Afroman is chill, so when he called me back for this interview – two days late – I forgave him immediately. I hear weed makes one forgetful anyway.
Ethan Timmins-Schiffman (ETS): So how did you like giving the concert Saturday night?
Afroman (A): It was fun, man.
ETS: I only knew you as a rapper and I was surprised to see you playing the guitar for most of the show.
A: What most people don’t know is that “Because I Got High” helped me and hurt me at the same time: I’m not some idiot who just raps about weed.
ETS: A lot of your lyrics are about weed and drinking.
A: Yeah, but it’s all about wordplay, you know? It’s how you talk about it. With my –wordplay, I’m the rapping drunk. [laughs]
ETS: So the delivery and the way you say the words is just as important as the words themselves?
A: That’s what I’m saying. I’m not going to talk about killing people – I’m Burger King, I’m not gonna sell you a Big Mac.
ETS: So it’s all about keeping it real.
A: I’m just going to be the goofy person that I am. I can still suck if I’m real. [He drops a freestyle rap] Afroman caravan/ all across the land/ dancing to music, banging and abusing.
ETS: Okay. So I’ve been listening to a lot of your songs and I think that what you say about marijuana is a partisan argument that carefully examines the benefits of legalizing medical marijuana. So what is your stance on the subject?
A: You know, I say legalize it, because I mess with it and I don’t want to go to jail! [laughs]
ETS: So what is the message behind your lyrics, “Don’t grab my keys when the party’s over/ I drive better drunk, than you do sober”?
A: That song is a bragging statement for my alcohol tolerance level. There’s a veteran bunch in humanity that can operate as an alcoholic – functional alcoholics.
ETS: Is that a medical term?
A: It’s medical – or a police term; well, somewhere in my education is that term. But I’m not an alcoholic, I can turn it on like a faucet. But, you know, when you’re driving home from a bar, drunk and high, and you see someone on the wrong side of the road, I’m like, am I drunk?
ETS: I don’t really drink and I’ve never smoked so I, uh, can’t really identify with that.
A: Yeah man, it’s cool… Back in my neighborhood we tried to be the best at what we did: the best all-around cat. Amongst a circle of homies I’m the Colt 45 champion.
ETS: So are you drunk all the time?
A: Na but I’ve done it enough that I can write about it really well. I’m a foot doctor so I can tell you all about your foot. Teeth and gum/ I’ll get you numb/ let’s have some fun, you know?
ETS: Are you high right now?
A: [Laughs] No! But you got me kinda scared when you said you don’t smoke. I’m like, what police department is this dude from?!
ETS: [Laughs, maybe nervously] Na man, just because I don’t smoke doesn’t mean I’m a narc. Your secret is safe with me. But you should come back here and give a full concert. We’ll get a sound proof tent or something. It will be fun.
A: [Yawns] Yeah, I’ll be back.