Yes, admittedly, Afroman’s ‘Crazy Rap (Colt 45 & 2 Zig Zags)’ isn’t the most appropriate anthem ever, but what is rap about if not stretching taboos? However, the one thing you certainly can level against the laughable classic is that it is far from Christmassy. Thus, it came as quite a surprise when Afroman decided to follow it up with a special festive album back in 2016.
The truth is that even this festive record defies Christmas at every turn. It was even released in mid-October which seems way too early, for that matter. And with tracks like ‘Police Blow My Wad’, it quickly became clear that it would even avoid the tropes of a novelty album!
The opening track, ‘Deck My Balls’ gets things off to a suitably raucous start. Sexual demands, the propagation of gun crime, assimilating the youth into gang culture and, of course, getting high is rattled through in a tra-la-la acapella recital by Afroman and his trusted Christmas brethren. It is not so much the wilful intent to eviscerate the wholesome side of Christmas that proves shocking here, but the fact that they do it in a carol style manner.
In a musicological sense, this holds all the hallmarks of people knocking on your door to spread some festive cheer and remains positively free of 808s and scratching samples, but in a lyrical sense, it proves less Christmassy than Rudolf being informed of the sad truth about the dark medical reason for his red nose.
Nobody was expecting Afroman to go full Bing Crosby and sing Christian rhymes, but he surpasses crude ‘Ho-ho-ho’ double entendres and heads straight towards the sort of lines that would even be left out of one-handed literature for reasons of decency. All the while almost nostalgic grooves hark back to a time in the past.
In short, this album is a small snippet of Christmas mayhem. At times it is too confounding to even think about laughing but the occasional line will catch you chuckling, and these moments unearth the weird irony at play on the record. It is certainly not a record to pop on during Christmas – although I’m not sure of a time where it would ever be suitable – but the fact that it resides as one of the strangest albums in history is respectable in itself.