HIGH NOTES: 7 Songs About MDMA, Because It’s MDMAzing

Madonna in an MDNA era shoot by fashion photographers Mert Alaş and Marcus Piggott.

MDMA has long been closely intertwined with music. It’s many festival and nightclub-goers’ drug of choice, and for good reason: it has a way of making every song sound infectious and every flashing light look vivid and brilliant.

It’s not surprising either that a whole lot of artists have chosen to sing about this energizing, psychedelic substance. Here are the funniest, realest, and most poetic songs sung about MDMA.

MDMAmazing by Beans on Toast

Perhaps the most straightforward of the bunch, this song is relatable AF to anyone who’s rolled at a music festival. Beans on Toast narrates all the best and worst parts of an MDMA trip, from “we danced to an unknown DJ and sneaked a little kiss” to “I’m gurning my face off, but I’m really really glad.” It ends on a less cheerful note: “Well I’ve missed my lift to London / my moneys all been spunked / I’ve even lost my mobile phone/ I think I’m fucked.” But it’s all good, because then his dancing/kissing partner comes back with acid. All’s well that ends well.

“We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus

Is she singing “dancing with Miley” or “dancing with molly”? The eternal question. The truth is, it’s intentionally ambiguous. “If you’re aged ten [the lyric is] Miley,” she told The Daily Mail. “If you know what I’m talking about, then you know. I just wanted it to be played on the radio and they’ve already had to edit it so much.” With lyrics like “Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere / Hands in the air like we don’t care,” it’s easy to see how it could be molly, which Cyrus has called a “happy drug.”

“Take Ecstasy With Me” by The Magnetic Fields

This dreamy, nostalgic song will likely conjure memories of your very first roll. The Magnetic Fields convey the joyful and easily distractable state one might be in under the influence of MDMA with lyrics like, “I want to slide down the carpeted stairs / Or down the bannister / I got a new kaleidoscope / And I got a stack of records / It’s on your head so don’t dare move / We could be happy just listening to your pulse.”

“Molly” by Tyga

In this song, Tyga is on a mission: to find molly. He enlists the help of Siri, whose voice rhythmically repeats “molly” throughout the track, and raps about an adventure that seems to involve a number of other substances as well: “Weed so loud it’s distorted / Got champagne and we pourin’ it / She poppin’ it and she snortin’ it.” Let’s just hope he’s not mixing all these drugs.

“I’m Addicted” by Madonna

Madonna’s love for MDMA is well-documented; she did, after all, name one of her albums MDNA (presumably a portmanteau of MDMA and DNA) and ask a crowd at the music festival Ultra, “Have you seen molly?” She also sprinkles her fair share of MDMA references into her music. In “I’m Addicted,” she compares it to a lover, singing, “Now that your name / Pumps like the blood in my veins / Pulse through my body, igniting my mind / It’s like MDMA and that’s OK.” She then sings “I need to dance,” which… yeah, sounds appropriate, and closes the song by repeating the letters MDMA repeatedly.

“Empire State of Mind” by JAY-Z featuring Alicia Keys

“Came here for school, graduated to the high life / Ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight /MDMA got you feelin’ like a champion / The city never sleeps, better slip you a Ambien,” JAY-Z raps in this song. Great rhyme, though again, let’s hope he’s not actually combining those drugs.

“We Found Love” by Rihanna

Is the “hopeless place” Rihanna found love in an MDMA trip? Some think the “yellow diamonds” in the lyrics represent molly, but the real giveaway is the video, where Rihanna and actor Dudley O’Shaughnessy skateboard (possibly a subtle reference to rolling?) and have passionate sex amid montages of pills and dilating pupils. Anyone who’s ever taken MDMA with a partner will feel heartbroken by the unbridled joy shattered by the devastating comedown in this video.

HIGH NOTES: Music Videos That Will Vicariously Get You High

Sometimes, artists drop subtle drug references in their songs that you wouldn’t notice unless you carefully studied the lyrics. Other times, they put it right out there, with drug-inspired imagery splattered all over their videos.

If you want to vicariously experience a trip, consider these videos your pathways into the brain of someone on drugs.

The Dandy Warhols’ “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth”

Aside from the fact that the Dandy Warhols are dressed up as literal syringes while singing “heroine is so passé,” the colorful retro outfits, cartoonish background, and balloons look like they’re straight out of a trip.

Afroman’s “Because I Got High”

If you’ve ever failed at adulting due to illicit substances, Afroman feels you, and his enactment of all the dumb shit he’s done while high is undoubtedly good for a laugh.

Tyga’s “Molly”

In a very thinly veiled drug reference, Tyga pulls up to a party in a car as Siri announces “Hi, I’m looking for Molly.” The bright colors, wild dancing, and pills in the club suggest that Operation Find Molly succeeded.

Of Montreal’s “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia”

This song may not explicitly reference LSD like “Lysergic Bliss,” but it sure looks like the video was made on it. Kevin Barnes’ reflection blurs and warps in funhouse mirrors as he sings about “counting wolves in your paranoiac intervals.”

Rihanna’s “We Found Love”

This tragic video captures the insurmountable joy of rolling with a significant other as well as the utter devastation of the comedown. The reference to “yellow diamonds” in the lyrics led people to speculate about MDMA references, and the pills and expanding pupils in the video leave no doubt.

A$AP Rocky’s L$D (LOVE x $EX x DREAMS)

The “L$D” in this song ostensibly stands for “LOVE x $EX x DREAMS,” but the video makes the double entendre clear. If you’ve ever wondered what an acid trip is like (and a good one, at that), look no further than A$AP Rocky’s journey through this glowing neon city.

Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”

Posner has said that this song is about a real experience taking a “mystery pill” in Ibiza, which made him feel “amazing” until he came down and “felt 10 years older.” Based on the creepy video, this seems like a trip that’s better off experienced vicariously.

Animal Collective’s “Brothersport”

I’m pretty sure this song is not about drugs, but the video, well, is a drug. Take a look at the cartoon dinosaurs, painted eggs, and singing tadpoles and you’ll see what I mean. But I can’t be held liable if you actually lose your mental faculties in the process.