Published Apr 23, 2009Asleep in the Bread Aisle is a pretty clever offering and more importantly, it is very catchy. This bodes well for Steve Rifkind's SRC label, which is hoping Asher Roth can bring home the bacon, and a whole lot more. What they will want to hear is that the kid can spit, he sure is witty and the beats are well produced. Moreover, they have some sure-fire singles on their hands beyond "I love College" and "Lark in My Go Kart," which will impress many in their target market of high school seniors and collegians around North America. The album presents an interesting dilemma, in that you can get caught up in the fact that Roth's perspectives and some of the subject matter can be considered new but that doesn't necessarily make it groundbreaking in any way. However, Asher has apparently made some friends in his short time in the game. Cee-Lo is present on the album, contributing his infectious vocals to "Be By Myself." Beanie Sigel (on the iTunes release) and Busta also show up for the party. The 23-year-old from Morrisville, PA is on his way to becoming a commercial star, and what could be more important than that?
It seems that SRC has put a lot of stock in you and is hedging its bets around the album. What kind of pressure was that to have on your shoulders, both while making the album and now that it's been released?
The title of the album [Asleep in the Bread Aisle] means not feeling the pressure; it wasn't really about what people or the label thought or what they want, it was what I want. The pressure starts to come when you become a role model. Since I was so new, no one knew what to do - there was no blueprint for the suburban white rapper.
You had a one-off audition in front of Jay-Z. What was that like?
I thought I was going to be rapping in front of the female interns but we made a hard right into Jay's office, there were no warm ups. He was standing and crossed his arms, which is probably the most uninviting position there is. It lasted about 15 to 20 seconds; he was saying, "You nice. You nice."
At what point did you think, "Wow, I've made it"? Was it hearing your song on the radio for the first time, seeing your video?
It was probably at the listening session three weeks ago in NYC; I was expecting 20 people and like, 250 showed up. (Universal/SRC)