Country music star Toby Keith hasn’t released a new single in more than a year – but his latest song “Wacky Tobaccy” is definitely gaining him a lot of attention for a few different reasons. First of all, as the name of the song would suggest, it’s a song about smoking marijuana – the good, the bad and the ugly. Second, the music video has a cameo from country star, cannabis enthusiast and advocate Willie Nelson. It seems that this song is one you either love or hate – and those who hate it are calling it a lame attempt for the singer to stay relevant.
The music video opens up with the sound of someone hitting a bubbler/bong and then transitions into Toby Keith and his band on their tour bus. The opening lines talk about a career woman named Wanda, described as “balls to the wall,” who went out and smoked some of that “wacky tobaccy” with her high school friends during her lunch break and came back three hours later to an office full of coworkers who knew exactly what she had been up to (and a not so impressed boss man). Similar to the 2003 song “Weed With Willie,” it starts off as a cautionary tale of what might happen if you smoke marijuana.
“Wacky Tobaccy is a slogan, a saying that’s been around forever and no one has ever put it in a song. When we were working on it, somebody asked if the saying has ever been written in a song and I said, ‘no, but they will now.'”
As the song goes on, however, “Wacky Tobaccy” goes into ways you can consume weed – a one-hitter, a bong, baked into brownies, a Budweiser can, or rolling up a “great big fat one like ol’ Cheech and Chong” (clearly a reference to the giant joint in Cheech and Chong: Up In Smoke). After the chorus, it goes into the various types of cannabis, “Mexican and Jamaican,” “Humboldt County Blue,” hydroponic or homegrown, and “Okeechobee Blue.” It even covers that homegrown is good and synthetic (seeming to refer to K2/Spice) will kill you – so it’s a mixture of a laughable, playful song and a cautionary tale of what could go wrong if you’re not careful.
Near the end of the video is when we see Willie Nelson coming out of the bathroom, puffing on a joint. The country star is well known for his love for marijuana, and he even has his own brand of cannabis called “Willie’s Weed” by his company Willie Reserve, which is on sale in both Colorado and Washington (the first two states to legalize recreational use of cannabis). While some might have enjoyed the cameo and found it perfect for the song, others might see it as an exploit. However, chances are that Willie Nelson doesn’t see it that way – or he wouldn’t have agreed or shown up to be in the video in the first place. Nelson doesn’t actually sing in the song, but his appearance in the video has given it more attention than it probably would have otherwise.
“What could have been a fun and fresh collaboration with Willie Nelson just seems like a cheap way of keeping people interested. Watching him stroll out of the bathroom with a blunt in hand feels like they are using him for a laugh instead of his talents. I’m sure Nelson didn’t mind, but he has so much more to offer than a visual gag.”
While to some the song might seem like a lighthearted and entertaining one, others are not so excited about Toby Keith’s newest single. Wide Open Country posted an article calling “Wacky Tobaccy” a “lame attempt to stay relevant.” In the article, they talk about how many of his songs including “Get Your Drink On” and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” seem to just go with whatever is trending and relevant in pop culture at the time and run with it, rather than creating an authentic song that comes from the singer’s own views, life, and experience. It doesn’t seem that everyone quite agrees with this – but to each their own opinion.
What do you think of the new Toby Keith song “Wacky Tobaccy”? Do you think it’s funny and another great song from the famed country singer, or do you think he’s trying too hard to stay relevant in pop culture? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
[Featured Image by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images]