Rapper Asher Roth was Asleep in The Bread Aisle on his 2009 debut album. But as he gears up for his long-awaited untitled sophomore release, he’s representing more than just a carefree lifestyle — without nixing the fun altogether.
“This is essentially the sophomore album, and I get to reintroduce myself and also touch on topics like love, temptation and like, embracing responsibility,” he tells The BoomBox. “I think that’s kind of where we are in my life, is understanding that it’s time for me to embrace responsibility rather than just be asleep in the bread aisle.”
Asher, who signed to Def Jam last year, says songs on the forthcoming album, due Jan. 22, 2013, reflect his mature way of thinking.
“It’s this one joint called ‘Change Me,’ which really talks about my journey through it all and really wanting to get back to the things that really matter rather than getting caught up in the celebrity side of things,” Asher shares. “I think when you can make music that people feel, it’s way better than music that people just hear and ‘Change Me’ really hones in on that.”
He also opens up about “Oops,” a track that showcases his “goofball side.”
“It’s [a] very… Big Lebowksi kind of vibe,” the Pennsylvania native explains. “So we’re just trying to blend those two worlds together. I never want it not to be fun, but there’s also some reality we have to face at some point and if we don’t, it’s a very slippery slope.”
Besides working with Oren Yoel, who produced most of the LP — formerly titled Is This Too Orange? — the rapper rhymed over beats by legendary Atlanta-based producers Organized Noize.
“That was such an amazing experience for me because they did everything from all the Outkast stuff to TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’ and they’ve been there before and they have a blast doing it,” Asher admits. “So to hear an Organized Noise record actually come over and turn into an Asher Roth record is pretty tight and we’re pretty excited about it.”
In addition to gearing up for his next release, Asher, 27, is hitting the stage across the country beginning Nov. 1, for the Fall Clashic tour, which features Kids These Days, Chuck Inglish and Jessie Marco. “It’s just getting out on the road and saying hi to everybody so they can see us in person,” he states.
As a former XXL magazine freshman, Asher has established his name in the rap game and remained relevant, despite an almost four-year gap between albums. Artists can easily be forgotten, so The BoomBox picks his brain on the science of keeping your name buzzing. Here’s his top five ways to do so.
1. Keep Your YouTube Game Up
“Shoot music videos. Because imagery is very important.”
2. Stay in the Studio
“You’re going to want to make music obviously and continue to put out music. Don’t let any forces hold you back.”
3. Speak Your Mind
“Think. Continue to be outspoken and speak about what you honestly believe in because the more people actually know who you are — in the internet world — things are a lot more transparent. So it’s tough because sometimes they want to hide rappers.
“I think rappers are some of the more intelligent people. It’s just that nowadays some rappers aren’t necessarily well-spoken or don’t really have a personality so they try to hide them. I think it’s important to speak your mind.”
4. Keep Your Health in Check
“Stay healthy because you can’t be relevant if you’re not healthy. I stay away from fast food, but when you’re on the road, options are limited so I may break down and get a [McDonald’s] Egg McMuffin every once and awhile. Growing up I used to just eat everything. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve really just gotten privy to the food industry and people can’t get it twisted.
“The food industry is a business and it’s a convenience. I’m not saying don’t eat meat and be vegan, just understand where that meat is coming from. And like KFC for instance, every single time I’ve eaten there in the past, it’s just made me sick. I’ve kind of just learned where KFC comes from and what those animals go through.
“If you kill a cow or even a chicken and eat it, you just want it to kind of die under the right circumstances. Not all freaked out. I’m an energy person and I really firmly believe that stuff matters. So be careful about what you’re eating.”
5. Date Someone Famous & Put Out a Sex Tape
“Date somebody famous — as far as the significant other goes. I get it. I understand that people think it’s irresponsible for people to fall in love but I’m personally not into the whole celebritism and dating somebody just because their life’s convenient or that love relationship is convenient.
“But just be with somebody that cares about you and roots for you and looks out for your best interest and vice versa. But it’s a great way to stay relevant, you know putting out sex tapes [laughs].