In anticipation of the release of his debut album Asleep In The Bread Aisle, Asher Roth held a listening party at a packed Clinton Recording Studios in New York last night (March 25), where he took some time to speak to XXLMag.com about his highly anticipated disc and his recent MTV Spring Break performance.
Holding his own alongside Lil Wayne and Jim Jones on MTV’s Panama City Beach stage, the XXL Freshman, said of the show, “The crowd absolutely responded well, man. It was funny ‘cause when Jim Jones was on, I was sitting on the side of the stage, giving out my homey’s phone number to all the girls in the crowd and he got so many text messages that night. That’s a glorious memory.”
In rocking the crowd with a hit single named “I Love College,” even Asher wasn’t surprised that his performance went over successfully. “The demographic that I attacked with my music was collegiate—it was college kids,” he pointed out.
However, the rapper moved to dispel the notion that his music was solely for the keg-stand-chugging kids seen in his debut single’s video. “There’s so much more to Asleep In The Bread Aisle,” he said. “Is it frat boy rap? I don’t know what that is. Frat boy rappers to me sound like a bunch of kids in a house rapping. Was I in a frat? No. Was I a kid at a party just hanging out rapping with my friends inspired by hip-hop? Absolutely.”
Roth also made sure to distance himself from another label that he’s been struggling to shake — that of the “Eminem clone.” During the listening party, the crowd of around 200 was treated to the rousing album cut “As I Em,” where Roth raps candidly, “It’s impossible rejecting an elephant in the room.” Thanking Mr. Mathers for opening the door for white rappers, Roth also uses the four-minute track to highlight very obvious differences between the two, notably their backgrounds. Roth’s upbringing makes for an intriguing listen in the poignant “His Dream, ” a song in which he laments his father’s sacrifice—“the hardest part was giving up his dream for his kids’.”
“It’s gonna be interesting to see when people get past the fucking Eminem comparisons, and when they get past ‘the Jay-Z story’ and start to learn who Asher Roth is like a human,” he shared. “I think that my music is gonna relate to people much more on an emotional and humanistic level and just experiences and feelings with their lives than it’s going to as far as ‘I look like this kid or I’m the same color or whatever.’”
Featuring cameos from Keri Hilson, Cee-Lo, Busta Rhymes, Jazze Pha and Chester French, Asleep In The Bread Aisle flies into stores on April 21. – Devin Chanda