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Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy 4/20!

It's April 20th, a Monday. Yet Asher Roth decided to release his debut album today instead of tomorrow on the 21st, a Tuesday, when albums are typically released. If you've listened to any of Asher Roth's songs, it's obvious why he made this decision.

We've played a few Asher tracks on the show ("I Love College," "Lark on my Go-Kart," "As I Em,"...), so it's easy to think without hearing the rest of the album that he only raps about college, sex, weed, and parties, in what Decker refers to as "bro music." But after listening to the album, it's clear that Roth does have more to say that just what he loves about college. His track "His Dream," is reminiscent of a slowed-down Atmosphere track. It deals with family drama and the difficulties of fatherhood.

Kind of like Lil' Wayne's Tha Carter III, Roth's album plays around with many different hip-hop styles instead of sticking to one primary sound. Some tracks sound like pop rap (i.e. "I Love College), some sound liek they were produced by T-Pain or Akon (i.e. "She Don't Wanna Man), others sound like Murs track (i.e. "Bad Day"). On the one hand, I like his pop sensibilities and his unique, white-boy flow, but I wish he had executed a more conceptual style instead. My boy Garrett and I had discussed this the other day, this album could have been epic if it had been a concept album akin to The Street's A Grand Don't Come for Free. Imagine this: Asher begins with a track about the boredom of school, but then he sees a girl. Then he pre-games. He heads out with his friends and goes to a party. Maybe he sees this girl again. You get the point. If the album had had this sort of concept and continuity, it would be more enjoyable, kind of like watching Can't Hardly Wait, but in a college setting. Honestly, if any artist were to make the quintessential college hip-hop album, it'd be Asher Roth.

In general, these are good tracks, with a few really good singles. And clearly Asher Roth shows that he is more complex than anyone previously thought. Perhaps in the future, we can expect more development and an even more complex, unique sound.

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