“The utmost lacking feature of the smoking community is a written and understood set of guidelines to adhere to while participating in any circle. We compile these tips, tricks, techniques, rules, regulations, specifications, and guidelines into a category known as: Potetiquette, which is as the name implies: ‘Pot’ – ‘Etiquette’. This category is meant to attempt to unify these instructions, so that every Stoner may start with a pre-conception of the underlying ideals in order to be able to augment them accordingly to their liking.”
I find myself in the midst of the Weekday banter (calling Monday’s, Tuesday’s as a reference to who gets first and second hit at the beginning of a bowl) wondering if the system of calling “this way” is best, or perhaps we must journey down one of the more favored of the Potetiquettes: Pass it to the Left. This whirlwind of disheveled information makes me start to think about the origins of Pass it to the Left. Jimmy from South Park shows a contemporary adoption of this ideal, but where did it come from? I will attempt to hit all of the major descents, but hang on it might get a little bumpy.
First, I immediately think of the song “Pass the Kutchie” by the Mighty Diamonds from 1982, but I have put the video of the cover done by Musical Youth (which is definitely more popular) as I find it interesting. In fact, Musical Youth had to change certain parts of their song in order to avoid political scrutiny due to the fact that the children in the video knew about pot. In the lyrics of the song the band explicitly changes “herb” to “food” and “kouchie or kutchie” (referenced as a marijuana pipe or a Jamaican cooking pot… still pot) to “dutchie” (which ironically can be correlated to a blunt rolled with a Dutch Master Cigar). Time and time again artist have redone this song, in fact, in order to unrestrain the lyrics that were originally meant to be spread to the world (one perhaps with no herb). Check the lyrics:
“Pass the kutchie pon the lef’ hand side
Pass the kutchie pon the lef’ hand side — Changed to Dutchie
It a go bun, it a go dung, Jah know
It was a cool and lovely breezy afternoon
(How does it feel when you’ve got no herb?) — Changed to Food
You could feel it ’cause it was the month of June
(If you got no herb you will walk an’ talk)
So I lef’ my gate and went out for a walk
As I pass the dreadlocks’ camp I hear them say — Dem Rastas
(How do dey sing when you heard dem sing?)”
The world of cannabis becomes censored as usual by corporate/political (I put them together for a reason) entities, who want to imagine a utopian society centered around ideals, like the fact that children do not know about drugs. Well, they do, what is not telling them going to protect them from? Look at the rest of the lyrics, the word “Jah”, references to “dreadlocks”, and “burn(ing)” all occur in the Musical Youth version, which clearly indicates the children’s version as just as skunky as the original. The police officer in the video, the children on trial by a apoplectic white judge… so turns the world as our “peers” judge us. So we have learned that can smoke pot and pass to the left based on this logic (no matter what your interpretation of oppression, iconography, or clear badassness), but… is there more to support this point of view? What about Luniz?
Luniz, an American rap duo from Oakland, California, named Yukmouth and Numskull, brought out the single “I Got 5 On It” which may carry some more origins for this phenomena of passing it to the left. This album, Operation Stackola in 1995, became a bombshell because of this songs ability to throw down a mean message to a rhythm that rivals any modern synthesis. Here is a section of the lyrics from the song:
“I got 5 on it, I got 5
whachyou got nigga?
Damn, I think I got 2 bucks in my sock nigga,
Well dats dat, fuck it
I think I got 3 bucks in my back pack
enough to get a fat sack
you got some zags? — Zig Zags for an L
Not at all man. let get some from the sto
fo sho because a nigga need a tall can — I can appreciate a 40
open the door blood, nigga where my keys at? — Stoner Memory
Oh no i gave them to you get get that weed sac,
oh here they go, wit my sock
Hey put your seat belt on cuz theres hella cops parked up the block, — Paranoia
Well nigaa bust a uey then,
Nigga follow up dat doobie den,
Hell naw, you made it scandolous partnah, — needs to be regular terminology
Well sue me then,
Ohh we like that on a roach, nope look at them hoes,
Man fuck them tricks nigga lets get smoked,
Pass the doobie to the left biddy bum bum boom, — Pass it to the LEFT!
Whoa what the fuck wrong wit you,”
This song is about the journey of two guys, in the hood, trying to score some weed… truly a story that I can relate to. Together they have 10 dollars, enough for a fine nickel or dime bag depending on your choice of dealer, and they are faced with the continuing obstructions that get in a Stoner’s way. In the beginning, they do not have enough money, followed by the necessity for papers and a proper 40, then they lose their keys, and run into the cops. Have you ever had a day like this? I have, and I must say I can relate to Luniz, they knew the culture, they knew what kind of music I like, and they knew that one should “pass it to the left”.
But, can we credit this to Luniz instead of the Might Diamonds, originators of the song “Pass the Kuochie”? I do not think so. Upon further inspection there are several songs that make a reference to passing it to the left (too many to mention) like that of Missy Elliott’s “Pass Da Blunt” featuring Timbaland from 1997 or Young Money’s “Pass the Dutch” from 2010. All three of them reference the cover song by Musical Youth: Luniz references the original “Pass the Dutchie” by saying “biddy bum bum boom”, Missy Elliott does a similar framework by doubling the use of “Pass da blunts on the left hand side” as well as “dodi dum”, and Young Money stresses the same rhythm by phrasing it as such “Pa-pa-pass me the dutch with cha left hand”. Conclusively, the origins of passing it to the left are found with the Mighty Diamonds (greater popularized by Musical Youth) in 1982. I don’t know what your circle does, everyone has their own rules, but hey… if you do pass it to the left… you will have some evidence.