Asher Roth

Asher Roth, & Kid Cudi

The cover of Asher Roth's latest album, Asleep in the Bread Aisle, employs all the subtlety of a sledgehammer in its portrayal of the rapper passed out on a grocery store shelf surrounded by white bread. The cover is a presumably self-deprecating statement about Roth's status as the latest suburban,"white-bread" rapper trying to establish himself in a predominantly black genre. The unintended irony is that the music contained within also shares a lot in common with a loaf of Wonder Bread: It's soft, bland, and appeals primarily to backpack-toting kids whose palates have yet to evolve. Based on the lyrical inanity on display in Roth's hit "I Love College," it's easy to see why Weezer's Rivers Cuomo refused to clear the "Say It Ain't So" sample that Roth initially had used for the song. So, it falls on the shoulders of Cleveland's Kid Cudi to save this show. His debut album isn't due for another month, but anyone who can sample Band of Horses and make it work — as Cudi did on his 2008 mix-tape A Kid Named Cudi — is definitely worth keeping an eye on.


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