Asher Roth: Asleep In The Bread Aisle (Album Review)

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It is not easy being a white emcee in hip hop. No one knows Asher Roth’s troubles more than veteran emcee Eminem; it is hard to break through in a genre that was created and is dominated by African Americans. Just as African Americans came to accept and respect Eminem, Asher Roth has to let his mic skills speak for themselves and what better way to do that then to craft a stellar debut, all while asleep in the bread aisle…
“Lark On My Go-Kart” sees Asher and his “Razor Ramon flow” go in for a introductory spit session for less than three minutes to open the album. After his successful single “I Love College”, the album precedes to “La Di Da”, a potential summer hit that features one of Asher’s best performances on the album over an excellent soundscape, courtesy of former Aphilliate Don Cannon.

Keri Hilson provides an excellent guest appearance for Roth on the surprise club record “She Don’t Wanna Man” as Asher rhymes about a chance encounter with a young lady that “don’t wanna a man, man, man, man, man…. she just wants to dance”. Following is “As I Em”, which is sure to be the most talked about record on Bread Aisle. “Em” sees Asher Roth tackling the Eminem comparisons head on in hopes of deading the comparisons, once and for all.

The uptempo “Lion’s Roar” acts as another excellent cut on Asher’s debut as he enlists New Kingdom and Busta Rhymes (who sounds right at home) as both emcees lay down their best double-time flows over a bouncy backdrop. Asleep in The Bread Aisle comes to an end with the soulful narrative “His Dream” and “Fallin”, in which Asher details his beginnings as a rapper and falling in love with hip hop, even giving a shoutout to Jay-Z over the Ben Kweller-sampled record.

Asleep in The Bread Aisle is definitely an acquired taste. Asher jumps through numerous topics throughout the album, but at the end of the day, this album is simply about having fun. There are few weak records on the album (the generic “Blunt Cruisin” and “Bad Day”, which features a horrific hook by Jazze Pha), but Asher Roth delivers with a promising, yet unorthodox debut. While the Eminem comparisons surely will not stop, Asher has quietly shown that the only ways the the two are alike are “they have the same complexion and similar voice inflections”.

4 mics (out of 5)

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