Asher Roth to release album and single in April
“The boy has some gargantuan talent. Not only is he one of the most gifted lyricists to emerge in a long time, he just has something special… I think it'll be a massive year for him.” - NME
New US hip-hop sensation, Asher Roth, whose “I Love College” is flying high on the US iTunes chart (no.12) and who is being tipped for huge things this year by hip hop royalty Kanye West, Ludacris and Andre 3000, has his debut SRC /Universal single, “I Love College” and his eagerly awaited debut album “Asleep In The Bread Aisle” simultaneously released on April 20th.
This 22 suburban kid first came to attention last year when his mixtape The Greenhouse Effect aka The Greatest Mixtape Ever, became one of the most downloaded and buzzed about mixtapes of the year. Asher Roth quickly emerged as a breath of fresh air: a hip-hop anomaly grounded enough to take pride in his suburban roots but confident and talented enough to have already earned the respect of rap giants such as 50 Cent, Ludacris, Akon, and Andre 3000. Roth doesn’t talk about life on the streets but he will give astute and singular observations on everything from politics to partying. Here is a genuine student of hip-hop; an artist deftly able to weave complex rhymes and laugh out loud couplets.
How exactly does a college Elementary Education major at West Chester University become a future hip-hop heavyweight? Growing up in Morrisville, PA, Roth’s family was more likely to bump classic rock, 70s soul and 80s pop over rap. “When it came to hip-hop, I was always on the outside looking in,” says Roth. “I remember hearing Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life” on my friend’s radio and the way they flipped an Annie sample into a hip-hop anthem. I was like, ‘This is for everybody.’ I couldn’t rap about the drugs that I had or the guns that I sold, but I could rap about how much fun I was having hanging out with my friends. That’s the stuff that felt right to me.”
As a teenager, the budding emcee would make tapes in his friend’s basement (“On a $10 mic,” he says, laughing), eventually selling an album to hundreds of students at his high school in a few days. When the rapper posted a few freestyle tracks on Myspace, it was admittedly just for fun.
But on a whim, Roth’s friend sent a Friend Request to former So So Def marketing director Scooter Braun, who was so impressed by the young emcee that he flew him down to his Atlanta residence and quickly signed him as the first artist on Braun’s new record label. Fast forward a few and Roth and Braun, after an intense label bidding war, signed to a joint venture with Steve Rifkind’s SRC label in late 2007. “I started that Myspace page just for the f**k of it,” Roth recently told one magazine. “I never intended to get a deal. It was just for fun.”
Since then, 2008 has proven to be a watershed year for Asher Roth, who released his first mixtape, the DJ Drama and Don Cannon co-signed The Greenhouse Effect (the first Gangsta Grillz tape to feature a white emcee) and performed at a series of sold-out shows ranging from intimate sets to raucous, showstopping performances. Forget skin color. Forget the suburbs. It’s the quality of Roth’s live shows that really separates him from his peers. Whether it’s taking on and selling out a packed-to-the-gills SOBs in New York or rhyming to 9,000 students at the University of Colorado and breaking a university attendance record, Roth is injecting what’s been missing in hip-hop for a long time: fun. “My vision is to put on the dopest live show possible,” says Roth. “Let’s make it like Woodstock. Let’s have people doing hard drugs rolling around in the mud.” To this end, Roth employs a full band to accurately convey and expand on his ever-growing catalog. This combination of excitement, intensity and talent has already led the emcee to be featured in Yellow Rat Bastard, URB, Vibe, The Source, Allhiphop.com and numerous other outlets, including the cover of XXL’s 2008 Decemeber issue. (only other white MC to achieve this was Eminem)