Asher Roth

New York

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"I got a question/What's a rapper look like?/Is he tan? Is he black, white?/Is he blacked out, high on the crack pipe?/Or more the cats that'll ride on the half pipe?/Don't wanna act like I know about the rap type/'Cause matter of fact, I can't grasp who rap likes." Putting aside the intricate cadence for a moment, 23-year old emcee Asher Roth succinctly sums up his raison d'etre with the above lines. While so many rappers are delivering tired rhymes to back up their fake back stories, Asher Roth has quickly emerged as the future: a hip-hop anomaly grounded enough to take pride in his suburban roots but confident and talented enough to have already earned the respect of rap royalty such as 50 Cent, Ludacris, Akon, and Andre 3000. There will be those who will see the gifted emcee and immediately stereotype Roth as another white kid from the suburbs trying to rap. These are people that have obviously never heard the kid spit. Roth won't tell you about life on the streets (you've heard that a million times), but he will give astute and singular observations on everything from politics to partying to his unique position in the hip-hop game. With Roth, one hears a genuine student of hip-hop; an artist deftly able to weave complex rhymes and patterns that urge repeated listens. We know your first question: how exactly does a college Elementary Education major at West Chester University become a future hip-hop heavyweight? Growing up in Morrisville, PA, Roth's family was more likely to bump classic rock, 70s soul and 80s pop over rap. "When it came to hip-hop, I was always on the outside looking in," says Roth. "I remember hearing Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life" on my friend's radio and the way they flipped an Annie sample into a hip-hop anthem. I was like, 'This is for everybody.' I couldn't rap about the drugs that I had or the guns that I sold, but I could rap about how much fun I was having hanging out with my friends.

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