School’s out for the summer. While some students will be returning next semester, others get ready to step into the working world. For emcee Asher Roth, that means linking with Steve Rifkind and SRC, hitting the booth with DJ Drama and Don Cannon, and putting together his debut LP. Admittedly, Roth found his niche as a college kid, so the transition to working emcee is a work in progress. There’s no debating the kid is off to a good start, and many have the mettle for upper management.
Here we take an RH First Look at Asher Roth. Read on to gain some insight into his Gangsta Grillz debut, his non-beef with John Brown, and what gets his pen moving. See it now, or see it later…We think you should see it now.
Name: Asher Paul Roth
Age: 22 years young
Hometown: Morrisville, PA
Rapping Since: High school
RubyHornet: Do you remember the first Hip Hop record that you purchased, or that really grabbed you?
Asher Roth: I was raised on Bruce Springsteen and the Dire Straits, my mom added Earth, Wind and Fire and Stevie while my sisters were blasting Tevin Campbell and Goldfinger. Hip-hop was what I gravitated too in my more impressionable adolescent years. It was edgy and different and my parents didn’t want me listening to it. Which lead to me getting into hip-hop real late. The first hip-hop record I purchased was Jay-Z’s Vol.2 – I heard “Hard Knock Life” on the radio, and was in awe that they flipped a Broadway musical into a hip-hop record. From then on I knew that hip-hop really had no boundaries. I then started to do my research.
RubyHornet: What was the transition like between rapping for fun, and letting people hear it?
Asher Roth: Nothing’s really changed – I still rap for fun. However, now that people are hearing it there are a million and one opinions on what I should and shouldn]t do, say, wear, etc etc. That’s been the hardest part of the transition, blocking out all the nonsense and continuing to do me.
RubyHornet: So you’re signed to SRC Records, and have a Gangsta Grillz mixtape. Recently John Brown took some swipes at you. Is it sort of a white rapper’s rite of passage to get heat from another white rapper? What is the deal with that situation?
Asher Roth: Haha, there is no situation. A couple of my buddies told me there was some “white rapper beef” floating around online. I’m not interested in any of that hooplah. People are gonna talk – it’s just a testament to where we’re going.
RubyHornet: I know you are a collector of Kindergarten Art for its innocence…where else do you find inspiration besides drawings of yellow suns and pointy flowers?
Asher Roth: When I was 17-18 years old I started getting a little frustrated cause the whole “rapping about myself” thing was getting a little old. I was being a brat and complaining that I had no inspiration. My dad flipped out and said “No inspiration!?! LOOK OUT THE WINDOW!” Ever since it’s been pretty easy to find inspiration.
RubyHornet: I interviewed DJ Drama once, and he gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten from another DJ. He told me, ‘never think that you’re too good to practice.’ What have you gained from working with Drama and Don Cannon, any advice that has stuck with you?
Asher Roth: Working with Drama and Cannon you really get into that “hustle” mentality. They’ve taught me that there is always gonna be someone who’s better, working harder and wants it more. You’ve gotta rise to the occasion and never get on your own jock. You HAVE to be self-motivated and continue to push yourself harder than anyone else will.
RubyHornet: You were recently featured on BET’s “Spit Your Game”, and your verse centered on putting perceptions etc. to the side and getting people to just listen to you. Now that you have listener’s ears, where are you going to take them with your music?
Asher Roth: I’m going to welcome them into my world, allow them to grow up with me, go through the ups and downs and share in the wisdom that I gain throughout this journey. My listeners are about to embark on a journey, and if they’re up for it they can be with me every step of the way.
RubyHornet: Keeping on that path, you’ve gotten a lot of praise from the likes of Akon, Killer Mike, Steve Rifkind…what has that done for your confidence to have the respect of such proven people in the music industry?
Asher Roth: Confidence is a very important thing. You have to believe in yourself or no one else is going to. Coming out of college and having all this happen so fast – I can’t tell you how vital it was for me to get a little love from some of the most respected in the industry. It gave me a lot of confidence going into this project – letting me know that I can and will succeed.
RubyHornet: It seems like things are going pretty fast for you, what is the pace like? Do you need to remind yourself that this is going to be a long process?
Asher Roth: That’s exactly it – it’s a very, very long process. Things will be real hectic for a week and then cool out for a couple days and then it’ll be a whirlwind again. It’s just important to not forget who you are, and where you came from. This is going to be years of hard work and whether it’s fast paced or slow motion I’ma still be moving forward. Slow motion’s better than no motion, right Ye?
RubyHornet: Lastly, tell people what is coming up next for Asher Roth, I believe you have a single coming in the fall. Is that setting up a new album?
Asher Roth: I’ve got a lot of good, honest music on the way – thedailykush.com continues to be an interactive social community where you can download my latest music, videos and whatever else I’ve got my fingerprints on. There’s a couple projects I’ve got coming up to get everyone through the dog days of summer and yes, the single will be setting up the new album.
RubyHornet: Last words, plugs…
Asher Roth: A big thank you to all my fans!! Without ya’ll none of this is possible. I’M SO NICE RIGHT NOW!! SEE ME!