Asher Roth

2017 June 16
by PULP

Proudly suburban born Asher Roth has released his debut album Asleep in the Bread Aisle to an audience of bewildered hip hop fans. In the light of which, his single ‘I Love College’ has altered our view of the “white-rapper” from baggy pants, limp-a-lot gangstars, to a 21 year old bloke with a preference and, quite clearly, a lot of talent for hip hop. The tone of the album could not be further from the type of hip hop we are so used to hearing, his sound has been described as “far from threatening”, a critique I am sure every hip hop star dreams of hearing in regard to their music at some point in their career.

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Aside from his middle class lyrics, his determination to stand apart from his “white-rapper” predecessors who have set the bar for Roth’s chart domination, has been clear from the start as he constantly emphasises the differences between himself and Eminem. The trouble being of course that the fact that they are both American “white-rappers”, and sound astoundingly similar; remember the first time you heard ‘I Love College’? Did anybody else think, as I did, ‘Ooh is this a track discovered from the deep dark depths of Eminem’s back catalogue?’ However, when two and two are put together one often remembers that Eminem didn’t go to college, and this isn’t sarcastic enough to be a skit.

Part of the enjoyment of the album itself is that you constantly have an image of this rather twee boy rapping away, almost wanting to cringe as you do so. Yet it is necessary to keep in mind the fact that his lyrical skill is fantastic on a new, deliberately ironic but equally honest level that has opened up a new genre of hip hop to us, the masses of musicdom.

Dani Middleton