With the return of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (bitch!) in the series finale of everyone’s favourite pop-cultural touch-point with methamphetamine, AMC’s Breaking Bad, we got to thinking about drugs in song. After all, a simple marijuana association can make an otherwise yawn-inspiring musician a millionaire.
Eric Clapton covered “Cocaine” and made it into an era-defining classic. Songs about dealing crack are a storied template for many of gangster rap’s greats. Crystal meth has never really had the lyrical relevance that comes along with the consumption and/or distribution of these aforementioned drugs. There’s something tragic and beautiful about artists like Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin seeking oblivion, but there’s little romantic association with having teeth that look like this. Go figure.
We thought we’d take a little time to pour over lyrics sheets and put together a playlist filled with musical references to the dental-destroying drug.
Here are 10 songs about (or perhaps more accurately, mention, or allude to) crystal meth.
Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life”
“Smiling in the pictures you would take / Doing crystal meth, will lift you up until you break”
When this was a Big Shiny Tune, I thought the mention of “little red panties” was the most controversial lyric here. You’ll be surprised what you can get away with when you sing-rap really quickly like Stephan Jenkins. Note to self: make a list of Third Eye Blind songs that are secretly about Jenkem ASAP.
Bruce Springsteen – “Sinaloa Cowboys”
“There was a small tin shack on the edge of a ravine / Miguel and Luis stood cooking methamphetamine”
People regale Bruce as the boss of the blue collar workin’ man, but it turns out he’s also the original balladeer of meth-sweat-soaked collar drug cartel labourers.
Green Day – “Geek Stink Breath”
“I’m on a roll, no self control / I’m blowing off steam with methamphetamine”
Billie Joe says that meth is the one drug he’d never do again: “I’d rather be huffing gas than sticking speed up my nose.”
The Mountain Goats – “Letter From Belgium”
“Yeah we’re all here chewing our tongues off / Waiting for the fever to break”
Doing meth sounds way cooler when you use code words like “electrical equipment” and “stage makeup” to describe it. Or maybe the stage makeup is to cover up the meth scars. John Darnielle is a friggin’ genius, so who knows.
Drive-By Truckers – “You And Your Crystal Meth”
“Blood soaked, your pillow red / You and your crystal meth”
There’s a lesson to be learned here, guys: you don’t win friends with meth.
Everclear – “Amphetamine”
“Amy goes to school all day / But at night in the neighborhood they call her Amphetamine”
No word on whether “Amphetamine Anne” is the same girl Art talks about in “Heroin Girl.” Probably though, right?
The Whitest Kids U Know – “The Never Song”
“Never take cough syrup and mix it up with Iodine and Lye
Never take cough syrup and mix it up with Iodine and Lye
Never take the strike pads off a match book,
Or go to a hardware store and then look
Near the paint thinners for Muriatric Acid,
Or go bring a pot into a rapid
boil or get hydrogen peroxide
Never go to a farming store and then buy
PH strips and PVC pipes
Those fuel cans that make outdoor grills light
That’s how you make crystal meth”
Ok, it’s a sub-Weird Al level parody, but these lyrics literally describe how to make crystal meth. File that away for later, budding Heisenbergs of the Internet.
KoЯn – “Helmet In The Bush”
“Want to give it up, but I can’t escape”
Literally all KoЯn songs, nay, the entire nu-metal genre can be explained by the phrase “because meth.” But “Helmet In The Bush”? Apparently it’s tough to get a boner while you’re tweakin’. Heh heh. Get it?
Yelawolf – “Billy Crystal”
“Trailer park’s on fire, Billy been cooking up something / If you need a biscuit, come on then, Billy just got it jumping”
See: Arrested Development Season 4, Episode 5: “A New Start”
“You look like Billy Crystal…Meth…”
Cooder Graw – “That Girl Crystal”
“That girl Crystal, she ain’t so sweet / She’ll hit you in the nose boy, knock out your teeth”
Cooder sounds like the name of a guy who has no teeth whatsoever, and even HE recognizes the dangers of the drug.
So, what’d we miss? Leave your favourite tweak tracks in the comments below!