I was on my way home the other day from eating free school fundraiser pizza at my parents’ house (sometimes I do shit like that), and they got to talking about Asher Roth on Shade 45.
Normally, I can’t stand Shade 45, but I’ve been forcing myself to listen to it a lot more, on the outside chance that my name is mentioned. I remember I was riding somewhere with my little brother back in like ’06 and Bun B started talking about me. And of course there was last week’s incident with Ashley Logan. Who knows how many other times I’ve been mentioned on Sirius.
With technology like Twitter, cell phones and what have you, I’m pretty confident that, if I did all of a sudden become the topic of discussion on, say, Kay Slay’s program on Shade 45, I could fire up my laptop or run out to my car and catch it. But last week I made the mistake of shutting off both my laptop and my cell while I was meeting with a guy about buying a house. I see I might have to start keeping my shit on me at all times, like a surgeon, or Ari from Entourage. That, or I could hire a tiny chinaman to follow me around and check my Twitter. Nullus.
The topic of discussion on Shade 45 the other day was Asher Roth. They got to talking about how he’s got an album coming out 4/20, which is a Monday rather than a Tuesday, for all of you pot smokers, and how he’s got a song out complaining about how he gets compared to Eminem. Then they played the first verse of “As I Em,” even though the full version had already hit the Internets by that time Friday.
I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t pull over to the side of the road and take notes or anything, and I don’t remember a whole lot about “As I Em.” I did receive my special critics copy of Asleep in the Bread Aisle this morning, and I’m probably gonna have a look this afternoon, but management likes to have these posts up by 2 pm. Never mind what’s going on in the news cycle. You guys are lucky I don’t make the topic of each post some asinined question. By the way, do any of you guys remember that group Naughty by Nature? So this post isn’t gonna be about the song per se.
A few things that occurred to me listening to “As I Em” the other day on Sirius:
1) Never let it be said that the TIs aren’t riding for their nephew. Every time I turn on Shade 45, they’re talking about Asher Roth. Are the people who listen to Shade 45 even feeling his music like that? I know the station is named after Eminem, but from what I understand, he’s only been on there like twice in the past five years. It seems like more often than not they’re playing Fiddy Cent and other garbage along those lines.
2) This was obviously a savvy move by Asher Roth. If he didn’t want to be compared to Eminem, why would he put a song with Em’s name in the title on his debut album. You’d think he’d be better off just making sure his shit doesn’t sound that much like Eminem. Instead, this is only gonna lead to more people comparing him to Eminem, which will lead to even more free publicity for Asher Roth and hence even more money in Asher Roth’s pocket. Which I’m sure was the real goal here in the first place.
3) Speaking of Naughty by Nature, does anyone else here remember the days when Eminem would dis a white rapper just for having the sheer balls to be white. I’m pretty sure at least half of the white rappers he dissed back in the late ’90s-early ’00s never so much as mentioned Eminem’s name in a song, let alone named a song after him. Eminem just went after them to set himself apart from the rest of them, like that one white guy in a black gang who does something especially crazy just to prove his stripes.
4) Which begs the question: Isn’t it kinda incumbent upon Eminem at this point to mention Asher Roth in a song? It was one thing back when all Asher Roth had done was borrow Eminem’s whole style and steal the thunder of what was supposed to be his big comeback season. But now he’s got a song about Eminem on his album. Like I said, I wasn’t taking notes during “As I Em,” but I don’t recall the tone of it being nearly as deferential as it should have been. That alone would have been construed as shots fired, if this was 1999.
Eminem might be playing himself by letting this shit slide. I’m sure – like most grown people – he could care less about Asher Roth. But that’s the thing: If Eminem doesn’t care anymore, then why should I? It used to be that Eminem was something of an underdog in hip-hop. He had to take random shots at Cage just to appease the black community. His main source of conflict had to do with him being a white rapper, and trying to prove himself in a black culture and so on and so forth. What’s his main source of conflict at this point, the fact that his heart is messed up from doing too much coke? He might need to pick a fight with somebody just to have something to talk about.