It wasn't a pretty sight: Rapper Afroman punching a drunk woman who'd wandered on stage during his live show at Cress Live in Biloxi, Mississippi on February 17, 2015. Nearly seven months later, on Sept. 3, he pleaded guilty to assault and was fined $330. He was also required to attend anger-management therapy sessions.
The widely-seen video (watch below) captured Afroman (nee Joseph Forman) playing a guitar solo as the woman, with a drink in hand, bumped up against him. Instead of asking her to leave the stage, he hit her with a roundhouse right. The woman went down, then staggered to her feet. Incredibly, Afroman continued playing until first a man climbed on stage to rescue the woman and then club staff shut the show down.
The woman - TMZ reported she was 21 and named Haley - pressed charges against Afroman, who was then arrested for simple assault. He was released on a $330 cash bond. Haley's lawyer said she suffered head, neck and back injuries from the blow.
While Afroman's rep said his "stage space" had been infringed upon and that the right hook was a "completely involuntary reflex reaction," the club maintained "there was security at the front point of the stage," which is not true, judging from the video. (The stage appeared to be completely unguarded.)
Afroman defended himself in a statement recorded by TMZ:
'I want to apologize for my actions. I'm enrolling in some anxiety foundation right now, trying to get it done. I love my fans. I go early these days to meet and greet them, hang out with them. It was an early show. I usually play at night and I've had my dinner and I medicate, I get right. But it was an early show, it was Mardi Gras. I had to walk like a half a mile to get to the place. I had my frustrations, to make a long story short. There was a guy on the side of the stage who was yelling at me - yelling some obscenities I really don't want to repeat. But these girls got on stage. I asked them to leave. I was trying to keep rapping. One girl left. I thought both of them left and the guy was still over there hollering from the other side of the stage. As I'm playing I'm thinking it's the guy who started to heckle my act doing something to me. When they get on stage you don't know what they're doing. You don't know what's going to happen next. I'm just trying to do my job. I thought it was that guy. I turned around and you know, man, shit… It was wrong.'
Due to the incident, several venues canceled Afroman shows.
This is not the first time Afroman's had an incident on stage. On December 27, 2014 at Thompson House in Newport, Kentucky he tossed a fan off stage.
Also in 2014, the 40-year-old rapper/singer teamed with up with Weedmaps and NORML to produce a "positive" reboot of his 2001 hit, "Because I Got High." The original version appeared on The Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back soundtrack, peaked at No. 13 on the charts in 2001 and earned a Grammy nomination.
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