October 30, 2008 @ 5:49 pm

Asher Roth

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Straight out of the ’burbs

“THE FIRST CD I EVER BOUGHT was Dave Matthews Band’s 'Crash,'” Asher Roth says unabashedly, bounding out of an Atlanta IHOP. “That is how suburban I am.”

He’s buoyant after a short stack of flapjacks. “I finally got into hip hop in ’98 when I heard [‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’], the Annie sample with Jay-Z.”

It’s hardly shocking news. Asher (his real name), 23, was born and raised in Morrisville, Pa., a small town littered with “strollers, trees, and lawn mowers.” Which is exactly what the pale-faced MC is selling: middle-class minutiae.

“Kids from the ’burbs have been inspired and influenced by hip hop for years,” says Roth, recently inked to Steve Rifkind’s Universal imprint, SRC. “When I wrote my ‘A Millie’ freestyle, that was me listening to 10 years of hip hop and not relating to it at all. Like, Damn I don’t sell coke. Damn, I don’t have cars or 25-inch rims. I don’t have guns.  I finally got to a point where I had the confidence to do this thing myself, and I was making music for me. And it turns out, a lot of people feel the same way I do.”

Effect, co-hosted by Pennsylvania acquaintances Don Cannon and DJ Drama, rattles with remakes of songs by Jay-Z (“Roth BOYS”), Shawty Lo (“Dey Know”), and Tony Yayo (“Humansirkme”), the MC’s first leaked original song, the

Weezer-sampling “I Love College,” is far from threatening. A typical lyric: “I can get pizza a dollar a slice.”

Vocally, Roth sports a pinched whine that unmistakably recalls a certain rapper who laid the pavement for him. But comparisons to Eminem hardly bother him.

“If you grew up listening to hip hop and you’re in your mid-20s, you’d be lying if you said Em was not influential and not an inspiration,” he says, clearly prepared to address the subject. “I’m not exactly pissed off that they’re comparing me to the No. 1 rap artist of all time.”

Article tags: Asher RothEminemJay-Z 

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Comments

1.

Music11 says:

Hey be sure to watch Asher Roth performance on Last Call tonight at 1:30 am on NBC!!! Should be great!!

2.

skatebling says:

dl his mixtape the greenhouse effect

3.

skatebling says:

dl his mixtape the greenhouse effect

4.

balaramesh says:

asher is nice. at times, he sounds too much like em. if anything, it's cool that he is comfortable within his own skin unlike most rappers that create facades.

5.

JRECORDS_AnR says:

Hey Im looking for that POP/RNB group there name is
"CITY BOI & JASE" ! Vibe Editor Ben Detrick said there article was up..? Im looking to sign them to JRECORDS.>! I cant contact them I hit them on there myspace.! PLease help me find them NOV is coming and my job is at Stake I need to sign a big act and they are big...2 million youtube hits unsigned help me contact them

www.myspace.com/cityboiandjase

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