Two chants could be heard from the inconspicuous white tent near Poker Flats this past Saturday night – ”TOGA! TOGA!” and ”COLT 45! COLT 45!” These two phrases effectively captured the essence of TogaSpank, a party and concert headlined by infamous rapper Afroman. Although TogaSpank was forced to come to an early end this past Saturday night, no one can deny the awesome show that was put on before the abrupt halt to the festivities.
Miles, a pop/funk/rock band from New Jersey, opened up the event at about 9:30 p.m. with an array of songs from its first EP Wow and Flutter, as well as some new tunes. The group was a perfect way to start off the evening, with a laidback sound that crossed boundaries between jam band, funk and pop music.
Songs such as ”Repeating in Here” bear a resemblance to jam-band, infused with a sweeter voice, while ”Calm Yourself” could be the next acoustic radio hit of the summer, reminiscent of the Plain White T’s ”Hey There Delilah.”
While Miles entertained the early crowd with ear-pleasing sultry funk, by the time the group left the stage shortly before 11 p.m., a sea of toga-wearing students had emerged ready to party.
Joseph Foreman, a.k.a Afroman, is infamous for wanting to simply show his fans a grand time, and delivered all that was expected of him and more. His music comes equipped with common themes in modern music – lewd jokes and endless references to marijuana, drinking and sex. But what makes Afroman unique is his blunt delivery. He certainly isn’t going to sugarcoat anything for you, and his frank lyrics, along with his guitar skills and funky rhythms, were exactly what the doctor ordered for stressed-out students all over campus. A little bit of raunchiness and funk were a refreshing break for all in attendance.
”People need an escape from their hectic work schedules and to take a day, maybe even just a night, to relax and enjoy some of the best and most unique friends they have,” said Matt Koven ’09, the organizer of the event. ”I think I speak for everyone when I say that such parties are a healthy aspect of student life.”
A majority of students would have been completely satisfied hearing just two songs from Afroman: his famed ”Because I Got High,” the smash hit of summer 2001, and his lascivious ”Crazy Rap,” better known as ”Colt 45.” In fact, between every previous number, chants of ”Colt 45! Colt 45!” could be heard all the way from Park Street.
He delivered both of these hits to an enthralled crowd, which sang along amidst pushing and shoving – more than one Greek sandal was forever lost in the mud behind Poker Flats. Appropriately, Afroman brandished a 40 oz. bottle of Colt 45, and the whole back of the tent smelt like the hot-boxed back seat of your first car.
Other than his most recognizable tunes, Afroman also performed selections from his recently-released album Waiting to Inhale, including ”Smoke Some Green” and ”Jumped Up, G’ed Up.” These songs were in the classic in-your-face style of Afroman, including lyrics such as ”Inhale and get high/ My, my, my/ You need to give beer and marijuana a try.” However, in the heat of the moment – being crushed from every possible side, togas being torn apart and drinks being spilt – it was pretty impossible to decipher anything that was coming from Afroman’s mouth unless you already knew the lyrics.
This did not seem to be much of an issue for anyone, though. As long as a few key words could be deciphered here and there (”blunt,” ”Bacardi,” ”f-ed up” and other four-letter words), it was apparent that his dirty lyrics are still intact. Besides this, Afroman’s new work was much more party and dance-oriented than his previous sing-along songs, and consequently was met with a wave of bouncing togas surging towards the stage and hands waving in the air.
The whole experience of TogaSpank was somewhat unreal. Seeing Williams students in togas was a first for many and a highly enjoyable spectacle. The fact that Afroman was entertaining made things out-of-this-world, or more appropriately, out-of-this-Purple-Bubble. The sight of Afroman and his posse of hip-hop fabulous DJs, sound guys, bodyguards and backup rappers and singers surrounded by confounded Williams College Security was an amusing contrast, and singing about dirty sex, drugs, alcohol and other typically unmentionable topics on campus is something that can never be recreated.