In short, Essentials is a segment that allows artists to put down their instruments and divulge about a specific topic, giving fans and the like the opportunity to connect with their interests and inspirations. It’s just unlike any other listicle feature, we’re totally okay with things getting weird and/or uncensored. With a Red Bull Sound Select set on deck for NXNE, we asked Toronto’s own DILLAN PONDERS to share his leaf wisdom and name off five records everyone should smoke up to (at least once).
Wiz Khalifa’s Kush & Orange Juice (2010)
This is my first pick because this was the stoner tape of my generation. I heard it a couple days before it was released due to the wonderful yet widely hated sites that leak music. The mixtape just sounds like a hazy room full of alcohol and copious amounts of ganj. “Mezmorized” and “Up” are my two personal favourites and I was ironically listening to them before I was asked to do this feature. Kush & OJ is just a timeless piece of stoner excellence and every toker should give it a few thousand listens.
The Weeknd’s House Of Balloons (2011)
House Of Balloons is a tad too drug-infused to be dubbed a “stoner mixtape”, but whether you drink lean or pop pills, smoking a quarter of weed to the dome while listening to it will do just the trick. It’s a mixtape that may not be classified as an album, but it sounds better than most industry projects and once it was released, it spread around the world like wildfire. The woozy drug atmosphere is perfect for anybody coming home from school/work and looking to smoke and melt to some sensational music.
Bob Marley’s Legend (1984)
Bob Marley has a seemingly infinite amount of music out there and they’re all timeless. But the Legend album caters a lil’ more to the masses because it’s filled with timeless favourites and every song requires a spliff longer than your life. Some beautiful and timless reggae is a must; the album exudes love, peace, and positive energy, which is exactly the kind of atmosphere most weed heads need.
Portishead’s Dummy (1994)
This album got me through all of high school and a majority of break-ups. Hands down, it’s definitely my favourite album to finish a whole bag of weed to. I love every song but the one I can’t seem to get enough of is “Mysterons” because it sounds like a woozy 3:30 a.m. walk through the smokey abyss (the smoke coming from the weed, obviously). Their music is heavy bass, heavy snares, and a main vocalist who sounds like a fairy. I love this album and I’d advise any emotional stoner to give it a listen.
Dillan Ponders’ The Boy Who Lived (2014)
Yes, I just added my own album to this list and there’s nothing anyone can do about it! All jokes aside, I’m not being self-absorbed but The Boy encompasses every aspect some stoner ears would need. There are songs that are laid-the-fuck-back for the sativa smokers and there are some up-tempo bangers for the indica heads who want to jump around for as long as their wind pipes will allow them to. I’d advise any stoner to give The Boy Who Lived a listen. It might just blow your mind.