“To say that Asher Roth doesn't fit the typical profile for an up-and-coming rapper is an understatement,” said Simon Vozick-Levinson in Entertainment Weekly. The 23-year-old “proud Pennsylvania suburbanite”—whose debut album Asleep in the Bread Aisle came out on Monday—not only attended university and studied elementary education, “he even named his breakout single ‘I Love College’!” (watch the video)
“I Love College” may have been “the soundtrack to a thousand '09 spring breaks,” said Allison Stewart in The Washington Post, “but it remains to be seen whether Roth's persona—Eminem as a frat boy, instead of a psychopath—will wear well.” Eminem has “mother issues” and murderous impulses, while “Roth’s only problem is an empty keg.”
But it’s refreshing that Asher Roth “doesn’t feel the need to ‘keep it real’ or bolster his résumé with tales of strife and turmoil,” said Brian Maxey in California State University's The Collegian. And “despite the ‘frat boy’ schtick,” he’s very “talented”: Roth weaves together “adroit lyrical rhyme schemes with comedic wordplay,” and songs he released online last year have already “sparked a cult-like following among the college-educated and slacker crowds.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
Subscribe to the Week