This past summer I had a great opportunity to interview suburbanite sensation, Asher Roth. At the time, he was the buzz on MySpace, highlighting himself as the realest thing from the ‘burbs through viral videos and playful lyrics. This career through MySpace eventually paid off, landing him in the hands of industry executive Scooter Braun. With the help of Scooter and a rhyme or two, Asher catapulted into the limelight when signing to SRC records and penning The Greenhouse Effect mixtape alongside Gangsta Grillz’ very own DJ Drama and Don Cannon. Now, since numerous co-signs from music heavyweights such as Akon and Cee-Lo, along with buzz from all corners of the internet, Asher Roth is slowly becoming the next budding star. His first single “I Love College” blasted into popular music by breaking into the iTunes Top 10 Songs list, and the awkwardly titled Asleep In the Bread Aisle is heading to stores on the national day of the sticky icky, April 20th. In the heat of this national and worldwide buzz, RubyHornet sat down with the flip-flop wearing and flip cup playing emcee to find out what the inspiration was behind “I Love College”, as well as a yet to be debuted track, “His Dream”. Check it out below.
Asher On “I Love College”
“Well, “I Love College” is pretty self explanatory. “I Love College” was pretty much me in Atlanta and I’m about 4 or 5 months removed from school and I miss the simplicity of school. It was so simple, you wake up in the morning, you decide if you’re going to sleep through your AM class, you decide whether you’re going to go to your 10 o’clock class, you probably don’t go, you stay back with the boys, rip a bong, play some video games (probably some old ones like Nintendo), and then you’re out that night going to a party and you’re hitting on girls. That was it. When the whole Hip-Hop started to turn into a career — not even a career just more of a job and people wanted me to take it seriously and manufacture music – I wasn’t feeling it, like how are you going to have a human being try to manufacture music? I don’t think that writing 50 songs and picking the best 13, I don’t think that’s how you create an album. I think you create an album by making maybe 15 songs and picking the best 13.
So whatever, whatever, I’m sitting on my couch hanging out with my boy, John Boyd, and we’re talking about, “Yo I miss college, I wanna go to college for the rest of my life.” And the song just wrote itself and we just started talking about what we missed, getting pizza for a dollar a slice, playing beer pong, all the girls and everything like that. Everything was just so easy. So I was writing, “That party last night was awfully crazy I wish we taped it,” and that’s how it started and I was like “damn I’m not even feeling it!” But my boy came upstairs and was like, “Yo, keep running with that stuff!”
So for me, that taught me a valuable lesson to not doubt yourself just go with it. I do that often, I’ll be writing something and I’m so hard on myself and I think it sucks but it turns out to be very special to other people. If I can say one thing besides the origin of “I Love College,” it’s very important that artists and writers and everybody who does their stuff for their own and for the love does not to doubt themselves. Because with music and with writing it’s tough because when you do music for your career you’re automatically mixing business with pleasure and it’s a bad position to be in. You’re doing something that you love and it’s in a big business, so you’re automatically in a really rough situation. “I Love College” is just leaving that all at the front door and just writing a song that says, ‘this is what I miss about school.’ People are kind of bummed out about what I’m glorifying and stuff but they’re just lying to themselves if they don’t think kids who, the first chance they get to have freedom, go wild out and enjoy themselves. That’s what college was about to me, flashing your social skills…
But on a real tip I would much rather talk about the song “His Dream” featuring Miguel and it’s on the album and it’s probably gonna be track 12. Nobody knows about this song but this song is written about my father and my relationship with my father. I think it’s hella interesting in Hip-Hop especially that the father is the figure that always walks out and wasn’t there. There’s always this glorification of a broken home, and don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful thing to share that story, but in my household my father was the one who kind of packed it in when he had kids. He started having children and when he had his first child he was like, “alright, I can’t be running around and trying to chase my dream.” And his dream was that he wanted to be a writer and free lance writing doesn’t pay the bills like that and now he’s got mouths to feed so he packed it in and gets a job and those sacrifices to me were incredible. His dream was special to me because my father was like, ‘take it off the album, I don’t want it on the album, it’s embarrassing to me because I didn’t do anything. All I did was take on the responsibility of a parent.” And I was like, “exactly!” People do not do that, they have these kids and they continue to just do what they do and the next thing you hear is that the father walks out on his son and you weren’t there for me and this and that.
So I wrote a song about his dream, and my father’s dream after he packed it in with writing was making sure that I was happy and making sure that I was doing something that I loved to do. So he put it all to the side and just decided to be a responsible parent and to me, we should be glorifying that, not glorifying the fact that pops decided to walk out. For me, it’s a very special song, my dad has been a main stay and making sure that I’m healthy and happy. Every time I have a problem he is there to help me talk about it and I think it’s very important to understand that. You might come from a broken home, a lot of people do. You see marriage – what the divorce rate is crazy – so to have parents that have stayed together is a luxury. I’m absolutely blessed, and I just want people to understand the sacrifices. A lot of the time people get into these relationships and they get married and they’re in lust and they love each other on that love, but when they have children they raise kids differently and it’s the children that actually get in the way. It’s interesting because some parents will stay together for the kids and I think that’s really important. I’m sure he had some moments where – because my mom is completely left and he is completely right, he is very strict and my mom is a free spirit so they’re total opposites – but my dad stuck it out and was very much a pillar in my life and the reason why I am successful to this day and I think it’s important for people to understand. Kids flip out sometimes when their parents ground them and the “I hate you, I hate you!” and they don’t realize the sacrifices their parents have to make on a daily to drive them to baseball practice or to their friends house or anything like that. There are daily sacrifices that parents have to make to make their kids happy and I really want people to understand that. So “His Dream” is a very special record to me in the sense of not only is it personal in the sense that this is my relationship with my father, but on a broader sense it is glorifying the fact that something as simple as being a responsible parent. I think it’s important that people understand that.”