When he was in eighth grade, Afroman (aka Joseph Foreman) was kicked out of school for his sagging pants. He retaliated by writing a song about the teacher who expelled him. The song was a hit among the student body, and he sold 400 copies.
This escapade and the ensuing success spurred his musical sensibilities. What began as bitter rants evolved into well-crafted hip-hop filled with perceptive humor and straight-from-the-street lyrics. His parents encouraged his musical pursuits, which kept him out of trouble.
Afroman busked at swap meets, low-rider shows and along Venice Beach to gain exposure.
His singles caught the attention of Universal, who signed him to a six-album deal.
"Because I Got High," a track on his "The Good Times" album, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002 for best rap solo performance. The song derides the pitfalls of marijuana.
The rapper now has 15 albums to his credit. Drugs continue to be a major theme in his music, but many songs also address such topics as low-riding, growing up in the ghetto and cleaning his room.
Afroman will perform at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St.
Advance tickets cost $17 and are available at www.ticketweb.com, www.jmaxproductions.net, Bad Ass Coffee in Medford and Music Coop in Ashland. Tickets will cost $20 at the door.