Asleep in the Bread Aisle is the first Studio album to be released by young white rapper Asher Roth. After the success of the mixtape "The Greenhouse Effect vol1" and the track "I Love College" it was more then likely, alot of people would purchase this album.
Asleep in the Bread Aisle is a very good rap album, were Asher raps about lots of differant things (rather then money, girls, cars etc like most typical rappers). In one track tittled "As I Em" Asher raps about people constantly comparing him to Eminem because of there similar voice infection and the fact they are both white.
People may have judged Asher Roth as a wannabe Eminem, but after this brilliant, fun album, people should think differantly. Fair enough Eminem is probably the best white rapper in the world, and Asher Roth does sound a bit like him, but this does not make him a wannabe Em, hes just an artist trying to make a name for himself and in this album he proves that.
Asher has a long way to go if he is to become anywhere near as big as Eminem is but if he continues to work on his rapping, and producing more music of this quality then who knows where he will be in a few years.
The album also has guest apperances from Busta Rhymes, Cee-Loo and Slick Rick which makes it that little bit better.
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".
Asher Roths album is a good, addictive album, its not perfect however.
There are many good songs on this album. I think "Lark on my go-kart" and "blunt cruisin'" may be my favorites. Any song that chants "hide the weed" has a thumbs up from me! Although I don't think "Blunt Cruisin'" will be for everyone, especially if you are anti-weed.
That brings me onto a bad point about the album. I don't think there is a song that doesn mention weed, in on way or another. While i am in no way anti-weed, i do think it was a bit much. I could imagine this becoming a problem if a you are young and you parents hear some of the lyrics. But it really isn't too bad, it just seems a bit much at times.
Some of the lyrics are great in the album; "Mario Kart skills are outrageous, Play me any day and I'll be the best racist, Wait no erase it, Meant to say a racer".
While this album is not for everyone, i loved it. It has many good songs, and there are no songs on the album that i really dont like. With some catchy songs and some good lyrics this album is a keeper!
Asher Roth is a rapper from Pennsylvania, US and was born on 11th August 1985. He had been known mostly for covering other peoples songs thanks to his first mixtape 'Believe The Hype' which was out in 2006 and the 'Greenhouse Effect' mixtape which was produced and mixed by Don Cannon and DJ Drama and was released in 2008. His first full studio album 'Asleep In The Bread Aisle' was released in 2009 on the Universal Motown / SRC / School Boy Records labels.
Having listened to this album almost non-stop for two weeks and seeing Asher Roth perform live, I decided it was about time to write a review of this album.
01 Lark On My Go-Kart
02 Blunt Cruisin'
03 I Love College
04 La Di Da
05 Be By Myself
06 She Don't Wanna Man
07 Sour Patch Kids
08 As I Em
09 Lion's Roar
10 Bad Day
11 His Dream
12 Fallin' (4:12
13 Y.O.U. (3:53)
The song that attracted me to the album was 'I Love College', in fact, this was the first single to be released from the album, so, to spice things up a bit, I'll start with that track.
'I Love College' appears as the third song on the album, which surprised me a bit, as it was the lead track, I thought it would be the first song. I'd heard this track before getting the album and was fairly impressed, I like the laid back feel to it, the simple bass and Asher's relaxed lyrical delivery. The song is basically about partying and having a good time at college. Nothing too complex going on here, just a nice party track. A lot has been made of the fact that Asher only went to college for one semester and so couldn't really have any idea what college is like. I really couldn't care less. This is a really nice feel-good song with a killer chorus.
'Lark On My Go Kart' is a great album intro, the hard-hitting drum pattern starts things nicely and Asher's half-aggressive rhyming kicks things off well. The song gets more light hearted as things go on and references to the wii-fit and Mario Kart are a nice inclusion. This is set to be the second single from the album.
'Blunt Cruisin' is a much more up-tempo affair which is pretty much about 'cruisin' around in the car whilst under the influence of soft-drugs. This is a bit of a daft song which is funny in parts, especially when they encounter serious paranoia when other cars go past them. It does have a ridiculously catchy hook though.
'La Di Da' also has a catchy hook but is not as much of a light-hearted track as the ones so far covered. This is more about finding a coping mechanism with all of the rubbish that you have to deal with in life; according to this song, Asher Roth's method is to sing 'La Di Da', give it a go, it might work for you!
Starting with a bit of guitar and then some classic sounding Cee-Lo Green vocals, 'Be By Myself' starts really well. I can see why this has been chosen as the third single from the album. Cee-Lo's voice is absolutely spot on throughout the track; his voice is really distinctive and delivers the chorus perfectly. Asher's lyrics are full off cheeky bragging as he talks about wanting to be a single man making the most of his situation. This is another catchy track which I think should do pretty well, it has quite a bit of pop appeal.
Apparently Keri Hilson is the female vocalist on 'She Don't Wanna Man' but I can see no evidence of this on the album sleeve at all. It does sound like it could be here but I can't see why she isn't credited on the cover? Ah well, it's a decent track nonetheless. It has a nice funky beat and some good guitar work. I like the way Asher's vocals contrast with the female singers, especially during the hook. This is a well put together tune.
'Sour Patch Kids' is one of the weakest tracks on the album for me. There are some good aspects, some of the lyrics are well written and witty but the overall feel of the track isn't great. I like the drum loop but fail to get excited about the track as a whole, which is a shame.
'As I Em' is a clever reference to Eminem and the fact that, due to the fact that they are both white rappers, Asher is being compared to him. Asher speaks about how he has been influenced by Eminem and appreciates that without him, he would be doing what he loves but wants to do things his own way and to not be constantly compared to him. The chorus is sung by Chester French, a singer/songwriter duo who I expect we will be hearing a lot more from in the near future.
Busta Rhymes and New Kingdom appear on 'Lion's Roar'. Asher's performance on this quick track is really good, full of energy and well-written lyrics but it's Busta's performance that really steals the show; he delivers his verse almost breathlessly. This is an up-tempo track that I think would work really well in a club. Good work.
The next track slows things down massively, featuring the vocals of Jazze Pha; 'Bad Day' is more of a story than some of the other tracks on the album. In it, Asher talks about having the worst possible day, from being stuck on a plane next to a fat guy, forgetting his ipod, not being able to relieve his bowels on the plane due to turbulence and being in a rubbish hotel. At the end of the song he realises that things could be worse, I guess changing the whole tone of the song around. The chorus on this one is pretty strong too, although I personally am not a huge fan of Jazze Pha.
'His Dream' is a really slow and thoughtful track from Asher which is basically an ode to his father and what his father has done for him throughout his life. It's a nice track but a bit out of place in the album. The lyrics are well written and performed with real emotion. Not a track I'll come back to over and over again but it's nice for the first few listens. It is good to hear someone appreciate what their parent have sacrificed for them though, so I can see where Asher was coming from with this one.
' Ben Kweller - Falling' was sampled for 'Fallin', and it was done very very well. I like the drum loop and the bass on this one, it has quite a summery feel to it, it certainly has some mainstream appeal. Asher speaks about his past and how he was growing up and how he started rapping. Its all told in a really concise way but it works very well. Nice track.
Slick Rick features on Y.O.U., which is a bonus track on the UK edition of the album. If I was an American, I'd be mad to have missed out on this one! Rick The Ruler absolutely destroys this track, his voice is so distinctive and his verse is delivered in a way that only he can. The backing track is a really crazy ensemble of heavy beats, trumpets, pianos and weird samples. The lyrics speak of being individual, having your own characteristics and doing your own thing. It doesn't really fit into the flow of the album but it is an awesome track.
Oren Yoel who, as far as I can see, has produced nothing of any specific note previously produced the majority of the album. I sense big things to come from this one. 'I Love College' was produced by Mike Caren, 'La Di Da' by Don Cannon, 'Fallin' by Novel and 'Y.O.U.' by Nottz. This is a fantastic album which all fans of hip hop, both underground and mainstream should check out.
Asher Roth, the Pennsylvania Hip Hopper, broke through with lots of underground hits through 2006 to 2008 before dropped this, his 2009 commercial debut "Asleep In The Bread Aisle" in which the man, often (wrongly) compared to Eminem, shows how Hip Hop can be adapted to things others than the Gangsta lifestyle in this modern time and still be effective as he raps what he considers to come straight from his middle-classed upbringing, a far-cry from the norm in this field.
1. "Lark On My Go Kart"
Getting things going you immediately here where some of his influences have come from with a start which could have come from Slick Rick (a person he would come to collaborate with as a bonus) before he raps about lots of things which most MCs of today would never have come up with. It is fresh, and something different to get things underway.
2. "Blunt Cruisin'"
Taking things a step further as we get into the album properly, you have him setting up the setting for the track where he seems to go for the majority of the thing as he does things in the typical stoner format I wouldn't sat that this one is all that original, and with only a few fresh topical references, it seems quite regular. It is fun following them getting frantic as they ride around high, and panic over any sense of a police presence.
3. "I Love College"
This was his big debut single and it has him using the classic "Impeach The President" break, a classic drum loop used by the likes of Nas, Big Daddy Kane and LL Cool J over the yeas, and with this backing as support, you find that he does things in a calm and collected manner whilst rapping about his experiences in college, and how the parties have made him come to enjoy it so much.
4. "La Di Da"
Don Cannon backs him hear, and with him being the only real big production name (after having collaborated with the likes of Young Jeezy, Ludacris and 50 Cent in his time) it gives things quite a boost, and straight off his most well-known track, he seems to bring you in as he chooses to do things in a much more traditional Hip Hop style, but I felt that it uncovered the fact that he's not as good at this as with the comical work which began the album.
5. "Be By Myself"
Here you sense a shift with the acoustics greeting you at the start of it, but this quickly changes as it gets into the proper track and you have an Electronica thin being used here. I felt that here it was fairly good as he gets Cee-Lo Green (of Gnarles Barkley, after a spell with Goodie Mob). It has him return the humorous raps, and it makes you engage a lot more as he goes on about his relationships.
6. "She Don't Wanna Man"
It appears that most of the starts of the tracks have introduction which think that you are about to be thrown off, before something quite heavy is placed down to sow that he is going to keep things where we like them to be, and he you find that off a kind of Pop Rock thing, he gets to more electronic work which fits in with recent trends in Hip Hop. It has a mainstream feel as he takes it to the clubs, but it takes it to a Pop style, and so the beats appear to be wasted on a catchy hook from Keri Hilson.
7. "Sour Patch Kids"
Here he goes back to the jovial raps, and I felt that it was able to excite you for a while, but then it seems to just get boring after a while. It is quite a shame they he was able to keep the initial burst of energy going through the tune, but it really isn't tall that good as a result of its degenerative nature. He shows off his diversity through a changing approach at delivery, but it doesn't give much more than this.
8. "As I Em"
Referencing Eminem, this one has him doing a track which has him rapping about how Eminem has meant that he hasn't been able to escape the fact that he is a white rapper, and although he liked what Em' did, he would prefer to be known for what he has personally done. I felt the at his brought the quality up as every Hip Hop fan will know what he is on about here.
9. "Lion's Roar"
He gets Busta Rhymes on this one, and so you know that you are in for a big tune, and this is just what comes through here as he goes for a up-tempo one which has him take things to the clubs once again. Although this isn't particular strong from the part of the main artist, Bust' does his thing, and shows that he won' let him lose it.
10. "Bad Day"
I felt that this was one of the best tracks on the album, as it has him showing more of his Slick Rick influence here as he shows off his storytelling skills (obviously taking from The Ruler's "Children's Story", and it means that you have to appreciate how well put-together his rhymes are as he does it all in his a lazy manner as if he is putting almost no effort into it whatsoever.
11. "His Dream"
Here he does a track which has him do one where he shows appreciation for what his father has done in influencing his life, and when put into the context that so often rappers speak upon the lack of this figure in their life, it stands out, but I can't say that I was all that impressed by this, a very personal song form him, which pretty much blocks everyone else out.
Ending this one off you have him doing a track which has him bringing the pace up, and I felt that it was a good choice to excite you and remind you of the best which you find in the album it finds him tracking his school life and the times when he fell into the Hip Hop field after hearing the likes of Jay-Z . It was something I would have expected to hear from him, and I have to say that it didn't really live up to expectations as so many have done thins sort f things, and with his story being so unique (in terms of a the Hip hop world) you would have expected to get more out of it.
This is a unique album, and one which I expected to sell well, but I wouldn't say that it is really as good as it was hyped up to be. You don't really get anything that much better than with what is present in his single, and if anything, then the rest is of a lower standard. It doesn't really surprise at all, and was quite a disappointment.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Lark On My Go-Kart
2 Blunt Cruisin'
3 I Love College
4 La Di Da
5 Be By Myself
6 She Don't Wanna Man
7 Sour Patch Kids
8 As I Em
9 Lion's Roar
10 Bad Day
11 His Dream
13 Y.O.U. (Bonus Track)