Raw brah

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 10, 2009

In a move designed to continue wooing the same impressionable fan base he'd tapped with the apropos Velveeta single "I Love College," this past April 20 (do the math) Roth dropped his proper full-length debut, Asleep in the Bread Aisle (SRC/Universal Motown). Even haters were amazed. In my survey of predictably stubborn critics, only Pitchfork's Ian Cohen was callous enough to deny that Roth had surpassed all reasonable expectations. The disc elicited vitriol from such antagonistic MCs as Copywrite, but it mostly silenced on-line trolls and knee-jerk haters. Mostly.

"Even though I've put it all out there — in my videos, and in interviews, and in my music — there are always misconceptions," he points out. "The biggest mistake people make is that I'm a rich kid. I'm from a comfortable home — don't get me wrong — but my family is definitely not wealthy. And I'm not Jewish, either." (His father is.)

That's not to say Roth's music doesn't fit some stereotypes. The kid might not be a Greenwich gangsta, but he's certainly a poster child for Pennsyltucky post-teens who conduct themselves with Chris Klein optimism and use football analogies to describe life. In other words, he's just like any other carefree middle-class college bumpkin.

"I'm just trying to stay grounded through all this. I don't take myself too seriously, even though I know that I have opportunities to have a voice and a role in this world. It doesn't matter how all these other people talk about me. I'm like Jerry Rice — I'll just keep catching the ball and returning to the line of scrimmage."

ASHER ROTH + KID CUDI & 88 KEYS | House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston | July 14 at 8 pm | $25-$35 | all ages | 888.693.BLUE or www.houseofblues.com

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