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100 Albums: "The Good Times" by Afroman


Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Afroman
Title: The Good Times
Released: 2001
Genre: alt hip-hop dirty rap


It's easy to disregard Afroman as a one-hit wonder for his gimmicky slow jam Because I Got High. It might surprise you, then, to know that he's put out thirty-two albums since 1998. These are a mix of live, compilation, and studio records with titles like My Fro-losophy, Waiting To Inhale, Marijuana Music, and One Hit Wonder EP--a self-deprecating joke that's even funnier if you know what a one-hitter is. Pothead stereotypes to the contrary, this man is a workaholic. He started recording and selling mixtapes in eighth grade. He put out four albums in 2004 alone. The Good Times was his major label debut, and is basically a greatest hits album of his prior work, some of which had already been released independently.

This is some grade-A trashy party music. It's fun, it's laid-back, it's hilarious, and it's goddamn filthy. Because I Got High was considered mildly scandalous in 2001, but it's almost quaint when you put it next to She Won't Let Me F**k or Crazy Rap (Colt 45 & 2 Zig Zags). Almost every single song is about getting drunk, getting high, getting laid, or failing to do one of those because of the other two. The music is so lo-fi it sounds like it assembled from the drum loop samples on a Casio keyboard. It's genuinely impressive that Afroman is able to take such minimal production and do such compelling things with them. Mostly this accomplished by just focusing on the vocals: layers and layers of half-sung, half-rapped lyrics that are doubled and harmonized with backup singing, shoutouts, and chicken noises. Occasionally the music gets inventive as well, as in the case of Tall Cans, which breaks to half-time halfway through and then slowly ramps up for its outro.

It ain't high art (unless by "high" you mean... never mind), but it's aggressively fun and surprisingly entertaining throughout given that the artist behind it is associated with a single song. But Afroman is not, in fact, a one-hit wonder. He's a life-long musician who never stopped, who just happened to have one song that completely dwarfed the rest of his ridiculously extensive catalog.

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