It’s been a wild five years since Asher Roth dropped his debut album, Asleep in the Bread Aisle. The record received lukewarm reception, and his hit single “I Love College” put him in a box labeled “frat rapper.” It was towards the end of my freshman year in college when Roth’s debut was released. Despite the album’s several missteps and obvious pop-rap attempts, there were several tracks that showed Asher’s potential. Since then Asher has tapped into that potential, but has struggled to do so on a large scale. After his Def Jam deal fell through, one would expect him to be bitter or rap with a chip on his shoulder, but instead on his sophomore LP, RetroHash, Asher Roth sounds more comfortable than he’s ever been.
RetroHash, which is entirely produced by the Blended Babies – who also did a bulk of Roth’s 2011 mixtape Pabst & Jazz, is an excellent spring-early summer album. The production is very melodic and has a chilled out vibe. Asher Roth experiments with sing-song deliveries, and it works very well for songs like “Pull It” and “Tangerine Girl.” It’s a fun summer album, and at 40 minutes, there isn’t a moment wasted. While most of the album is laid back and carefree, Roth hits on some heavier subject matter on tracks like “Pot of Gold,” “Last of the Flohicans and “Fast Life,” which features up and coming Chicago emcee Vic Mensa.
Asher Roth has seemed to find a nice spot creatively on the indie market. RetroHash is the work of an artist who has found his sound, and that is the result of no longer needing to prove himself to record labels or to shed unwanted labels. After so many setbacks, it’s good to see Roth succeeding and making the music he is capable of making.
1) Parties at the Disco (feat. ZZ Ward)
2) Dude (feat. Curren$y)
3) Tangerine Girl
4) Pull It
5) Something for Nothing (feat. Coyle Girelli)
6) Fast Life (feat. Vic Mensa)
7) Last of the Flohicans (feat. Major Myjah)
8) Be Right (feat. Major Myjah)
9) Pot of Gold
10) Keep Smoking (feat. Chuck Inglish)