Why I’m Excited For Asher Roth’s “RetroHash” Album (And You Should Be Too)
I spend way too much time thinking about rappers. In fact it's pretty much all I do. Case in point, this pat weekend, I made the two hour journey to my folks place. Normally I make a playlist for the journey so that I am not constantly scrolling my iPod while crossing the Bay Bridge; I feel like it could easily end up like this. Well, instead of a varied, well balanced playlist, I listened to one man and one man only, Asher Roth. It might seem a little weird, and it was, especially considering I haven't listened to him in years, but as I said, my existence is consumed by rappers. Because he released a new song, and is prepping for his RetroHash album, we posted about it on the DJBooth Facebook account.
Now try as I may, getting people to comment isn't always the easiest, but people had no trouble at all chiming in on Asher...and rarely was it good. I was blown away at the negative reaction and so, as any sane human would do, I spent the entire Easter weekend thinking about it. Where most of these pulse checking, how do we feel about style of articles, have me really not caring, this is one is different.
I am actually pretty fucking excited for RetroHash. I don't have "I Love College" memorized, nor do I have a life-size Asher Roth poster above my bed. In fact, I have generally been pretty apathetic towards him; I'll check out a song here and there, but never really considered my self a "fan". It wasn't until I saw the outpouring of apathy and hate towards him that my passion was ignited. I'm like the blog game Batman, fighting for the downtrodden in the name of being just, unbiased, and hip-hop...just like Batman. I'm the hero rap deserves, but not the one anybody really needs.For the life of me, I just don't see where all this hate is coming from.
If I had to guess, I'd say it's because some still see him as that "I Love College" rapper who was the idol of the worst kind of people at every college party, but to judge someone on one song, released five years ago seems a little harsh. All though "I Love College" is essentially unbearable now and he was singed to a major label deal, I always considered him different and a little bit better than he lets on; perhaps underachieving is the right word. Like everyone, I heard "I Love College" first, but came to find out he had some really great stuff that was less frat rap and more rap rap. He is a talented, creative, and unique emcee who has always had a little more chutzpah than he let on; all of this hate seems misguided.
Now, instead of pontificating as to why people aren't excited, how about I tell you why I'm excited for RetroHash? First and foremost the production. The album is going to be produced in-full by Blended Babies. Now, I don't know if you are familiar with the name, but you have definitely heard their production. The duo is one of the more underrated, talented young producers in the game; in terms of new, up-and-coming producers they are far and away my favorite. Chicago is like the new hot-spot for hip-hop, between Chance, Vic, Chick Inglish, and many others, the Windy City is blowing up big and is a hot spot for the next generation of emcees. You hear names like Chance and Vic a lot, but you don't ever hear Blended Babies, but with production on Acid Rap and some earlier work with Vic and one of my favorites, ZZ Ward, you should get to know the name. Now that I know he is producing RetroHash in-fill, I am really looking forward to that live band feel all the way through. As much as I love a lot of different producers, sometimes the best projects have a single producer for that consistent feel.
With the dope production production and guest spots, which include the aforementioned Vic, Chuck, and ZZ (plus Curren$y), Roth doesn't even need to try all that hard; although I'm sure he will. I am a sucker for a comeback story and Roth definitely has a good one brewin'. If you hated Major Label Roth, good news, so did he. Since Asleep In The Bread Aisle Roth has cut ties with Scooter Braun and left his major label deal in favor of the indie route. I'd imagine he is feeling refreshed, hungry, and eager to prove a point, which should bring the best out of him. Roth is a prime example of why the indie route is such a blessing. As I said, I always felt he was more talented and creative than he let on, and perhaps it's because he was being stifled and forced into a box. RetroHash will be all him and I suspect it will be where I find out if there really is more to him like I thought, or he really was just a flash in the pan. If a great narrative and great production isn't enough for your to check out an album, how about the singles? Between, "Last of the Flohicans", "Tangerine Girl", and, my favorite,The Vic Mensa assisted "Fast Life", there is not a bad song in the bunch, and the album will definitely have a unique, fun feel. Seems like the perfect summer album to me.
RetroHash drops tomorrow. Will you be listening?
P.S.- Nothing to do with RetroHash but this is dope.
This article originally appeared on RefinedHype.com, which has now merged with The DJBooth. For more info, click here.
Written by Lucas G. on 04/21/14
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