Asher Roth, Upper-Middle-Class and Rising

Say hello to the white (but not white-trash) rapper du jour

Adept at both battle-rapping and beer pong
Hannibal Matthews
Adept at both battle-rapping and beer pong

For someone so uncommonly good at describing a whole milieu—white Wu-Tang–loving kids at leisure, we'll call it—that's rarely appeared in rap before, Roth spends very little time actually doing so. He talks a lot about getting laid—to fearsome, fast-rapping effect on "Lion's Roar," with Busta Rhymes—and even more about triumphing over adversity, although seemingly the whole point of "I Love College," the iTunes-storming dorm-room anthem that will ensure AITBA's place in history, is that there isn't much of it in his life. "Bad Day" is about a particularly rough, iPodless airline trip. And "Fallin' "—a song that, before Roth borrowed it from the Judgment Night soundtrack, was about how your personality becomes an unwanted commodity right around the moment you lose touch with reality—is, on AITBA, textbook, grade-by-grade autobiography. To which De La Soul still might say: You played yourself.

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