Release Date: Apr 22, 2014
Record label: !K7
Genre(s): Rap, Alternative Rap
As Hip Hop gradually embraced its commercial success over the years, so too did dozens of emcees and producers looking to make the next big radio hit and enjoy an early retirement. In 2009, Asher Roth did just that when his hit single “I Love College” dominated the airwaves, peaking at 12 on the Billboard “Hot 100.” But as time passed, Hip Hop’s gangliest emcee distanced himself from the successful party anthem, growing his hair out and hiding from the spotlight cast upon him. As it turns out, not all of today’s artists have placed fame and fortune over their love of music after all.
Future rap historians will no doubt come across the expansion of frat-rap in the 2010s. Frat-rap (or Frapt as I’m attempting to trademark it as) is the sound of artists like Mac Miller. White college age dudes rapping about exorbitant lifestyles, acclaimed by bros across the world and generally panned by everyone else. But something happened.
Remember Asher Roth? The bushy-haired Pennsylvania native, who signed to Steve Rifkind’s SRC label via Def Jam, before earning his way onto the cover of the ’09 Freshmen issue? In the aftermath of his much maligned debut, Asleep In The Bread Aisle, a fun, semi-pop crossover record that didn’t quite land with fans as expected in the wake of his massive frat hit, “I Love College,” Asher’s career has taken a bit of a detour and he now finds himself in indie label no man’s land. Being afforded that kind of freedom can be good for a rapper’s artistic integrity and long term success – take RetroHash contributor Curren$y for instance – but it can also be a buzz-eviscerating black hole. With the oft-delay sophomore LP, RetroHash, Asher Roth explores creative autonomy with marginal success but the album’s lack of a grounding influence makes its sonic palette far too much of an acquired taste.