[CD Review] Asher Roth, 'Asleep In the Bread Aisle' (SchoolBoy/SRC/Universal Motown)

Being a privileged white guy from the Philly suburbs doesnNt disqualify Asher Roth from legitimate hip-hop MC status—not being able to spin an interesting yarn does. The Scooter Braun-championed overnight sensationNs debut, Asleep In the Bread Aisle, has little to say, other than that Roth occasionally likes rapping like a beat poet, he loves his family, he loves smoking weed, and—oh, yeaH N Mdash;he loves higher education.

With its Weezer sample and anti-resident-adviser message, gargantuan hit “I Love College” is as frat-ready as anything this side of “Baby Got Back,” and the albumNs concerns are decidedly upper-middle-class/twentysomething, white dude throughout. (One song, “Bad Day,” is about how it sucks to have to sit next to a fat guy on the flight to your friendNs wedding. Seriously.) Despite being surrounded by a credible cast of characters, including Cee-Lo Green, Don Cannon and Busta Rhymes, Roth fails to say anything controversial or memorable. “As I Em” seeks to establish his own identity, but he need not worry about Eminem comparisons. Slim ShadyNs music gets people charged-up, while RothNs repertoire will make them as drowsy as those blunts heNs always talking about.

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