Few novelty songs are as much fun as Afroman’s 2000 track “Because I Got High.” (The video, which has 47 million views, is at the bottom of this post.)
The Grammy-nominated hip-hop jam worked not just because it's an hilarious earworm, but because it tells a story. It starts off relatable: "I was gonna clean my room/ Until then I got high," but soon, like the genius Anna-Faris-as-pothead flick Smiley Face, it escalates to the absurd: “I wasn’t gonna run from the cops, but I was high...Now I’m a paraplegic."
Now Afroman, who hails from Palmdale, has recorded a new version of the track, in conjunction with NORML and Weedmaps, the Irvine-based dispensary directory app. It's not out yet, but we've got a teaser clip of the video below.
In 2014, of course, attitudes about weed have changed dramatically. A majority of the country now favors legalization, and we no longer scoff at the notion that marijuana has legitimate medical benefits.
The new version of "Because I Got High" has shifted its tone too. Now, instead of satirically celebrating how dope makes you dopey, the song takes a more political, pro-weed stance.
Instead of winkingly acknowledging pot’s predilection for making people sleepy and unmotivated, this version presents weed as a wonder drug:
“I didn’t want to go to college, until I got high /
I wasn’t that into knowledge, until I got high /
I want to go back to school and I know why, because I got high, because I got high, because I got high.”
At one point it rhymes “cannabis aroma” with “glaucoma.” There's also a reference to state marijuana revenues, which shows how Afroman's view on the drug has evolved.
"[Previously] I was in the hood and I was mad depressed, and it made me feel better," Afroman says of weed, "but I've come to find that it was bigger than just the little euphoria I experienced."
The new version's video was shot recently in Silver Lake, and it features Afroman rolling down the street on a remote-control couch. We suspect the full version won’t be able to compete with the original — which was directed by Kevin Smith and features Jay and Silent Bob. In our humble opinion, the new song isn't as much fun either.
We're all for legalization, and getting high is generally a much safer weekend brain escape than getting drunk. But does pot encourage rigorous collegiate discipline? That seems a bit of a stretch.
Still, Afroman could perhaps be forgiven for this logical leap. You know, because he got high.
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The original "Because I Got High" video is below