asher-article-31One of the best things about Hip-Hop; is that it has something for everyone. If you want to listen to cocaine music, you can find it. If you’re looking for pimp anthems, it’s got that too.

For the car and jewelry fanatics, there are plenty of songs about 30-inch rims along with ice that is so cold, it would give good ole’ Saint Nicholas frostbite.

But what if you’re looking for a tune that’s not based off inner city living? A couple of years ago, odds are there would be no such song, however those days are now a thing of the past.

With the evolution of Hip-Hop also comes a new breed of MC who is able to fill his notebook without coarse subject matter, while still maintaining a high level of lyricism.

These songs are being filled up on hookah-smoking dorm rat’s iPODs, and one of them happens to belong to newcomer Asher Roth.

His song ‘I Love College’ has become one of the premiere themes for kids who have no problem wasting their book money on 24-packs (we’ve all been there).

Originally from Pennsylvania, the artist born Asher Paul Roth relocated to Atlanta where he eventually got an opportunity to rap for [then] president of Def Jam Jay-Z.

Even though Hov passed on the young MC, he soon found a home at SRC Records with Steve Rifkind, followed by his Greenhouse Effect Mixtape hosted by Don Cannon. [Click to read Don Cannon interview]

Only thing left now is his album debut slated for an April 20th release. What’s the name of it you ask? That’s easy, plainly titled Asleep In The Bread Aisle. [Click to read review] Sometimes less is more…


iHipHop.com: With so many other artists out there, how were you able to successfully create a buzz for yourself?

Asher Roth: I think by just being genuine and sincere in what I do… Just by believing in myself, but also just having fun man…

I wasn’t just trying to be a “rapper,” I was introducing something more than just music; I was introducing a personality, and a lifestyle. But the music was just the foundation of it—you know?

iHipHop.com: You’ve gotten a lot of positive press with people saying you’re an artist to watch, especially from being on XXL’s Freshmen 10 cover back in December. Do you feel as if any of that stuff puts more pressure on you?

Asher Roth: Nah, that’s just the press doing what they do man… All I can do is go out there and do my job, when you put pressure on yourself, it starts to manufacture the music, and it turns into a whole mental game…

Life is already a mental game, so I just try to stay focused on what I’m trying to accomplish… So whatever they want to say about me, they can say about me… If it’s positive, then it’s a good thing, and of course the negative helps as well… That helps to keep the balance…

iHipHop.com: On your Greenhouse Effect Mixtape, you cover Jay-Z’s ‘Roc Boys’ with ‘Roth Boys,’ and you have a line where you say; “Jay passed on me for Pittsburg Slim/but in the end I am kickin’ it with Steve Rifkind.” Did you feel any type of way when Jay didn’t sign you?

Asher Roth: That was probably the best thing to happen to me in essence because I did a lot of things after that… Later on down the line when [Pittsburg] Slim was signed, I started to see how Jay had viewed me… Whenever you rap for Jay and Jay being Jay—you just want him to give you a hug, shed a tear, and tell you that you’re the best thing that ever happened to Hip-Hop; you know what I mean? [Laughs]…

With that being the case, it didn’t mean anything at all because everything happens for a reason… I had a chance to rap for Jay and pay homage, to I don’t have a regret in the world…

asher-article-1iHipHop.com: I interviewed Don Cannon [Click to read Don Cannon interview] not too long ago, and he spoke highly of you. How did you two first hook up and start working together?

Asher Roth: He knows my homie Scooter Braun, and he used to DJ at his college parties and stuff… So when I moved down to Atlanta, [Don] Cannon was one of the first people I hooked up with and we were immediately homies…

Just talking sports, talking basketball, and bullsh*t—everything but music. Then we talked about music and a direction, and we were very much on the same page, so we combined our forces for something pretty special…

iHipHop.com: You have your first official project coming out, Asleep In The Bread Aisle. What are your feelings towards it? Are you nervous, anxious?

Asher Roth: None of that at all… I just want people to hear the music, and I’m just anxious in that sense… But I’m not all caught up in the numbers thing, maybe the label is nervous, if you talk to Scooter [Braun] or [Steve] Rifkind they might say they’re nervous or maybe not…

But I don’t get into the numbers thing, and my mind is set on longevity, and respect. I don’t need to have a HUGE single to be successful, because I try to be respected, so I can stick around for a little bit… And that to me is success…

iHipHop.com: Speaking of that, how did you get together with Steve Rifkind and SRC?

Asher Roth: I walked into the office when Steve [Rifkind] had Scooter [Braun] up there for a meeting with SRC, and he told me I had five minutes… So then I rapped for him, and he knew it wasn’t just your everyday stuff, and from there we’ve been moving ever since…

iHipHop.com: Do you think it will be hard to win over potential fans due to the fact of everybody being a rapper these days?

Asher Roth: I’m sure it will be because everybody is a rapper, and I already know what people are going to say. They’re going to say that this isn’t Hip-Hop enough, or alternative enough, and I’m well aware of that. But there’s something infectious about the music, and it just makes it so sincere that people want to hear it…

Hopefully people just listen to it with an open mind, and they won’t listen to it as competition, they’ll just listen to it as good music…

asher-article-2iHipHop.com: Does it ever get annoying when people just automatically peg you as the next “Eminem” before even really hearing what you have to offer?

Asher Roth: I guess that’s just how people get down man… When anything new comes out, people are always saying, “Well it’s LIKE this, or it’s LIKE that.” So I can’t get annoyed, and I can’t let that affect me, because I’m going to let the music speak for itself…

I have a Jerry Rice mentality: Just go out there, catch a couple of touchdown passes, and no need to spike the ball and do a little dance… Just go back to the line of scrimmage…

So that’s how I play the game, and I let the music speak for itself. Whatever people want to say about me, they can say about me, but I’m very confident that when the album does come out people are going to know “Asher Roth” as “Asher Roth” and not anything else…

iHipHop.com: I thought you were coming in the game with a Terrell Owens state of mind… With all the drama and all the controversy… [Laughs]

Asher Roth: [Laughs]… Not so much man… Very much a Willie Mays and Jerry Rice state of mind rather than a Terrell Owens state of mind…

iHipHop.com: [Laughs]… How would you describe your style of music to someone?

Asher Roth: It’s interesting because there are introverted times, and there times where I just want to party hence ‘I Love College,and there lots of times where I’m really trying to say something… There’s a time and place for everything, and that’s why the album is special because everything is in a different mood, and it takes you all over the place…

I don’t know if you can really pinpoint me, but for me it’s just important that they understand there’s a lot to me than just ‘I Love College.

iHipHop.com: Do you view other new artists as competition, or just as peers trying to get their movement going as well?

Asher Roth: Nah, because I can only worry about myself… That’s the thing; people are too worried about other people, and that’s a big problem with society… People need to spend some time with themselves, and figure out what’s going wrong in their world…

For me, I’m just going to worry about me, and make sure that I’m good, and we’ll go from there… I can’t base my career off anybody else’s…

iHipHop.com: What’s been the toughest part of the music business for you so far?

Asher Roth: It’s been getting people to respect you, and getting people to take you seriously… When you’re brand new on the scene, it’s tough man…

It takes a while, because people don’t know much about you, and they’re still trying to figure you out… So it’s just a matter of getting people to take you seriously…