Most people immediately compare Asher Roth to rap vet Eminem, but the 23-year-old newcomer proves he’s more than just Marshall Mathers 2.0 on his debut CD.
On “Asleep In the Bread Aisle,” Roth does sound like Eminem at times – not lyrically, but vocally. But after giving the CD a full run, listeners will quickly drop the comparisons. He addresses the issue on “As I Em,” rapping, “That’s all I got, there’s nothing else for me to say/If I don’t confront the problem it will never go away.”
What Roth does best is tell stories: He delivers his thoughts on partying, politics and growing up in suburban Pennsylvania. Tracks like “His Dream,” the funk-soul “Be By Myself” featuring Cee-Lo and the Lupe Fiasco-sounding “Sour Patch Kids” serve as proof.
He reminisces about discovering hip-hop on the enjoyable “Fallin’,” spitting lyrics like: “And even though I couldn’t relate/I kept listening and stuffing my face.”
“Asleep In the Bread Aisle” is not perfect though. “Blunt Cruisin”‘ and the lead single, “I Love College,” are plain boring. The song channels Roth’s time at West Chester University, where he studied elementary education. Future teacher? Probably not. A future in rap? Probably so.
Check out this track: On “Fallin’,” the album’s closing track, Roth rhymes about falling in love with hip-hop and you’ll find yourself remembering when you first fell in love too.
“Asleep In the Bread Aisle”
Asher Roth (Universal Records)