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Rapper Afroman refuses to become a 'one-hit wonder'

 Afroman brings his cautionary tale of recreational drug use and other songs of a similar ilk to Q Ball next Thursday.
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Date published: 9/23/2010



Unless you were hiding under a rock in 2001, you probably heard the oh-so-catchy novelty tune "Because I Got High" more than a few times.

As an ode to the perils of smoking less-than-legal substances, the song--complete with a video featuring Jay and Silent Bob--got played endlessly in dorm rooms and in parents' basements across the country.

Afroman's stoner anthem got him nominated for a Grammy the following year, and with a second successful single, "Crazy Rap," he seemed poised for mainstream success.

Of course, it's easy-come, easy-go in the world of pop culture, and despite signing him for a six-album deal, Universal Records dropped Afroman after two LPs and a greatest hits compilation.

A less-determined musician would've called it quits, but Afroman hasn't stopped producing records on his own since then. You can catch Afroman's dope rhymes in person at Q Ball Cafe Bar & Grill on Thursday, Sept. 30.

In a recent phone interview, Afroman explained he prefers the independent path.

"I just like it because I know I'm in control," he said.

"I know I'm doing the best I can, and I'm not letting the grass grow under my feet."

The budgets may not be as big, but without the bureaucracy of a massive label, Afroman has put out eight full-length albums on his own. There are certain advantages to releasing music without a major label, he said.

"I've learned in life that when I'm in control, things go right. I'm the rapper--I specialize in rap music. A lot of times, a lot of business people understand this and that. But sometimes they don't understand [the music], and they're in charge with that ignorance. When they make a bad move, it sacrifices your career, and you're the one who looks dumb."

Afroman backed up his point by recalling a big-budget blunder from the '80s.

"It's like when The Fat Boys did 'The Twist' with Chubby Checker. Nobody sees the guy who suggested The Fat Boys do 'The Twist' with Chubby Checker, but after they did it, they got caught holding the bag and looking totally played out."

Even 12 records deep, Afroman continues to focus on novelty rhymes about drugs and sex, like the songs that got him famous.

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What: Afroman Where: Q Ball Cafe, 960 Bragg Road When: Thursday, Sept. 30 Cost: $15 Info: 540/548-2799

Web: qballcafe.com