Latoya says it much better (and more thoroughly) than I did. She also provides a whole lot of links detailing the problems with Asher Roth, so head over there and read. It’s not a matter of Roth just “expressing himself” and overly-sensitive PC people being all kinds of mad cuz he’s white. It’s his arrogance and his smirking sense that he can do this rap shit better than black folks; it’s his insistence that his work is valuable because white suburban kids are the ones buying rap albums, and they’re entitled to hear from a white MC whose experiences mirror their own. Latoya rounds up a lot of good commentary, and this is one quote that stands out:
It’s never explicitly said—because if it was, he wouldn’t even be afforded the minor fame he has right now—but Roth’s rapping is not an alternative to mainstream hip-hop or capitalistic corpo-rap, but an alternative to blackness. It’s not entirely clear if Roth even realizes this (probably because he’s not thinking as hard as he thinks he is), but his contempt for most rappers mixed with statements about how he’s the kind of guy buying the music—again, and therefore not black people—sound contemptuous.
Plus, the guy’s just a jerk:
Roth addresses poverty and greed on the song “Sour Patch Kids.” And at his fans’ behest, Roth uploaded to his MySpace page “A Millie Remix,” a freestyle rhyme over Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” beat, criticizing rappers who boast about having millions of dollars but “don’t share, don’t donate to charity.”
“When I dropped that … (I thought) ‘You guys are always going off about how much money you have. Do you realize what’s going on in this world right now?’ All these black rappers — African rappers — talking about how much money they have. ‘Do you realize what’s going on in Africa right now?’” Roth says.
“It’s just like, ‘You guys are disgusting. Talking about billions and billions of dollars you have. And spending it frivolously, when you know, the Motherland is suffering beyond belief right now.’”
This is the same guy who Tweeted that he was hanging out with “nappy-headed hoes” and then tried to cover his ass by saying he was just mocking Don Imus. It’s the same guy who had this to say about hip-hop:
The first CD I ever bought was Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Crash’…That is how suburban I am…I finally got into hip hop in ’98 when I heard the Annie sample with Jay-Z….When I wrote my ‘A Milli’ freestyle, that was me listening to 10 years of hip hop and not relating to it at all. Like, Damn I don’t sell coke. Damn, I don’t have cars or 25-inch rims. I don’t have guns. I finally got to a point where I had the confidence to do this thing myself, and I was making music for me. And it turns out, a lot of people feel the same way I do.
He isn’t embracing hip-hop. He’s mocking it.
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