Afroman (real name: Joseph Foreman) wrote this as a joke for his friends. The song is about his experiences with marijuana and all the things he couldn't do because he was high. He said in 1000 UK #1 Hits
by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: "I wanted to take my negativity and generate something positive. I would wake up in the morning ready to take on the world and I was doing it, but then I got high and I messed around and I lost the entire day doing nothing." He added to Rolling Stone
, "Some chronic weed inspired it. It took me two minutes and eleven seconds to write."
The first song Afroman released was called "Sell Your Dope" in 1999. You can see a pattern developing.
Afroman released this on an independent label in 2000. It got him signed to Universal Records, who released it the next year. The song gained a great deal of popularity when Howard Stern started playing it on his radio show.
The B-Side of the single is a song called "She Won't Let Me F--K."
This plays over the closing credits of the 2001 movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Recalling getting the call from the film's director Kevin Smith, Afroman said, "I was high and was like, whassup, dude."
This was included on Afroman's second album. His first major-label album in 2001 is a combination of songs from his first two independent albums.
In the UK, this was the most popular ringtone downloaded to British mobile phones in 2002. It beat out "Somethin' Stupid" by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman and "Can't Get You Out Of My Head
" by Kylie Minogue.
In December 2001, a judge ordered a 17-year-old boy to listen to this and write a three-paragraph summary of the song after he was caught driving with a marijuana pipe. The judge also told him he was an embarrassment to his mother.
On the music-swapping service Napster, this song was huge. When a fan started circulating the song on Napster, it created a lot of buzz and led to Afroman's record deal with Universal. Many artists objected to having their songs swapped on the Internet, but for an unknown singer who couldn't get much exposure, Napster could lead to a big break.
This was a worldwide hit. It has sold over one million copies across the globe, and was #1 in Germany, The UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. Afroman was not able to follow it up with another hit, despite efforts like A Colt 45 Christmas and Waiting to Inhale. By the late '00s, he was on the college bar circuit, playing about 250 shows a year to frat boys with fond memories of the song.
In 2014, Afroman released the "Positive Remix" of this song, explaining the practical benefits of marijuana, including its medical uses. The release was timed to coincide with votes on legalizing marijuana in several US states.