Born Joseph Foreman, Afroman may be the first artist to achieve a worldwide hit with the assistance of the Internet. Citing his influences as Too Short, Big Daddy Kane, and 2 Live Crew, he began his rap career in the eighth grade when he started making homemade tapes of his own songs and passing them out to his classmates. He got his start as a performer at church where he played drums and eventually moved on to playing guitar. For a while, he used to work as a baggage handler at an airport while trying to make an impression with his songs.
He was still living in East Palmdale, Los Angeles, when in November 1999 Afroman released his first album, Sell Your Dope, and played parties, sidewalks, and contests. Not finding L.A. to his liking, he moved to Hattiesburg, MS, where he teamed up with drummer Jody Stallone and keyboardist/bassist Daryl Havard. In the spring of 2000 he concocted his second LP, Because I Got High, with producer Tim Ramenofsky. He distributed it at shows and with the help of T-Bone Records in Hattiesburg. The more people he performed for, the more word of mouth spread, with not just a little help from the Internet's controversial music-file swapping service, Napster. Someone who got his hands on his music at a show posted the track "Because I Got High" to Napster and suddenly everything changed for Afroman. Then Howard Stern's radio show boosted "Because I Got High"'s popularity by playing the song on his show. The song "Because I Got High" was based on Afroman's inability to clean up his room. The song lists a number of activities -- cleaning his room, going to court, attending class -- that get derailed because of "reefer madness."
Afroman eventually also gained the attention of Universal Records, which signed him to a six-album deal. His first Universal album, The Good Times, was a compilation of his first two LPs and a few new ones. "Because I Got High" was also included on the soundtrack to Kevin Smith's film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. "Because I Got High" became a huge hit around the world in the last quarter of 2001. When he returned in 2004, he did so in a big way, with the double-disc Afroholic...The Even Better Times, although he did so independently. Free of Universal, he wrote, produced, and recorded Afroholic on his own, marketed it largely via the Internet (www.afromanmusic.com), and toured with a live band. The holiday album Jobe Bells followed in 2004 and then came Drunk'n'High in 2006. After his second 2006 album, A Colt .45 Christmas, Afroman released Waiting to Inhale in 2008. ~ Ed Nimmervoll