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.

Advantage: Drake

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?
Advantage: Drake

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.


  1. HILAROUSSSSSS!!!! HAHAHAHA I loved this Friday Face-Off!

    hey maybe if this hip hop thing doesn't work out, Drake can revive Herman Munster's character in a movie.

    this made me giggle excessively, but since I don't know much about hip hop, I can't comment on how hip hop is as dead as Herman :)

  2. Nice one Jay! Especially the poker analogy :-) I knew nothing about Asher Roth until I read the XXL article in the "Freshman" edition-which I only bought b/c of Wale. From what I read, it seemed that he did have potential. However, after hearing I Love College, I was not impressed (where's Lee Harvey when you need him..LOL) The song was lame and having graduated from college 6 years ago, I could only hate on the youth that experience the events in the song.
    As far as Drake is concerned, his songs are decent, but I think that I am going to pass on the album, like I passed on Wayne's last album. There's nothing refreshing at all about him to me. The hype that surrounds his debut should have been given to The Renaissance.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. why did fighter delete that comment?

  5. ummmm i love college is not a shitty song... that shit is dodpe actually and his mixtape THE GREEN HOUSE EFFECT ( DJ DRAMA GANGSTER GRILL )prior to his rushed album was dope too... not at all his fault his album didnt do well at allas much as it was the corporate smuts that wanted to rush and capitalize off of him b4 EM's ass hits the streets again wit another monster outing which no matter how much u dont like the album thats exactly wat he did... that shit sold lets not blame asher for that

    now we got this drake kid ahhhhhh
    blah blah blah...i tolf u 6 months ago this was gonna happen b4 radio the buying public or dam there jus about anybody not named weezy or his manager knew who he was...
    so u pickin DRAKE mskes me smile inside.....and he the luxary of a lil wayne like u stated so the rush and pressure is not as much

    so i say to solve this we juis have both of them go up to FUNKMASTER FLEX'S ( the greatest hype man of all time ) show again
    aand get busy over 20 beats str8... no blackberrys or kegs allowed
    .... wait i take that back well jus the keg part...cuz id love to have one of the
    ose in studio for some on air lyrical gymastics !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and the winner is ????????
    who cares !!!!!!!!!!!
    cuz by the time flex gets done male toppin they finish spittin and that keg is done we're all gonna be so far gone in that hot 97 dorm party.....and thats wat its all about kids havin a good time...i could careless who threw the dam party... so all new comers come come on... show me wat chu got !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and no jay i have no idea wat the hell i was jus talkin about but the more i typed the better it sounded and the more i wanted that exact scenario to happen ...cuz really who doest wanna have a keg party wit flex on the ones and twos singin i love college and best i eva had at the top of their lungs.... jesus is it friday yet
    im red to gooooooooooooo

    P.S and im not proof readin this either pow take that

  6. you've got a gift my friend.



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