The alternate musical path of Asher Roth : from « Asleep In The Bread Aisle » to « Flower On The Weekend »

Asher Roth. Picture from Google Images.

The Pennsylvanian active rapper has been thriving for more than a decade now. His rap style is raw and chill at the same time. Always accompanied by beautiful and harmonious instrumentals and beats, he has a pretty big career and a confirmed place in the American rap game. But I kind of feel like he’s not appreciated enough. Despite his multiple collaborations and projects, Asher Roth is still very mysterious. On April 23rd 2020, he revealed to us his last project called « Flowers on the Weekend ». I have undoubtedly felt the changes and the growth from his first project, which I discovered him on, called « Asleep In The Bread Aisle ». This is an article dedicated to his path and evolution. And also, to his rich discography.

ASLEEP IN THE BREAD AISLE (2009)

Picture from Google Images.

This project is the blueprint of Asher‘s universe and principally his debut in the rap game. As the very very very young teen that I was, I stumbled upon « I love college » and I immediately loved this song. It was chill, fun and conscious at the same time. Totally surfing on this step of our lives that is middle college, I was so jealous and I wanted to be in college too (I was in a way, college in France = middle school).

This project is the diary of a young guy, not really motivated, except maybe by one thing : doing rap. He was at this time a student, discovering and experiencing life and that’s why this project can talk to a lot of people. It’s a holistic project because it’s a universal experience : having fun, testing drugs and finally be free. And I loved the fact that Asher totally assumed this part of him, a part that nobody should be ashamed of : being young. As the 2010 decade moved forward, this wave of nonchalant and weirdos rappers became more and more successful. Those new rappers weren’t degrading rap and hip hop at all. We were in a new era for the rap industry. Totally stereotypical movies and TV shows such as 90210 or Glee, just proved to all the industries that grown kids and teens will not tolerate the stress of the 21st century. Like Mac Miller or Chiddy Bang, Asher succeeded in presenting us this part of his life simply. It was fresh and natural. « La Di Da » is philosophical and is dedicated to the struggles that life implies. Asher pushed the difficulties and troubles of his young adult life away, but he was still aware of them. « She don’t wanna man », is also really funny and almost feminist in way. A song in which we tolerate and respect women having fun. No, parties are not primary places to find love or flirt, our first intention when going in, is to party and dance. In a twisted way, this song was a breath of air. This tension between the two genders is a recurrent theme in music, some can express this antagonism through misogyny but Asher passed by humour and modernity. Asleep in the bread aisle is about a young man at the beginning of his adult life, not really out of youth years and we can’t blame him. The song « His Dream » is a nice one to close this chapter. « His dream » is about him and what he wants to do : shine, have a career, have his life in order, not deceive his family and himself. The song is a memory that he is conscious and not totally obsessed by girls, getting drunk. Asher, as a lot of young adults was torn between two worlds, he was in transition.

In Asleep in the bread Aisle, Asher Roth has delivered some cool and articulated songs. « RetroHash »(2014) may be my favorite one of all. 5 years after the first one, the sophomore project is totally opposed to the first one. Retrohash is musically older and we can hear it. With this thermic cover, Asher has put a feet on the strangeness side of rap game. You know exactly who I’m talking about : the coolests, the misfits but talented one. Tyler The Creator, Kyle or even Vic Mensa, with Retrohash, Asher is totally in this vibe. It seems like he is on the right way. He does not change but he has chosen to do what he likes, never fell for a certain rap music. His texts are diversified and somehow send us to his personal changes. Retrohash is eclectic. « Tangerine Girl » is strange and funky, it’s an alternative bop. But the Saint Graal is « Pull It ». Slow and bizarre, the song is perfect. Two years after, Asher came back with the album Pabst & Jazz. He went a level above. We were facing the « adult Asher », the Asher who drinks wine and smokes cigars, the Asher that goes to bed at 10pm. This project is of course all about jazz and it is a success. A return to jazz music is always a good idea. And Asher chose to do it with bold and cool rappers too. From King Chip to Casey Veggies, we are totally in this area of the alternative rap, the recognized lyricists and bosses. « Bastermating » is almost organic, it’s a treat. « In the kitchen » sound could have been made by Karriem Riggins, it’s hot and complex. With this clapping beat, Asher is funny and flows on the song with facility.

« Pabst & jazz » (2016) is serious but it is also a step ahead. The year after, Asher blessed us with a common project with the famous guitarist Travis Barker and Nottz Raw, called « RAWTHER »(2017). The project is hardcore, though and dark. Once again, Asher was introducing us to a new side of him. It’s almost gangsta, the use of rock music is well executed. The intro the tone. « Voldemort » sound is scary, the electrical guitar gives to the song a thriller atmosphere. Asher is focused and sometimes enraged. Seeing the evolution of his projects, RAWTHER may be the climax of his experimentations. We can’t square him in a case anymore. He’s free musically and artistically. And Flowers on the weekend is surely a proof that Asher Roth is influenced by all types of music genres and that he is able to do whatever he wants, sometimes with the best.

FLOWERS ON THE WEEK END (2020) : A REBIRTH AND A SOFT STATE OF MIND

Picture from Pinterest.

What more can I say? Flowers on the weekend is superbe. It’s mellow, tender and sunny. Maybe Asher has found the thing he was looking for : the peace of mind and heart. « Things change » is clearly an answer to all his incertitudes and stress, he reveals of all this nonsense, he is more than free. « Hibiscus » is bucolic and celestial. Sharing the song with Gaby Duran and his silky voice and CJ Smith, the song is representing a state of inner calm. It’s about love and its positive sides. And this energy, this spring ambience is tangible on all the album. « Spaceship » is Foreign Exchange‘s material, what a song. And of course, Buddy is here to assure and confirm his status of MC, always at the right place and time. Asher has found his treasure, the thing or the person that made him grow and appreciate this part of being an adult, quietly, calmly, simply. Even his voice is eased. And what a grace it is to listen to this project. Asher wherever you’re leading to, you’re almost there, because Flowers on the weekend, is the epitome of inner appreciation and maturity.

So thank you, for letting me share this journey of your life. I was 11 when I discovered you, now I’m 23 and it’s clear that your musical path helped me, I have somehow grown along those projects like you and I have appreciated all their sides. I know your path is not closed (I hope not), but your projects were, and will always be some sources of inspirations to many and I.

Lunaticharlie.

Follow me on Instagram: @pointzeroworld- POINT ZERO WORLD.

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