Crazy Rap by Afroman
Any stoner born in the U.S. in the 90s will know this song. And a surprising amount will be able to sing it word-for-word. And while Crazy Rap” also known by its famous misnomer, Colt 45 & Two Zig-Zags, holds second place on Afroman’s hits, it takes first place for its influence among young people in the late 90s and early 2000s. While Because I Got High was more popular at the time of release of Afroman’s album The Good Times, Crazy Rap found its way into the culture through its catchy chorus, its over-the-top stories of Afroman’s sexual experiences, and its titular character, Afroman, who somehow makes it across the world smoking weed and meeting women.
Afroman the man is part of why “Crazy Rap” made its way into pop-culture. The over the top character whose story we get to listen to is at the same time funny and mischievous, and understanding of the diverse experiences of the world. Part of why his stories are so alluring comes from the fact that so much of what he raps about is based on his experiences, experiences that many of his listeners will never have. He raps about the experience of a black man in a white neighborhood, and the terrible prejudices that live on the surface. But he also raps about rolling up shitty weed and drinking cheap beer. He finds a way to unite a multitude of experiences and pains into a hilarious and catchy song.
In an interview from 2014, Afroman had this to say about the truth behind the stories featured in Crazy Rap, “I lie. That’s the first thing I’ll admit. About 83% of it is true. I never met Dolly Parton. Might as well have slept with the daughter of the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, though. Her dad was an L.A. County sheriff; he wasn’t the leader. I don’t know, though — I was just trying to get the hell out of there. I’ll e-mail him later tonight and find out.” (Westword).
In retrospect, Afroman may have been a two hit wonder. Afroman still makes his way across the country, playing shows at festivals and private venues to this day. In modern interviews Afroman speaks about how he is working to promote weed as a positive force, whereas some of his musical history frames the herb as a means of escapism. Aside from the change in tone, Afroman has pivoted to spend more time on the technical side of his music, putting a greater emphasis on his guitar playing, the thing that got him into music in the first place.