You know the names: Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings — they all sing about drug use. And it turns out that country music sings about drugs more than other genres.
But those are the only folks who sing about tokin’ up in a song. Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Eric Church and Ashley Monroe have all sung about walking the line (or doing lines) of drugs.
In a recent study from Addictions.com, country music tops the list of music that references drugs, even above the rock stars and rappers (the stereotypical drug users). Rap actually came in last on this list.
And it isn’t just any old type of drug: it’s weed. Marijuana is the most referenced illegal drug in country music, in front of cocaine and meth. In country, there are 1.6 drugs mentions per song.
Logan Freedman, a data scientist at Addictions.com, told Rolling Stone that he was “surprised” country beat out the other genres. He said the assumption about rappers is that they’re “lyrical drug peddlers.” But it turns out, that role is reserved for the country singers.
Have you ever been driving in the car with your kids and a rap song comes on? You probably have turned the dial to find a “safe” type of music. And granted, there are other things in rap besides drugs that are not fit for children. But switching the station to a country station is not necessarily safe.
“Country music stations aren’t going to play a lot of songs mentioning marijuana,” Freedman says. “Another thing that is really important here is outlaw country, which isn’t big on the radio, but there are a lot of artists who make their own albums.”
If you need some safe country music sans drug mentions, you can check out Uncle Si’s country music band, Si Robertson & The Si-cotics, below…