Archive for April, 2009

Does Asher Roth Actually Smoke Weed? A Flycliches Investigative Report

April 29, 2009
 

There was a Hardy Boy mystery...

There was a Hardy Boy mystery...

Let’s face it, Asher Roth is pretty mysterious; there are a lot of unanswered questions about this dude.  Is he going to save rap music from all these washed-up gangster rappers?  Is he paying Eskay to do journalism for him?  Is he Little Nemo‘s long lost twin (Li’l Nemo)?  If anything is certain though, it seems to be Roth’s love for two things: college and marijuana.

But even this seems to be getting called into question lately.  Recent interviews have revealed that Roth dropped out of college after two years–maybe he didn’t love it so much as he just kind of liked it.  With this in mind, one has to wonder whether his ringing endorsement of smoking weed is sincere too.  Could he only be advocating smoking marijuana while operating a motor vehicle so that we’ll think he’s cool?  After all, would a real stoner have dropped his album on 4/20?  He probably would have forgotten about it until a week later.  And let’s face it, that whole gimmick seems less and less like genius marketing as the sales figures have started to come in.  And come on, I could have told you that.  The weed-heads I know are pretty serious about a few things–weed, mainly, but also bongs and sometimes even spliffs–but paying for new music isn’t one of them.  So far my emails to Roth’s management have not been answered, but I continue to pursue a course of vigilance on the internet for any news which might shed light on the case.  And I’d like to assure all my readers that until I get a straight answer from the man, I’m suspending all Asher Roth related content on Fly Cliches.  The people deserve nothing less.

Asher Roth Latepass

April 26, 2009

So it turns out my finger isn’t as close to the pulse as I would have thought and I haven’t even listened to the Asher Roth album yet… The fact is that on 4/20 I was not “loving college” as they call it these days, but rather barricaded in the library writing about Euripides. These are things that happen.
Anyways, it turns out that when he’s not drinking beer and eating pizza or doing his best Don Imus impersonation (and thus causing hilarity all over the internet*), Asher Roth does some rapping.  I thought it might be an interesting exercise to review his album, live on this blog, and not make a single reference to his fairly atrocious interviews, or the controversy surrounding his place in the rap world (all of which has been covered as extensively as I care to follow it here and here and a few other places too), or anything that is not on the album.  In other words, it will be just me and the music.  Will I relate to Roth because of my deep connection to his way of life, or will the whole thing just be kind of dull?  Will I sit, glued to my speakers, hooked on every word, or will I give up the whole exercise after twenty minutes?  Only one way to find out.

Lark on My Go-Kart

This sounds kind of like most white-guy underground rap only with more conspicuous references to blunts, blumpkins, and hot moms.  I guess Roth’s flow is pretty nice, more or less, but not enough to carry this song, and there is really nothing of interest in the lyrics.

Blunt Cruisin’

You know when a lot of rappers make songs about weed and they use half-clever metaphors, never actually referring to weed by name?  None of that for Roth, this is just a guy talking about smoking weed in his car.  I can’t think of anything else that has happened in this song except for the time one guy almost dropped the weed.

I Love College

Now without blatant Weezer sampling.  I am at college, but I’m even sure I love it as much as Roth, who dropped out.  The chant at the end goes “Do something crazy?” which is pretty telling of the lack of specificity all over this song and the album.

La Di Da

I half-expected Cannon to phone in this beat, but it’s actually kind of nice.  Not one of his best beats but pretty tight by most standards.  The guitar solo at the end blows though.  Roth is talking about struggling I think.  Is that like “the struggle,” cause I think Talib Kweli has a song about that too?

Be By Myself (ft. Cee-Lo)

I was originally kind of outraged that this dude pulled a guest appearance from Cee-Lo, but at this point I think they deserve each other.  This whole album kind of sounds like that Gnarls Barkley record actually.

She Don’t Wanna Man

I can’t believe I’m not even halfway done with this shit right now.  I don’t think I’ve heard a memorable lyric yet.  You’ll notice I haven’t said anything about this song; that’s because I couldn’t think of anything.

Sour Patch Kids

This song is all about being a revolutionary.  Asher: “I pose a threat to those who get too close for comfort and won’t conform.”  Not sure that’s what you meant to say, brah.

As I Em

Ironically (?) this is the most Eminem-like of his songs, and I mean that in mostly a good way.

Lion’s Roar (ft. New Kingdom and Busta Rhymes)

Holy shit, Busta Rhymes is on this.  I didn’t notice it on the tracklist, and the surprise of hearing someone who can rap is pretty nice.  Busta sounds pretty good on this for what it’s worth.

Bad Day (ft. Jazze Pha)

“And it just keeps going.”  You’re telling me, brah.  Did Jazze Pha actually produce this, or is he just singing on it.  If it’s the latter, I think Roth may have gotten played.  Ditto if it’s the former.

His Dream

I think the function of this guy is to make me reconsider all the prejudices I’ve had against people who’s taste in rap I disagree with.  The idea that anybody is “an Asher Roth fan” makes people who just listen the Roots and Native Tongues seem totally okay.

Fallin’

Listening to this album, I think I can understand what it’s like for people who don’t like rap to listen to, say, a Jadakiss album.  Jada has punchlines though.

Perfectionist (ft. Beanie Sigel and Rock City)

Is Beanie that hard up for cash?  And furthermore, did Asher Roth even know who he is?  The best thing about this song is Sigel, and the second best is that it’s the last song on the album.

In conclusion

Much as I dislike the guy, I’m gonna have to say that Asher Roth is not a threat.  I can’t really imagine anything besides the singles on this album getting much play, it’s all too bland.  If I had to guess, I’d say this guy is done within a year or two.  Maybe he can go Hollywood with Kid Cudi?

 

 

*Just what is a “fuck-boy” anyway, and when did a journalist become something people pretended NOT to be?

Liquor Store Mascot

April 24, 2009

Real talk all over this tape.  Maybe not as good as “Goodbye America” (what is though?) but it’s still too early to tell for sure.  More soon after I get a few more chances to listen to it.

(Download on Nahright)

New Content Coming Soon

April 18, 2009

In a few days, I will emerge phoenix-like from the ashes of my comprehensive examinations and post some bloggish stuff here like a liveblog of the new Asher Roth album (assuming I can find somewhere to download it).  I’m hoping to do occasional writing here until the school year ends and start writing more frequently after finals, so stay tuned.