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Asleep in the Bread Aisle

Posted on

Mario Panebianco

Asleep in the Bread Aisle

Current Status:
In Season
Asher Roth

We gave it a B

What if Eminem pursued a degree in elementary education, popped his collar, and liked his parents? Though comparing an on-the-rise Caucasian rapper to the real Slim Shady may seem hopelessly facile, Asher Roth — the boyish 23-year-old behind the surprise top 10 iTunes hit ”I Love College” — does initially come off like a junior-varsity Marshall Mathers, eerily echoing the 36-year-old superstar’s nasal delivery and back-of-the-classroom cockiness.

On this debut album Asleep in the Bread Aisle, Roth fully acknowledges the white elephant in the room with the song ”As I Em,” intoning, ”Because we have the same complexion and similar voice inflection/It’s easy to see the pieces and to reach for that connection…not much that I can say except I’m sick of it.” In that case, he’s going to be feeling ill for a good while. But if critics and mainstream hip-hop fans can find room in the game for more than one melanin-deficient MC, Roth might surprise them. ”College,” his loping ode to women, weed, and one-dollar pizza slices, provides an irresistible dose of lowbrow higher-education hedonism. And though he makes good use of street-accredited guests like Cee-Lo (the soul-slicked ”Be by Myself”) and Jazze Pha (syncopated goof ”Bad Day”), Roth never floats sham tales of suburban hardship here. Instead, he just wants to have a good time — and for the most part, he provides one as well. B

Download This: Listen to the song ”I Love College” on imeem.com

See all current music reviews from EW