Released: 1993

Time to breakdown a true head-bobber, “Mary” by the LA-based Freestyle Fellowship. This track is an infectious tune that takes a deep dive into the relationship between hip-hop culture and marijuana, otherwise known as Mary, a euphemistic play on “marijuana”. With its poetic lines and soulful beats, it serves as a catchy representation of the artists’ advocacy for the herb as a liberating, mind-expanding force in the face of societal repression.

Starting off with Aceyalone’s verse, he lays down his relationship with “Mary”, painting it as an inspiration for his creativity (“Mary make my mind imminent, make mine m-melody delightful?”). He refers to different ways of consuming marijuana – the blunt (a cigar hollowed out and filled with marijuana), spliff (a joint rolled with a mix of tobacco and marijuana) and pipe. The “Chocolate, gotta get raided” line sounds like a nod to chocolate thai weed and police raids against its users. He goes on to describe the addictive allure of Mary, even going as far as to personify it as a woman with “green eyes starin’ at me”.

Then Mikah 9 enters, delivering a philosophical perspective. He presents Mary as a tool for self-realization and ego dissolution (“Do you wanna know how to control and separate your ego from your soul? Come follow me, come follow me equality grows”). He also calls out the contradiction of marijuana’s illegal status despite its potential for reducing stress and fostering positivity. He further uses various synonyms for weed (“buddha, tye, indo, the sess”) to emphasize its widespread use and appeal.

Freestyle Fellowship Mary

Aceyalone is back, spitting about the wide reach of Mary. His use of different names — “ganjah, pot, grass” — also underscores the cultural ubiquity of the green goddess. “At the nearest corner right down the road,” he hints at the ease of access despite its illegal status. His final line, “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is not a dream”, echoes the famous nursery rhyme, highlighting that life with Mary becomes a joyful ride, not just a dream.

Through this track, Freestyle Fellowship effectively put forth the liberating and therapeutic power of marijuana, while also countering the criminalization and societal stigma attached to it. However, always remember, their perspective on the topic does not endorse or encourage the use of marijuana or any other illicit substances. Always abide by the law and consider health risks before making personal decisions.