12 January, 2012@11:38 pm
Every artist has some kind of stigma or preconceived notion about themselves that they forever try to live down. For Asher Roth, it was the inevitable Eminem comparisons, which he addressed head-on on his debut LP, Asleep In The Bread Isle on a track called “As I Em”. He’s done enough at this point to shed those parallels, but the new thing he’s trying to live down is everything that came with the success of his smash “I Love College”. While this single presented him as a fun-loving, weed-smoking, beer-ponging frat guy, he’s actually much more than that. If he’s even that at all…
Pabst and Jazz is sort of an ode to the backpack rap era of the early 2000′s, as Asher teams with producers Blended Babies to craft a series of bassment beats that could have been found on any Fat Beats 12″ in it’s heyday. But at the end of the day, good beats can only carry a rapper for so long, and the real question is “can he spit?” The answer is “hell yeah”, and it’s evident from the first track on.
Asher’s true talent comes through here, as he seemingly effortlessly flows on top of the jazzy keys of the title track as the album opens, immediately defeating any of the prejudices his audience might have had towards him since his major label debut. It leads directly into the paired down “Choices”, which Asher takes command of from the jump, just before Action Bronson makes a surprise appearance in one of those “ooooooh” moments. Speaking of which, the posse cut “Useless” is literally filled with “oh’s”, as Asher and Pac Div trade verses, attempting to out-shock one another.
Surprisingly consistent, Asher Roth just doubled his value with the release of Pabst & Jazz, not forgetting about his underground roots. By no means does this come off as artificial, like say…. a Brian Austin Green LP produced by The Pharcyde. It’s clear Asher’s heart is the craft of emceeing, despite his quick road to success via his MTV following. While so many artists seem to abandon the foundations that their success is built upon, Asher hasn’t, and in fact may be one of the nicest emcees in the game right now. But you might not know it if not for that good old Pabst & Jazz….
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