Monday, 8 February 2010

2001 Afroman: Because I Got High

"Everybody must get stoned", so sang Bob Dylan on his 1966 'Rainy Day Women #12 & 35". I don't know if Afroman (aka rapper Joseph Foreman) was listening, but in 'Because I Got High' he serves up an equally blatant promotion of soft drug use in a song that's a roll call of things on his 'to do' list that didn't get done because he was stoned over the most minimal of hip hop beats. Thus "I was gonna clean my room until I got high", "I was gonna go to class before I got high", "I was gonna go to work but then I got high"; you get the picture.

Yes, 'Because I Got High' is a one joke, one trick pony alright, but just like a slasher film sequel ramping up the gore and bodycount to try and mask the fact that you're just getting more of the same, Foreman tries to compensate for its one trickness by pushing his drug induced failings as far as decency will allow as the song goes on. Thus the above gives way to "I wasn't gonna run from the cops but I was high, I was gonna pull right over and stop but I was high. Now I am a paraplegic - because I got high" and " I was gonna make love to you but then I got high. I was gonna eat yo pussy too but then I got high. Now I'm jacking off and I know why. Because I got high"; you get the picture.

But while there's a certain original 'Friday the 13th' pleasurable shock of the new value to hearing Afroman relating his litany of screw ups in his sunny natured, couldn't give a toss swagger at the start, we're wading through turgid 'Friday the 13th Part Ten: Jason X' territory long before the third verse where Foreman himself sounds like he's getting bored with his own song. And yes I know that 'Jason X' has its admirers amongst genre fans with low taste thresholds and I'm equally sure there are swathes of nineties throwback surf/skate slackers or alternative minded students rebelling against their middle class background who'll get a kick out of this (and a 'huh huh' from the pussy joke) too. But for me, the whole afro/baked vibe is a cliché too far and in any case I struggle to see the humour - not because I'm prudish about drug use in anyway; I just think our Afroman comes across as a bit of a cock and I'm kind of left wishing that he'd never found his way to the studio on that day because he'd got.......overdosed on low grade crack cut with rat poison. That would learn him to take his responsibilities more seriously.



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