Dr. Beardhussein Examines Mr. Roth’s Major Label Debut
It’s Go Time.
We’re doing this track by track style, mostly because otherwise this thing will never get done.
Here we go:
1- “Lark On My Go-Kart”. Right away, I kinda dig the clunky boom-bap of this beat. I’m sick to death of 808 drums, so right off the bat I’m happy. This guy reminds me of the way I rap, which I kinda like–makes me feel good about m’self. Also, I gotta admit, part of the enjoyment of this guy’s music is that his voice reminds me of Eminem, and Eminem reminds me of simpler days. Also, not only does he remind me of how I rap, he raps about what I rap about, which is also good. My goodness, I just can’t stand “Walked up in the club” or “Bottle/Model” rap anymore. Anyway, decent track. Nice opener.
2- “Blunt Cruising”. This instantly made me think of the homey Web’s “Cutlass Supreme”, only not as good. It should be noted here that I’ve only smoked weed once in my life, and am otherwise against rockin’ the ganj. I’m sorry, but talking to high people is annoying, and most of the potheads I know have Bob Marley posters and weed flower paraphernalia all over there homes, and that shit gets real tired. I mean, yes, I’m a Kanye stan, but I don’t have posters of dude everywhere. As for the song, the beat is, once again, 808-free, and that’s cool. Lyrically it’s alright. I can’t listen to 3 and a half minutes of weed talk now. Maybe in like 1994 I could, but that was Snoop’n’Dre or Cypress Hill. Asher’s earned my respect for seeming like a genuine cat in interviews, but he’s not Snoop’n’Dre or Cypress Hill. I’m ready for this song to be over.
3- “I Love College”. Much like I did with Marshall Mathers’ first couple of lead singles, I heard Asher’s song and hated it…until I ended up liking it once I realized that I had like 2 songs on Crazy Rey Party (my 2nd album) just like it. (um, none of my songs sound like Eminem’s, I just meant in the “I hated it until I loved it sense–whatever, I’m awesome) Hey, I like parties! And to keep it real, the reason for the 2001-2006 Party Era was that I didn’t get to do all that in college cuz, um, I didn’t go to college. (3 semesters probably don’t count). Anyway, this song is amusing, and it totally grew on me. Beat’s nice too, but I’m not nearly as impressed by a Weezer sample as other people are. I mean, my dude Eh, Steve! likes Weezer, but aside from that, Fuck Weezer. It’s a laid back sing-along kinda song, and I can see me and the guys belting this out in the car. The Eminemness (Yes, I know he has a song talking about the Em comparisons, but they’re still valid so Fuck You) is really high on this one. Anyway, I like this one a lot. My buddy Joe Turk hates it, but that’s cuz he’s in denial of all the crazy shit he did in college. Shots fired.
4- “La Di Da”. Whoa… Asher sounds riled up on this one. The beat is sick, like a kinda funk-soul thing going. Wow. I actually paused this and brought it back. *switches to DJ Khaled mode* ASHER’S GOIN’ IN! HE’S DOIN’ IT FOR THE ‘BURBS! ASHER ROTH! R-E-Y! I’M DA BESSSS! REEEEWIIIIND NI**AS! Alright, just restarted the track. The Eminemometer is high on this one also, but I’m guessing I gotta get used to this. I can dig this. He’s kickin’ knowledge on here, and on top of that, he just did some ol’ diggity diggity Papoose-type rhymin’. Tell you what, this dude has a knack for hooks. I approve! *raises beerstein* Gotta love some middle finger up “Nobody believed in me!” rap.
5- “Be By Myself”. Hmm, Cee-Lo is on this. I don’t mind Cee-Lo, but I never really felt Gnarls Barkley, and I’d be lying if I said I was familiar with Cee-Lo’s solo albums or Goodie Mob work. He was dope on Diddy’s “Everything I Love” track off Press Play tho’! Beat sounds like some ol’ “Inagadadavita” type ish. This sounds Gnarlsy. *thumb down* Okay, let’s see if Ash can redeem the track. *listens intently* Ooh! Shawn Michaels reference! Point! Ash must be kickin’ 8 or 12 line verses on here cuz this is going by too quick. Apparently this track is about how he can’t settle down. Skinny white boys can afford to be picky. I’m against this song on GP–the GP of my portly ass being single and this motherfucker turning chicks down. *sends Asher Roth copy of “Love, Actually” and transcripts of Rey’s lonely & single blogs* Pause.
6- “She Don’t Wanna Man”. Nice intro to this. I’m kinda hyped already. Hmm… Different flow on this, more of a Rihanna party vibe–but in a good way, not in the usual way I feel about Rihanna’s music, ie “Someone please shove a pointy number 2 pencil in my ears”. This song is about how girls go to parties or clubs to dance, not get hit on. I can dig this. I understand this from jumpstreet. It saves me the pain of “I’m a lesbian” or “I have a boyfriend”-type rejections. LOL @ “Yeah I’m fresh, super fresh, I would do me in a sec”–Touche, Asher. Nice battle of the sexes call’n’response in the third verse. I like this one. ASH! WE’VE GOT YOUR NEXT VIDEO! *sincere applause*
7- “Sour Patch Kids”. Just off the name I’m anticipating crap. I’m…just being honest. (c) 3 Stacks. *shrug* Beat’s kinda eh.. Sounds like a combination of tracks one and two. Ooh, nice change in the beat in the last 8 bars of the verse. Kudos. Ya know, this isn’t bad. 90 seconds ago me feels dumb for predicting crap. Not sure what the name of the song means. I thought it might be a drug reference I didn’t understand. Ash is actually kicking knowledge on this. Way to prove me wrong, Mr. Roth. This is actually one of the better songs. In fact, so far, the only “Ehh…” kinda songs are tracks two and five. Wow, he’s kicking sincere knowledge about the hungry people out there–and he’s doing it on a head nodder of a song. Ya know, I’d like to hear Common on this beat. Can we get a remix? Okay, moving on.
8- “As I Em”. Alrighty, here we go. The “Yes, I sound like Em” song. This leaked but, as some of you may know, I don’t fuck with leaks if the tracks aren’t already in radio rotation. Nice old school reggae vibe on the beat. Ya know… I sound like Will Smith and Mike Shinoda on the mic, but I’m not writing a song about either. Heck, my standom of Kanye West and Joe Budden is/are legendary, but I won’t do a song about them. (okay, maybe if I met one of them, but whatever…). Asher’s the right amount of angry in this song. Too angry and it’s like, “Dude, you sound like Eminem. Let it go.”. Too nonchalant and it’s like, “Dude, you sound like Eminem, come on!”. Tell you what, I’ll be honest, part of the reason I’m even giving this guy the time of day is that he sounds like Eminem. But! He’s rapping about different stuff. I know I said it before, but it must be reiterated: I’m fucking SICK of the subject matter in hip-hop. I’m sick of listening to people’s shopping lists in rhyme form. Yes, Kanye raps about Louis Vuitton and “bitches”, but he’s got a sense of humor, and his hunger has never once let up despite his Hall Of Fame (oh yes he is) credentials. Anyway, this song knocks, and the third verse kicks shit into a higher gear. Asher, you’re cool. I’m okay with you sounding like Eminem. No Guerilla Black.
9- “Lion’s Roar”. Uh Oh.. This is featuring some people I’ve never heard of. Does A-Roth have weed carriers? Ohhh! This is the Busta Rhymes song! Ash is kicking a double time flow. Beat’s kinda like Timbaland meets Linkin Park–not in a good or bad way, but in the exact way you’d expect a Timbo-LP collabo to sound. Whaaat? Busta only shows up for 8 lines?? The ‘fuck? Either way, it’s awesome to hear Busta on that fast ish. I might YouTube “Break Ya Neck” just to hear more. Anyway, I didn’t hear whoever “New Kingdom” is (the featured people I didn’t know), they might be the chorus singers? No idea. Anyway, this was okay. I should’ve been paying better attention. My bad.
10- “Bad Day”. Jazze Pha is on this! I like Jazze Pha, fuck the haters. This beat sounds like Eminem’s “Drug Ballad”. Like, a lot. Like, so much that someone shoulda said, “Hey Ash, this song sounds exactly like “Drug Ballad”. Anyway, apparently Asher is on a plane and he’s grumpy. I don’t get why this song is on the album. I really see no point in it. It’s not funny, and it’s not the same vibe as the rest of the album. Not a good look, Ash. Plus, Jazze sounds like he’s channeling a less Squiggy-sounding Cee-Lo. I’m ready for this to be over. I don’t mean to sound so Bol-esque about this, but really, you’d feel the same way. Next!
11- “His Dream”. I’m excited about this one already. Kinda soulful. Some of these tracks are very cohesive sounding. Yes, somewhat similar, but it works in terms of weaving a full album instead of sounding repetitive. Production’s been very good on this. Ash is kicking thoughtful raps. I can respect this. Ohhh! Violins? Holy Miri Ben Ari, Batman! I can dig this one. I’d have ended with this, but who knows, maybe the last track will sound even last track-ier. This is a good song. Whoever “Miguel” is has a nice voice. I’ll be honest, this album isn’t as “I Love College”–topical as I thought. Nice work.
12- “Fallin'”. Ooh.. This sounds like some 2004 Kanye West production. I’m already digging this. The ‘Ye feel might’ve been intentional. It reminds me of “Family Business” a lot, in a good way, as I liked that song. Okay, this is a better album ender. A happy story of how Asher fell in love with rapping. Awww. *hugs all 4 IATS readers*
Dr. Beardhussein’s Diagnosis: I enjoyed this album quite a bit. Asher Roth is a respectable rapper. His subject matter varies up, and out of 12 songs, I really only didn’t like 3 of them (2, 5, & 10) and two of those dislikes are because of stuff I don’t like in general, and the other one is just unremarkable and ill-fitting. It’d have been money well spent…if I had the money to spend. (sorry Ash, but I just got canned!).
Overall Rating: 3.5/5. The good was good, but not great. A nice, solid freshman LP, and I’d definitely wanna hear more from the guy. If he can avoid some of the intentional sound-alikes (beatwise, the Marshall thing is just how dude’s voice is, no hating) and just go a little harder (El Pauso!), this dude might have a legit career.
Fave Tracks: Tracks 3, 4, 6, & 7.
Alrighty, that’s it for me. As always, Comments, Critiques, Criticisms, and reasons why Jazze Pha > Cee-Lo can be left below in the Dr. Donda West Memorial Comments Section.
Thanks for tuning in,