VANILLA VICE: Asher Roth Is All That


INQUIRER: Asher Roth isn’t like other rappers. The rising star whose debut album Asleep in the Bread Aisle went straight to No. 1 when it was released on iTunes on Monday hails from nowhere near the hood. The 23-year-old rhymer grew up in the middle-class community of Morrisville, in Bucks County. His hip-hop calling card is “I Love College,” an ode to higher-education hedonism born of his experiences while sort-of studying to be an elementary-school teacher on the leafy campus of West Chester University. That song, which Roth calls “satire at its finest,” has sold nearly a million copies since its release in January, and been streamed more than 36 million times on his MySpace page. And there’s another thing that sets Asher Roth apart: He’s white. That would seem to stack the odds heavily against him. “For successful white rappers in the mainstream, the reference points are Slim and none,” Roth said Monday. Wool cap on his head, blue boat shoes (no socks) on his feet, peach fuzz on his chin, he was sitting for an interview backstage at the West Chester club the Note before a free show sponsored by MySpace. But first he’d been signing autographs for scores of fans waiting out in the rain. There were two causes for celebration: It was the day of his CD release, and it was International Cannabis Day. (He plays another MySpace show tonight at World Cafe Live, and one tomorrow at Rutgers in Camden.) MORE

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