Vanilla Ice and Eminem may have paved the way for white MCs, but they did little to show that hip-hop could be about suburban lifestyle and over-privileged young men.
Enter Asher Roth, whose college-endorsing single, “I Love College,” albeit annoying, may be one of the year’s best tracks.
On his Universal Records debut album “Asleep In The Bread Aisle,” Roth never claims to be the next Slim Shady. In fact, he proves that he isn’t even close to being that. Roth instead focuses on something that most rappers and artists fail to do, creating something different and completely honest.
“Blunt Crusin’,” paints the picture of suburban kids driving around their neighborhood in a “Ford Taurus,” smoking marijuana and being complete morons, which is juvenile, yet entirely believable.
“I Love College,” Asher’s hit single, personifies a typical college party anthem. The song highlights the greater or lesser parts of the college party scene with Asher confidently proclaiming, “I am champion at beer pong, Allen Iverson, Hakeem Olajuwon,” over the chord progression of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So.”
Roth acknowledges his Mr. Mathers influence on his music in his ode to Eminem, “As I Em (feat. Chester French).” The song finds Asher fluently proclaiming, “Em was great, yeah he paved the way for me. He was inspiration for everybody from A to Z .”
In “His Dream” Roth breaks the mold of rappers lambasting their parents, showing his love and respect for his parents by acknowledging all of the sacrifices his father made for him growing up with the line, “. never miss an event, helping them with homework, discipline to prevent things when they’re older .”
The real Slim Shady can sit down because Asher Roth isn’t trying to replace him. Rather, the Pennsylvania born rapper is trying to offer a more intelligent form of hip hop, something to which the educated and non-violent population can relate. After all, it is rare to find a rapper that endorses staying in college for the rest of their lives regardless of the conditions.
Staff writer Ian Mahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.