. Dre even went as far as to dedicate entire albums to smoking weed, with 1992’s The Chronic and 1999’s 2001.

THIS TEXT ORIGINALLY APPEARS IN THE STORY “THIRD-DEGREE BURNS” FROM MAY 2011 ISSUE OF XXL. ON SALE NATIONWIDE APRIL 26.

Chronic, dro, purp and haze are just a few of the terms used by MCs for their weed, but these days it’s all about the kush, an indica-dominant strain of cannabis that is known as one of the highest qualities of pot—hip-hop’s latest favorite name-drop.

The word kush, which means “happiness” in Hindi, is grown in Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and northwestern India. With hip-hop’s elevated-tax-bracket lifestyle, rapping about anything less than the best takes a backseat. That’s where kush comes in, costing almost twice the amount, per gram, as other strains of weed, in some instances more than $30 a gram. The types vary, including OG Kush, Bubba Kush, and even “flavored” hybrids, like Cranberry Kush. “I think kush is the new gangsta rap,” says rapper and kush enthusiast Curren$y, who even has a song called “Lemon Kush.” “When [rappers] wanna rap about cars, they rap about old-schools and Ferraris and Lamborghinis, because that’s that gangsta shit. When you gonna talk about weed, you gonna talk about the best, whether you have it or not. That’s why so many people talkin’ about [kush].” Kush has become one of the more popular topics rhymed about in hip-hop lately.

There’s Lil Wayne’s “Kush” (2007), Dame Grease’s “OG Kush” (2009) and Dr. Dre’s “Kush,” with Snoop Dogg and Akon. Wiz Khalifa even named his critically acclaimed mixtape Kush & Orange Juice. And folks can’t forget Gucci Mane’s 2009 record “Kush Is My Cologne,” featuring Bun B and Devin the Dude.

So why are rappers so high on kush? “I’ve written raps sober, but I get ’em done quicker when I’m on my kush,” says Curren$y. “I mean, I hate to say it, but I feel the music a little bit better. That’s what the kush brings to the creative process.” He must wear kush cologne. —Kathy Iandoli

  • chucky

    Hold up, wait a minute…

    • TUNED2IT

      I likes the reggie tho’ it used to take me there naw mean.

  • snoopy

    xxlmag stays with the exclusive! NICKI MINAJ SEX TAPE LEAKED!! www.loot6.com

  • nappyroc

    Hey hey heyyyyeh… SMOKE WEED EVERY DAY

    • Dead President

      .4real…… R.I.P Nate

  • Mikl

    … let me put some Kush up in it !

  • Jamal

    $30 dollars a gram? bwah hahaha GTFOH. Come to CA.

    • Osirise

      thats what I am saying Come out to Colorado we go the best weed in the world for about 8-10 a gram!! Weed smoke captial of the world Denver CO!!!

  • screagle

    northern afghanistan? northern pakistan? next time bin laden want to fly a jet into downtown new york, we will know how he paid for the flight lessons

  • osirise

    man this writer should stick to writing about rap cuz he knows nothing about weed, amature I could of wrote this…anyway you want the best kush, haze, skunks come out to Denver Co!!!

  • http://XXLMAG.COM BOOGYWIG

    IM AT THE LIQUOR STO GETN MO BLUNTS FOR THE SKUNK

  • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

    Actually they say some of the best green comes out of Canada believe it or not.

  • typhy

    ..$30 a gram? no

  • KiNGPiN

    30$?!?! fuck that shit i get it for 20

  • http://www.justice.gov.za Tshilidzi

    i’m smoking Bob Marley miss……..plez don’t bother me.

  • Hal2012

    XXL (partially owned by MTV) is covering dope now. Cool. A real contribution to hip-hop.

  • francis nasim

    30 $ a gram-hell yes this from nebraska u better push on wit that nonsense

  • abeck

    shit u guys r missin out. idk if u believe it but come to pitt. ks niggas and youll be amazed at wat u find