by John Tarpley
Who would've thought, at the dawn of the century, that Afroman, of all people, would still be able, in 2011, to make a living off of his music. Especially after that one Biz Markie-style novelty single he did. You know, the one that needs no introduction at all. Don't get it twisted: That song is great for what it is and may the Ganja Goddess strike us down if we didn't all sing along to it back in 2000, if not as an anthem, then as a goofy, catchy tune. But in three minutes, Afroman manages to stain years of hard, complicated efforts like NORML to present marijuana policy (and use) in a mature, progressive way. As a spokesman for the weed, a Robert Altman or Mark Emery he isn't.
But like it or not, Afroman actually does play an astonishingly important role in the history of music: The goof-rap one-hit wonder is generally acknowledged as the first musician whose success is indebted, in toto, to the Internet. After all, whose Napster library didn't have "Because I Got High" in it? Yep. Afroman: the accidental technological/musical trailblazer to be forever regarded as the web's first music meme. Then again, I guess it's no shock that he's less Nas and more like Rebecca Black, Tay Zonday or that awesome "Pants on the Ground" guy. La de da, da, da, da ...
Check it out: Afroman goofing off in