Friday, July 31, 2009
Friday Face Off: (Don't Believe The Hype Edition) Drake vs. Asher Roth
Don’t believe the hype. Public Enemy told you that years ago. Still, every year we believe it don’t we? Every year some style, or person or album or event is going to come along and save hip hop or something, but does it ever? Not really. So let’s keep that ball of cynicism rolling and take a look at two dudes who have most recently been assigned the task of “saving” hip hop, Drake and Asher Roth.
Let’s examine these two guys in 3 categories to try and figure out which (if either) is actually worthy of the absurd amount of hype surrounding them.
It’s Friday Face Off. Again.
As usual, we’re going to put these jokers head to head in 3 categories: Todays categories are “Sounds like”, “Missteps”, and “Potential” to decide once and for all, who is the most likely to disappoint us the least after it’s revealed that they didn’t in fact save hip hop. Yeah, wrap your brain around that.
So let's jump right in with "potential":
They both have it. 2 indie and media darlings who were praised for being that new breath of fresh air that the industry needs "right now". College kids like them both, but it looks like Asher Roth can just rap. Drake is a TV star, he can also rap and he sings. In poker terms, Drake is like having Ace-King suited, pre-flop. Asher Roth is like a pair of 10's off suit, pre-flop. Drake has more outs. If he doesn't make it as a rapper, he can ghost write raps, pen hooks for people or go back to TV. Asher will probably be assed out if this rap thing doesn't take off for him.
They’ve both made some Missteps already too, let’s think about these:
Some of you may think that Asher Roth technically shouldn’t be compared to Drake, as Drake is on the rise, smashing radio like crazy, superlative laden reviews about his mix tapes and potential, while Asher technically flopped already. But if you remember, Asher had huge buzz going into the release of his album “Asleep in the bread isle”. What happened? A number of things.
A shitty single (“I Love College” is wack, yo) that catered to college kids. Didn’t college kids make Napster make a billion dollar company? They’re apparently not buying albums anymore. His first week sales proved that. He never really got around to being co-signed by another big rap name either like all the best newcomers do/did (Eminem had Dr. Dre, 50 Cent had Eminem and Dr. Dre etc..), and he pretty much ignored the urban market completely. Eminem (and we hate to keep comparing the two of them, but c’mon, we kinda have to) at least had the courtesy to have Dr. Dre in his videos and then sign 50 Cent.
It was like a tax he had to pay for making so much money from black culture. As a result, Black people were able to relate to Em on that front, he became the crazy white boy who hangs out with Black people. We all know 1 crazy white boy. Asher on the other hand was just that white rapper from the internet that was inexplicably on the cover of XXL that one time.
Drake’s missteps are hilarious as well. First, there’s that train wreck of a music video for “Best I Ever Had”. Don’t get us wrong, we love oily, bouncing titties in slow motion for 4 minutes as much as anyone, but in terms of business, we can see the stupidity of shitting on a huge chunk of your fan base by force feeding them a soft porn disguised as a love song of some sort. We new it was a debacle when we read about Drakes apology before we even saw the video.
He’s still apologizing for it and a lot of women are still talking about how much they hate it. Then there’s that situation from a few weeks ago, we’ll just call “Black Berry-gate” for now, where during a radio appearance on Funk Master Flex (don’t even get us started on that tool bag) Drake was caught reciting “Freestyle” lyrics from a Black Berry. The act has been debated, hated on, laughed at and parodied all over the internets on message boards and youtube and everything else.
Personally, we’re aware of the fact that “Free Style” doesn’t mean “Free Style” anymore but alienating and antagonizing 50 percent of the buying market is worse than simply ignoring them.
Advantage: Asher Roth
Let’s check out who they “Sounds Like”:
We’re not sure if Drake sounds like Lil Wayne or if Lil Wayne sounds like Drake. Y’know, because we haven’t really investigated the rumors that Drake has been ghost writing for Weezy all this time, we just ran with them. Also he sounds a lot like Kanye. Kanye and Wayne are two of the most successful, popular and biggest names in music still, so if you gotta sound like somebody, maybe it’s not so bad to sound like dudes who are getting crazy shine right now. Don’t get us wrong, sounding like anyone is corny but it’s kinda like how people say Kobe’s game is patterned after Jordan’s. Like, if you gonna copy someone…
Asher Roth sounds like Eminem, period. We don’t care that Eminem was quoted in a magazine as saying he doesn’t think Asher sounds like him, we don’t care that Asher says he’s not trying to sound like him, that dude sounds like Eminem. Which might have been a really cool thing a years ago, when Eminem was the king of pop culture. Or even a few short years ago when Eminem was nowhere to be found and people weren’t sure if he’d be coming back at all and Asher could have taken the mantle of cool, lyrical white dude. Unfortunately for him, not only did Eminem come back, but he came back with a shitty album. So now, Asher Roth doesn’t just sound like Eminem, he sounds like that other white guy who put out a shitty album this year.
Sound like the new fly shit or sound like hey, what ever happened to?
So there you have. You still shouldn't believe the hype about anyone (Remember Public Enemy told you that) but when it comes to these two characters, and you absolutely HAVE to bet on one of them even coming close to "Saving" Hip Hop, go ahead and ride with Drake. Apparently.