Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Asher Roth - The GreenHouse Effect, Vol. 1


Looks like Hip-Hop Week was derailed. I'm terribly sorry about the delay. Hopefully, I'll be back to regular posting in the coming days. Thankfully, with the help of a couple sources the music to be reviewed is still pretty fresh. The first example is one I'm really excited about. Asher Roth is not a household name...yet, but he will be soon enough. In the words of Asher Paul Roth's homepage here's what you need to know: "To answer your questions, yes I'm skinny, yes I rapped 150 bars to Jay-Z in his office on the spot, yes I have porn on my computer, yes Scooter Braun found me rapping in my dorm room and signed me off of myspace, yes I throw keg parties every Sunday, and yes Steve Rifkind (Wu-tang, Akon, David Banner, Big Pun, Loud Records, SRC, etc. etc.) calls me the 'best lyricist he has heard in the last 10 years.'" So, there you go. White, skinny, Jewish rapper from Pennsylvania. It all makes sense now, right? Probably not. You may be thinking this is just the next commercial white rapper to cash in on the coattails of Eminem. While their voices are similar, Roth's voice is less gruff and his flow is more laid back and less in your face. Another huge difference is the lyrical content. Eminem caused huge amounts of controversy for his slurs against gays and awful things he'd say about his ex-wife. Roth (thankfully) doesn't have that pent up rage, most likely because he's from the suburbs of Philly and not the rough streets of Detroit. Roth likes to focus on pop culture, boobs/hot girls/sex, and weed. How can anyone get upset with those hobbies?

I'm not typically a fan of the hip-hop mixtape fad mainly because there is almost always a DJ shouting over the song every 10 seconds so you can't actually listen to the song. I understand the appeal of a mixtape though. A rapper gets to rhyme over the hottest beats that are out right then and there. It's fresh, it creates hype for a forthcoming release, and it's a great marketing tool. Also, there are usually a ton of tracks that are essentially half-baked thoughts/ideas and it's not thought of as a real album so there's not a ton of cohesion between the tracks. Thankfully, Asher Roth's The GreenHouse Effect, Vol. 1 kind of breaks this mold. Yes there are a lot of tracks, yes some tracks have the DJ announcing on top of the track so you can't hear the track. But after listening to the mixtape multiple times, I'd say I'm hooked. The mixtape starts off well enough but really gets better as the tracks flip over. One of the best things about a mixtape is hearing an "obscure" beat and a totally different approach to rhyming on top of it. For example, Clipse had a hit with "Mr. Me Too". Asher takes that beat and almost makes it his own. Overall, this mixtape is one of the best I've listened to. All the hype surrounding Asher Roth is the real deal. God willing he'll have some really great producers making hot beats for his debut release because his skills deserve to be showcased in the best possible way. I'm sure he could still make a mediocre beat work with his flow. Until the album drops, peep this ("MOM" WARNING - EXPLICIT CONTENT):

"Morning Do"

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