NEW YORK – The music video for the hit song "Because I Got High" — which had been banned from MTV — has finally won approval from the music channel.
The song chronicles how smoking marijuana destroyed the singer's life and the showed scenes of people smoking pot — which is barred under MTV's strict rules about video content.
Now the video will be aired because most direct references to smoking were edited out.
Censoring a song and video that actually points out the negative aspects of drug use is curious from a network known for airing no-holds barred programming such as Jackass, MTV Uncensored and even the now-predictable Music Video Awards, where artists are expected to show skin and curse a lot. And viewers may get the impression that anything goes.
But "Because I Got High" posed a problem for MTV, which wanted to air it.
"Basically we have set standards for drugs, violence and language," an MTV spokesman said. "We asked the label to make minor lyrical and visual changes in the video, and they did," the spokesman said.
"Usually the requests are no close-ups of girls' body parts, they don't want to have a woman without showing her whole body — no booty shots — no [apparel logos]," said one prominent record label exec about the types of edits MTV typically requires.
"There's always something — particularly in the hip-hop world, because we're always pushing the envelope," the exec said.
"They told us what their concerns were, and, in our desire to achieve maximum exposure, we made those accommodations," said Universal Records promotions honcho Steve Leeds.
The song by an artist called Afroman, appears on his new album from Universal Records The Good Times, and the soundtrack to the new Kevin Smith movie, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.
"I messed up my entire life because I got high/ I lost my kids and wife because I got high/now I'm sleeping on the sidewalk/and I know why — 'cause I got high," riffs the artist.
The chart-climbing tune has been circulating for months and has gotten heavy air-play on radio stations around the U.S.