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Asher Roth: Asleep in the Bread Aisle

Asher Roth
Asleep in the Bread Aisle
(SCHOOL BOY/SRC/UNIVERSAL MOTOWN)

While being a Caucasian in hip-hop is nothing new, there has always been an air of doubt surrounding MCs of a lighter shade. So, on his debut, Asleep in the Bread Aisle, the unassuming Asher Roth looks to stake his claim and plant his flag as a bona fide rap star.

Lovers of lyrics should look no further than the album’s first selection, “Lark on My Go-Kart.” Over a steady yet commanding drumroll, Asher drops free-associative rhyme patterns like, “Mario Kart skills are outrageous/Play me any day, and I’ll be the best racist/Wait, no, erase it, meant to say racer.” The Busta Rhymes–assisted “Lion’s Roar” is more proof of Roth’s verbal dexterity, and while the Dungeon Dragon surely steals the show, the rap rookie holds his own with a double-time flow over the drum-and-bass-inspired track. Naturally, the fun-loving “I Love College” sets the Morrisville, Pennsylvania, native up for one-hit-wonder quips, but he quickly silences haters with the Don Cannon–produced “La Di Da” and the party-starting “She Don’t Wanna Man,” featuring Keri Hilson.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle that Roth must overcome before he is fully accepted is the comparisons to another great White hope, Eminem. The young’n confronts the elephant in the room when he contends, “’Cause we have the same complexion and similar voice inflections/It’s easy to see the pieces and to reach for that connection,” on the tongue-in-cheek “As I Em.” Then Asher begins to really set himself apart, celebrating his own nuclear family and wholesome upbringing on the acoustic “Fallin’” and “His Dream,” a touching ode to his father’s parental sacrifices.

Asleep in the Bread Aisle is by no means perfect—the politically fueled “Sour Patch Kids” is a noble attempt, but it dampens the album’s lighthearted theme. And while amusing, the story-driven “Bad Day” begins to wear thin after a few listens. Still, with his first shot, Asher more than proves his musical worth, crafting an album too good to sleep on. –ROB MARKMAN

  • Pierzy

    Wow…what a shock.

  • jburg

    Believe it or not, it was actually pretty damn good.

    • Pierzy

      I know we’ve had this discussion before but I couldn’t disagree more. Anyone talking about hanging out with Teddy Ruxpin should have his microphone taken away.

      • pg

        ummm eminem does on the new album so what are u saying, and lark on my go cart was him just jokin around so fuck you

      • Jebus H. Christ

        “Anyone talking about hanging out with Teddy Ruxpin should have his microphone taken away.”

        Lol!

  • JCITYHUSTLA617

    THAT RATING IS 2 HIGH….I WAS TRYIN 2 FORCE MYSELF INTO LIKING THIS ALBUM BUT IT JUST AINT MY CUP OF TEA AND IT HAS NOTHING 2 DO WITH THE FACT HE’S WHITE CUZ IN COPPIN THAT EMINEM, ASHER JUST SUXXXX IMO

    • JCITYHUSTLA617

      IM NOT IN LOL HAD 2 CLARIFY THAT BEFORE SOME HIPHOP HEAD DOUBLING AS AN ENGLISH MAJOR COMES AND CORRECTS MY MISTAKE LOL YALL NEED 2 STOP BEING SO CRITICAL

  • jburg

    Come on P!! Give dude a break!! You wanna hear bull shit like soulja boy talk about ferraris and shit that he don’t really have? It was meant to be funny. I think you are an Asher fan, you just don’t wanna admit it!! Ha ha ha. Have you listened to it?

    • Pierzy

      Fuck no, I don’t like Asher OR Soulja…it’s not an either/or thing.

      I always said that I would never criticize an album w/o listening to it. I listened to it start to finish twice and thought it was awful. Dude can flow but that’s it…

      “Lovers of lyrics should look no further than the album’s first selection, “Lark on My Go-Kart.””

      Actually, I’m a lover of lyrics so I’ll go back to ’86 and listen to Rakim.

  • jburg

    i admit its not the best and he is not great but his album is better than alot of shit out. thats just me. I think it was different that everything else. I guess that is why i liked it. wasn’t about rims, cars, and money. I guess i just appreciate the effort to be different.

    • JCITYHUSTLA617

      ITS NOT BETTER THAN PADDED ROOM

  • Mad Naggins Inc

    asher is a new breath of fresh air and im happy that his album got a XL for sure! every track is better than EM’s new CD! im just waiting on a COLABO from both of them and its gonna cause great HYPE just like when nas and J rapped together in black republican! im diggin ashers style and im turning out to be a BIG fan of his straitUP!!! THIS HOME SLICE IS HOT!!!!!!!

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

    Rating is right. Shit was ill.

  • http://K1ngEljay.com King Eljay

    This was spot on. I did like Sour Patch Kids though. I like the whole album…

  • gman

    lol who is teddy ruxpin?

    • Pierzy
    • Pierzy

      From wikipedia:

      Teddy Ruxpin is an animatronic talking bear which was created by Ken Forsse with later assistance by Larry Larsen and John Davies. He was first produced in 1985 by toy manufacturer Worlds of Wonder. Teddy would move his mouth and eyes as he read stories via a standard audio tape deck built into his back. There was also a companion toy named Grubby which connected to Teddy via a cable; this allowed the two some (minimal) interaction. As well, there were several other non-animatronic companion toys and characters such as the bird-like Fobs, a hand puppet with a sock-like, extendable neck, the larger Wooly Whatsit hand puppet, a Tweeg puppet, and an L.B. Bounder puppet.

  • http://pimpinpens.blogspot.com enzo

    teddy ruxpin knicca! you better recognize. peep game official

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kc2HvjO8z4

  • mario

    shout to Jburg man Fuck all this hating
    Asleep in the Bread aisle is one of the best albums i’ve heard in a while i ‘ve been bumping it continuously front to back
    He’s real he talks about real shit i can relate to not Bentleys and Mansions i’ve never seen. i give him huge props and can’t wait for his Sophmore Disc.

    • Heartbeat of 617

      @ Mario:
      If this is the best CD you’ve heard in a while I want to know what you’ve been listening to. Aside from Jeezy’s Recession and Scarface’s Emeritus, you’ve got Kiss and Slim Thug’s CDs in the last month and a half. This CD was garbage. He gives a bad name to all the white MCs out there who can actually rhyme. Just gonna throw out a few names, Brother Ali, Atmosphere (Tho I ain’t actually a fan I can respect them), Aesop Rock and Paul Wall. This white boy has nothing lyrically, and is just riding Yoel’s coat tails. If for some reason he can start to come up with original and creative rhymes, I’ll buy it. I ain’t hating to hate, I am hating because it’s giving white MCs a bad name

  • Dub Sac

    “Lark” has a nice beat, but really doesn’t do anything or go anywhere. Clever plays on words and free-association doesn’t really constitute lyrics. But XXL hyped Lil Wayne, and he essentially does the same thing, so at least it’s consistent.

    “College” is just lazy attempts at saying things everybody can agree with. “Hey, I love drinking and smoking weed, too. This song is awesome!”

    Haven’t listened to anything else. Don’t feel the need to. And I don’t think it’s unfair to forgo exploring something that’s not interesting to me. I listened to Carter III three times “just to be fair” and still hate most of it. Shit, I don’t have time to listen to music I do like.

  • What the ?

    Holly shit sandwitch, I figured the way XXL mag was riding Ashy’s dick he would have got a XXXL rating for the first time ever. Three thumbs down on a tripod.

  • http://www.myspace.com/fastlifearchitects miles archer

    LOL at Pierzy copy and paste’n Teddy Ruxpin’s bio from Wikipedia.

    Ya on a mission, homie…

    I don’t even wanna listen to this album so I’ll reserve comment on whether or not it’s good.
    The joints I’ve heard leaked off it were unimpressive to me.

    Is it just me, or does it feel like the good folks at XXL are trying REALLY HARD to get us to like this shit?

    I know ya’ll tried to crown him early and ya’ll wanna look like you got it right, but, damn… stop forcing this shit down our throats(pause).

    Do ya’ll got points on the album?

  • X

    Why does XXL overrate bad albums from mediocre artists? It’s cool, most will fade into obscurity no matter how hard XXL rides for them.

    • mike

      alot of people in the industry would disagree wit you im will to bet this kid will still be around once this fake gansta rap shit dies off so we can get back to real hip hop where it dont matter what your saying it how you say it

  • Jriggs

    I would give the album an “L” at best. He does have skill, but needs to refine that. His outlet was the college crowd. However, that is also his downfall. Look at hip hop from an overall perspective and not just from the college standpoint. The college marketing scheme was that great because most college students download almost everything and won’t spend a dime. Therefore, you have a estimate of 88k or more for his first album. He needs to expand his topics. Keep it hip hop, but expand them. “Lark On My Go Kart”, “As I Em”, “Bad Day”, and “His Dreams” were pretty good though. Everything else was passable. That I Love College song was pretty bland.

  • avenger xl

    XXL is to mainstream what fox news is to conservatives. And Pierzy I liked Lark on my go Kart sorry. Now the rest of this disc or mp3 file as the case may be is meh.

  • johnmalloy

    This album is dope as fuck. Fuck all the haters. This isn’t the best album of course, but is sure an XL. Sick beats, sick rhymes, what more could you ask for. I got you Ash!

  • http://colby-sempek.com Ghost

    And “Born Like This” gets an L? Et tu XXL?

  • Ya Boy

    Im surprised XXL didnt give him a XXL rating. Still waay too high. The album is garbage. L at the most(even thats being kind)

  • pg

    this is a good album fuck the haters. great review. listen to as i em and fallin if u doubt him

  • Joe

    What? Sour patch kids was a dope track…

  • bens_side84

    I actually like the cd when i gave it a chance and actually listened to the lyrics and the old school beats that was thrown on the the album 3 stars not 4

  • xxl getting paid

    ha, every damn album thats advertised on this mag gets an xl at least

  • King John

    This get’s an XL and Ultimate Victory only got an L? I mean Roth is nice,but this isn’t really a good album. He needs to diversify his topics, just like other rappers get criticized for only rapping about money, cars, and clothes, He needs to talk about other shit besides getting high and drunk.

  • Azans

    I agree with many of the pros and cons. I think his flow and lyrics are both above average. The songs on the disk are all around average. But, his lyrical skills are way better than Lil Wayne. I respect Asher Roth because he raps about what he knows.

    On the comparison of Asher and Wayne, Lil Wayne always has one good rhyme on a track, whereas Asher Roth transfers from line to line making sense and continuing the rhyme. I would give Asher’s album 3 1/2 stars. Not quite a classic, but he has great lyrical skills.

    Overall, what separates Asher Roth from other rappers in the game is his ability to rap about his lifestyle (similar to many white people) but keep pop culture references linking up and making sense throughout the entire song, rather than throwing one in for comedy’s sake.

  • She don’t wanna buy this album.

    The only genuine hits on this album are

    La Di Da

    As I Em

    Fallin’

    and that’s where it ends. And his lyrics in As I Em are shockingly opportunistic. tbh, not even that many people cared about comparing him to Eminem until they heard this track. Great self promotion by latching on to his name and acting tormented about being compared to Eminem. He rips off Em’s modus operandi and then begs us not to talk about Em? Em usually VERY briefly acts out in the background of his tracks scenes which he raps about. For instance tracks like ‘kids’ and ‘Who knew’and many others .. like in ‘Who Knew’ where he says “you want me to fix up lyrics when the president gets his d**k sucked” and you can instantly hear sounds of a BJ in the background. Asher copies that effect in his tracks too. So Asher, Noone is comparing you, you egotistical fa**ot. Get over yourself.

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  • Mandude

    I liked this album. Asher is not going to be the next big rapper but at least he’s diferrent from the rest of the rappers

  • PierreDeLeche

    When I first heard “I Love College” I thought he would just be another rapper that came and went. But after buying and listening to the entire album, I believe Asher has a future. Im expecting a few more albums.

  • RD

    in my opinion its one of the most original albums ive heard the beats are pretty well done as well but it dissapoints me in the lyrical department