When Afroman's stoner anthem 'Because I Got High' hit the airwaves in 2000, the Cali native caught the attention of bong tokers and music lovers alike, which in turn earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Solo Rap Performance the following year. However, after crafting two albums and a greatest hits project on Universal Records, the label dropped Afroman from its roster. But that did little to crush the 36-year-old's hip-hop spirit.

"I've learned in life that when I'm in control, things go right," says Afroman in a recent interview. "I'm the rapper -- I specialize in rap music. A lot of times, a lot of business people understand this and that. But sometimes they don't understand [the music], and they're in charge with that ignorance. When they make a bad move, it sacrifices your career, and you're the one who looks dumb."

Since his departure from the major label bigwigs, Afroman, born Joseph Foreman, has released eight albums independently, which include 'Jobe Bells' -- a Christmas-themed effort -- and 'Frobama: Head of State' -- a project that hit the market last year. According to the mirthful rhymer, he prefers working on his own. "I just like it because I know I'm in control," he shares. "I know I'm doing the best I can, and I'm not letting the grass grow under my feet."

Though he no longer has the big budgets and promotional push from a massive PR campaign, Afroman is still riding high off the fame from his first hit record -- which was heard in the films 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,' 'The Perfect Score' and 'Disturbia' -- by performing at shows for 60 to 90 minutes at a time. "People enjoy the other songs I do too, but I couldn't have gotten that date at the club without 'Because I Got High,'" he reveals. "That song is like an older brother to the newer songs -- it's holding the diaper bag and the Pampers."

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