If you’re old enough, you may remember the terrific agony of combing through your music collection in an attempt to make the perfect mixtape. Each song had to be meticulously placed, the entire playlist had to flow seamlessly and putting an artist on there more than once was a cardinal sin. Gestures of that magnitude were typically reserved for significant others or potential significant others and were considered a big deal — especially if you included your own customized cover art.
Even if you don’t go all out, making a mix of great music to smoke to — whether it’s for yourself, someone else or to play in a social setting — is an art that requires equal parts effort and creativity. There aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to making a playlist but there are some things that make a difference and show that you spent some time coming up with just the right combination and not simply putting your playlist on auto-pilot aka shuffle.
Need some ideas on getting your 420 playlist together? Check out some of these suggestions to help you get started on the right track.
Curate your Vibe
First things first — what are you smoking and what’s the mood you’re going for? Is this background music or something you’ll be paying attention to? Are you trying to chill out with a nice hybrid without any distractions? Maybe an instrumental album or beat tape will work. Do you want something to hype you up while you puff on sativa? Peruse your workout playlist for something upbeat and exciting. Once you’ve decided how you want your playlist to make you feel, you’ll have some direction that will give you an idea of where you want to start.
Pick a Theme
Although it’s not completely necessary, it’s a nice touch to have your playlist connect in some way even if it’s just for fun. You can choose an era like ’90s hip-hop, play exclusively reggae if you want to stick to a genre, opt for a keyword to bridge your songs together (ex: every song has the word “high” or “green” in the title) or let the strain of your choice influence your flow. The more creative and out of the box, the better.
Do Some Research
Not sure where to start? Lots of streaming services suggest similar or related artists that are in the same ballpark as what you’re already listening to on a regular basis. Love Snoop Dogg but don’t want to be hella obvious about your song choice? Find someone similar. Trying to avoid ubiquitous stoner rock? Let the internet lead you to greener pastures and new sounds. It’s perfectly fine to stick to tried-and-true tunes that you know are certified jams, but stepping outside of the comfort of your downloaded tracks can not only make your playlist more exciting but can also broaden your musical horizons.
Pre-game Your Playlist
If you plan on using your playlist for a party or some other social gathering, give it a test run at home before you debut your masterpiece. As you listen, keep your audience, the environment and your desired experience in mind. If a fast song comes on right after a chill song, you might disrupt the vibe. Likewise, if a slow song follows something playful and high-spirited, it could kill the party. The key is to make sure there are smooth transitions that make sense and make you feel good.