HITS Daily Double
"[The song's meaning] is really in the eyes of the beholder, and makes it particularly tricky to judge the impact on different audiences."
——Steve Dnistrian, Partnership For A Drug-Free America Exec. VP


Music Channel Agrees to Air Afroman’s "Because I Got High" With Restrictions
Where there's smoke, there's MTV airplay.

The video channel is adding Afroman’s novelty pot, er, pop song "Because I Got High" to its playlist, after negotiations with Universal Records. The music channel and label agreed that an edited version of the video will play on MTV, but only after the kids have gone to sleep, meaning only in the overnight hours and never on "Total Request Live."

The song, which has become one of the most requested at PoMo, Active Rock, Top 40 and Rhythm Crossover radio, is causing a bit of a dilemma for anti-drug proponents, including the music network. While MTV wants to maintain its policy not to promote drugs, this new joint seemed just too popular to pass. The channel did ask the record company to make edits in the video, including the elimination of all visual references to smoking, as well as a scene at the end where Afroman is sharing a baseball-bat-sized spliff with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, the stars of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, where the song plays over the end credits. A common vulgarity for a woman's anatomy and a sneaker company logo were also cut out.

Some, including the artist, insist the song has an anti-drug message. In it, Afroman laments that he missed a number of opportunities in his life because he got high. The fact that the song's lyrics, "I got high," were in the past tense also made things easier for the MTV censors.

Partnership for A Drug-Free America Executive VP Steve Dnistrian claims the song's meaning "is really in the eyes of the beholder, and makes it particularly tricky to judge the impact on different audiences."

Universal’s Steve Leeds said the label has no problem with MTV's edits: "That’s cool, man… Wait, what changes?" followed by a series of short coughs.

High Times Senior Editor Steve Bloom, whose magazine has just nominated the track as best pot song of the year for its annual Doobie Awards and is offering 20,000 free copies of the single to buyers of the mag, said constant airing of "Because I Got High" has caused a national run on Twinkies. "It's not to be taken seriously...mainly because we never take anything seriously. Will someone pass that bong?"

The song appears both on the movie soundtrack for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which is currently in stores, and on Afroman’s major label debut, The Good Times, to be released Aug. 28.