Released: 1996

“Smoke Buddah” by Redman is a classic hip-hop anthem paying homage to the ‘smoker’s lifestyle’, intertwined with Redman’s signature lyrical dexterity and off-kilter humor. It touches on the themes of camaraderie, marijuana use, and street life, encapsulating 90s hip-hop’s grit and character.

Right from the jump, Redman gets personal when he mentions, “I got a slight problem I smoke weed too much”. The rapper openly admits to his penchant for marijuana, not dodging the topic but laying it bare. His use of the term “dutch” is a reference to Dutch Masters, a brand of cigars often used to smoke marijuana. Redman is all about keeping it 100, and he ain’t about to let anyone puff on his stash for free. He shouts out his Def Squad members, Keith Murray and E Doubl-E, implying that his circle is tight-knit and exclusive.

Moving on, the line, “It cost twenty if you’re down with it,” is Redman laying down the cost of participating in his ‘smoke sessions’. He cruises around in his “hooptie” (slang for an old, worn-out car) while staying “blitted” (essentially another term for high). The “pookie” he mentions is a pipe used for smoking crack, but in this context, it’s likely more symbolic of weed. He isn’t puffing on the subpar stuff; he saves the “backyard boogie”, or low-grade weed, for the groupies. He’s symbolically indicating the hierarchy and setting the tone for the uninitiated.

Redman Smoke Buddah

In the following bars, Redman drops the line, “Between mo’ sheets than the Isleys”. This is a playful double entendre referencing both rolling up marijuana in rolling papers (sheets), as well as a nod to the sensual R&B group, The Isley Brothers, known for their bedroom ballads.

Redman’s just “loving” the rap game because he gets to flex authentic, bold self-expression. D. Don, another member of the Def Squad, pops up in the lyrics, showcasing Redman’s close-knit ties with his crew. The song ends with multiple repetitions of the chorus, emphasizing Redman’s unwavering commitment to his lifestyle and the exclusivity of his circle. If you’re not “smokin”, you’re an outsider.

Overall, “Smoke Buddah” is a braggadocious reflection of Redman’s personality and lifestyle. The lyrics, filled with ruff and rugged street talk, mixed with comedic undertones, keeps listeners engaged while showcasing Redman’s uncompromising dedication to the blunt, the booth, and his boys. His style is deeply representative of the landscape of 90s East Coast hip-hop and remains iconic to this day.