by Jack Russell
September 13—a crowd and their drinks slosh into the sloped bowl between University Avenue and ATO. There’s a show on tonight, and half of Sewanee has turned up an hour early, many there under the false impression that the concert starts at nine, or, that concerts, as a species of event, are capable of starting less than an hour late. The crowd also forgets this: they’re here for Afroman, early 2000’s rap legend, best known for a song about getting high and not showing up to things… and the crowd expects him to show up, let alone on time. As ten rolls round, the lawn be-comes restless. Puffs of smoke pass the pointed gables of ATO and hover above the pines, oncoming sobriety looms above all as the early arrivals start to fear for their Good Time. Brothers pop in and out of the house like fratty gophers. “Relax,” says one ATO to the microphone, “relax, relax, relax.” The hired DJ alternates between whipping the polite mosh pit into a hand-raising frenzy and taking promotional photos of the raised hands. Taylor Swift recommends shaking it off. The noises and voices all want something, and as 10:30 comes and goes, Afroman tops the list.
Joseph “Afroman” Foreman got kicked out of middle school for sagging his pants and has rapped ever since. After releasing his first album, Fore-man moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he (sometimes) resides today. Thanks to the expo-sure from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Napster, Foreman climbed the charts alongside another unforgettable artist, the talented and very relevant Chingy.
It’s 10:47. Rumors ripple through the crowd. Some begin to wonder if he’s in there, or if he’s in any state to play. Echoes of the previous ATO Those in a remembering state of mind find blowout, featuring (for a few seconds) Cherub. An ambulance lies in wait on the fringe, ready to drag off the weakest of the now exhausted herd. Finally, the doors open.
“Oh my God.” There’s Afroman. Oakland Raiders jersey, mushrooming afro, gallon jug of Colt 45 that gets shared with the DJ as he turns down DJ Snake and Lil Jon. A joke about riding horses to class gets mumbled into the mic, the crowd laughs for lack of a better response, and Afroman starts into his second most memorable song, “Colt 45.”themselves at a highly memorable performance punctuated by swigs from a beer jug marking the beginning, end, and often middle of a song. After a while, a double necked 18-string guitar gets pulled out, and the show begins for real. Afroman plays a song, and this is not made up, about not being a one-hit wonder, likely inspired by his time spent as a one-hit wonder. Oh, Afroman.
Most people stay around long enough to hear that one hit, “Because I got High,” which eventually got played near the end of the setlist, after which the students and the artist begin to go their own ways. Afroman goes to Waffle House. “We went to WaHo at about two in the morning and he was just there chillin. We thanked him for playing. Real nice guy,” said Will Wolfe (C’15). Before arriving, Afroman reportedly made a request for six Colt 45 Tall Boys, grape juice, and fried chicken ‘comparable to KFC.’ Good are the tastes of the man who knows high fines and fine things aren’t one and the same. Good food, good show and goodnight sweet Afroman, and flights of angels sing thee to thy van.