Because I Got High

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"Because I Got High"
Afroman Because I Got High single.jpg
Single by Afroman
from the album Because I Got High and The Good Times
ReleasedJuly 30, 2001
Recorded2000
GenreComedy hip hop
Length5:10 (album version)
3:19 (radio version)
LabelT-Bones, Universal, Uptown
Songwriter(s)Afroman
Producer(s)Afroman, Headfridge
Afroman singles chronology
"Because I Got High"
(2001)
"Crazy Rap"
(2001)
Music video
Afroman – "Because I Got High" on YouTube

"Because I Got High" is a song by American rapper Afroman from his eponymous album. The lyrics of the song describe how cannabis use is degrading the narrator's quality of life.[1] The song, which was written in only a few minutes, rose from obscurity to popularity after it was circulated around the Internet and was featured on The Howard Stern Show.

Overview[edit]

The song explains how the narrator "got high" with the result of not taking responsibility for anything. Examples include neglecting to clean his room, failing his college class (which he intends to take next semester), getting fired from his job (leading him to resort to selling marijuana for a living), missing court dates, having his paycheck garnished due to missed child support payments, gambling away his car payment, becoming a paraplegic as the result of a police chase, and being left by his wife for neglecting to have sex with her. The singer then sums up that, as a result of his constant reliance on cannabis, he lost custody of his children, lost his wife, and ended up homeless and "sleeping on the sidewalk". He ultimately decides to end the song, and admits that he is "singing the whole thing wrong, because [he is] high". The extended version features another verse afterward: "Well my name is Afroman, and I'm from East Palmdale / And all the tumbleweed I be smoking is bomb as hell / I don't believe in Hitler, that's what I said / So all of you skins... please give me more head" (the last two lines are a reference to John Lennon's "God" and a pun on "skinheads", respectively[citation needed]). This version ends with Afroman saying, "We ain't gonna sell none of these motherfuckin' albums cuz... let's go back to Marshall Durbin and hang some more chickens cuz, fuck it", followed by "Fuck the corporate world, biatch!".

The music video was directed by Michael Alperowitz[2] and features Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes as Jay and Silent Bob smoking with Afroman, a cameo by "Beer Man", as well as a glimpse of the Quick Stop where Clerks was filmed.

Reception[edit]

Afroman released his album Because I Got High in 2000; he distributed it mainly through concerts. The title track was soon posted on file-sharing service Napster and made it to The Howard Stern Show.[3] This song was the theme song of the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back[4] and was later featured in the films Disturbia, A Thousand Words, The Perfect Score and the Snowpiercer show.

After the success of this single, Afroman was signed to Universal Records.[3]

On the album Mobilize by punk band Anti-Flag, after several minutes of silence on the album's end track, a friend of the band called Spaz can be heard singing parts of the song with Anti-Flag.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Joseph Foreman.

CD single
No.TitleLength
1."Because I Got High" (Afrolicious Edit)3:18
2."Let's All Get Drunk"5:43
3."Back On The Bus"5:43
4."Because I Got High" (Afropulco Gold & Dirty)3:18

Alternative versions[edit]

Afroman re-recorded the song with new lyrics for his 2009 album Frobama Head of State. A second re-recording of the song, called the "Positive Remix", was released by Afroman through YouTube on October 15, 2014 as part of a collaboration with Weedmaps and NORML. In contrast to the original version, the lyrics of this version deal with the positive effects of marijuana legalization.[5][1]

A song with a similar theme was released by Detroit Junior in 1980, titled "If I Hadn't Been High."[6]

Parodies[edit]

Bob Rivers included a Christmas-themed version, Be Claus I Got High, on the 2002 album White Trash Christmas, the fifth in Rivers's line of Christmas parody albums.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles recorded a parody under the pseudonym "Afro-Blair" featuring Jon Culshaw and another impressionist singing in the guise of the serving Prime Minister Tony Blair, then Leader of the Opposition William Hague and former Prime Ministers John Major and Margaret Thatcher.[7]

The controversial parody artist Rucka Rucka Ali made a version of the song called "Because I'm White" about stereotypes of White Americans and white privilege in general.[8]

A parody was made about British politician Michael Gove after his scandal involving cocaine use.[9]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[59] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[60] Platinum 40,000*
Belgium (BEA)[61] Platinum 50,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[62] Platinum 60,000*
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[63] Platinum 8,000^
France (SNEP)[64] Gold 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[65] Platinum 500,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[66] Platinum 10,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[67] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[68] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[69] Platinum 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Afroman's Because I Got High gets pro-marijuana remake". The Guardian. October 17, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2018. Afroman’s novelty song which once sluggishly lamented the lethargy and uselessness of weed consumption, has been given a rework to promote the legalisation of marijuana.
  2. ^ "Afroman: Because I Got High (Music Video 2001)". IMDB.
  3. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (2008). "Afroman > Biography". allmusic. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
  4. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (August 27, 2001). "Afroman Living 'High' Life Thanks To Hit Single". MTV News. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
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  6. ^ "Detroit Junior Topic - "If I Hadn't Been High"". YouTube.com. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  7. ^ [1] Archived December 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Because I'm White (Afroman Parody) ~ Rucka Rucka Ali". YouTube.
  9. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Michael Gove - Because I Got High". YouTube.
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  61. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – singles 2002". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
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External links[edit]