The main act was late, but maybe that's what you expect from someone whose whole performing life is based around being a stoner. The audience didn't seem to mind.
The East Palmdale rap and reggae singer Afroman was scheduled to start at 9 p.m. but he didn’t even start his sound check until 10 pm. The DJ was able to entertain the crowd in the meantime, a crowd consisting mostly of young college students.
Spinning mostly old-school hip-hop and “hyphy” music, the Bay Area’s signature hip-hop subculture, the crowd was riled up just in time for the headliner.
With Afroman, there are absolutely no surprises. From the content of his music to the content of his character, Afroman is rather predictable. But that does not mean he disappoints.
When he finally took the stage, he walked out clad in a white and baby blue tracksuit, matching blue Kangol cap, and gold chains around his neck and wrists. With a joint in his mouth, he set up his two-piece band: a white double neck Gibson electric guitar and his iPod plugged into the venue’s speakers.
If this were any other act, it would’ve gone down as tacky. But because it’s Afroman, was nothing less than standard.
Afroman performed a variety of songs from his most popular albums, most of them being drug, alcohol, and party themed. He kicked off the show with “Colt 45” a song about his favorite brand of malt liquor, and followed with other party tracks like, “Let’s Get Drunk Tonight” and “Before I Hit The Party”.
The tracks that really for the crowd hyped were of course, his weed-related songs. From cuts like, “Smoke With Me”, “High Til The Day I Die”, “Two Blunts” and his worldwide hit, “Because I Got High”, the music and the atmosphere molded beautifully together. Soon into his set, the air was already thick with smoke.
“If you’re not leaving tonight before you hit the blunt, say, ‘Oh yeah!’ he yelled into the microphone.
Afroman, whose real name is Joseph Foreman, is most known for his Grammy-nominated 2000 hit, “Because I Got High”, which he wrote as a joke for his friends and it became an international hit. He began his start selling his mixtapes out of the trunk of his car. With the help of the file-sharing service Napster, “Because I Got High” spread throughout the Internet and got him a six-record deal with Universal in 2004.
He released the album, “Afroholic… The Good Times” under Universal, but since then he has released eight other albums independently. He even has released a Christmas album, “Jobe Bells” in 2004, consisting of drug and sex –themed parodies of popular Christmas songs.
Afroman’s signature style surrounds what has become to be known as “comedy hip-hop”. His lyrical content surrounds around the subjects of drug use, alcohol use, girls, partying and being lazy, but all the while in front of funky, laidback grooves that definitely has heads bobbing. His music is undemanding, most of it could be taken in as a joke given the context, but what it leaves is a really mellow sound that will initiate tirades of laughter.
Wednesday night at the Catalyst, the crowd loved it all.
What is often overlooked in Afroman is how superb of a guitarist he actually is. With each song he performed a guitar solo, playing bluesy riffs over the beats blaring from his iPod, giving a more soulful flavor to his songs that are typically simple hip-hop drums and melodies.
Afroman is highly overlooked as a musician. Aside from his guitar capabilities even the simple harmonization he uses makes his songs complete. Contextually, Afroman seems to just want to have some unethical, dirty fun. But musically, he just wants to get heads bobbing.
And if he can have a good time doing both, more power to him.