Monday, September 15, 2008

Music: Asher Roth - Lyrically Edowed Pigment Impared MC

About a month ago I downloaded this song on a whim of off I was nominally interested in the fact that there was another "Roth" MC, but after listening to "I Love College" I found my self unable to get this kid's voice out of my head. On the advice of legendary hip-hop aficionado and long time friend of CB&M, Evan Dorfman I got Asher's recently released mixtape hosted by PA heavy weights DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon "The Greenhouse Effect." I listened to the mixtape straight for about a week and I still can't get enough of it.

Asher Roth's music is a culmination of a lot of trends that have been evolving in hip-hop recently. With the rise of Eminem in the 90s the white kids in the suburbs who now make up most of the industry's consumer base finally felt they had a champion who they could aspire to be. Slim Shady's clear mid-western accent made his complex cadence easier for suburban kids to understand the kind of solid Biggie influenced story telling mixed with punch line rap that was furthered later by Chicago MCs Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco. Enter the beer pong playing, cardigan wearing, new white hope Asher Roth whose voice and cadence make him a dead ringer for Slim.

Asher was signed literally out of his dorm room by Steve Rifking, after Jay-Z passed on him for Pittsburgh Slim (a point Asher is not quick to let go). The Greenhouse mixtape is the best lyrical showings from any new MC that I've heard since the Farenheit 1/15 Mixtape by Lupe. His choice of beats also suits him well. He absolutely murders the Rock Boys beat as well as flipping the Cannon beat into what we can call his senior thesis on punch line rap. It will be interesting to see how the community reacts to the self proclaimed "king of the burbs." He has the potential to become a great unifying force or just another device white boy trying to rhyme at the back of a house party.

Whatever happens in a year that seems to be all about change, Asher will certainly force the hip-hop community to do some soul searching and determine which values we care to continue to up hold. Regardless I'm thinking we make a "Roth Boys" Mixtape together but I got to find the cat first... damn - guess I'm next up -

Stacks Rothstein