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I recently checked my email to find a message from Biz3 Entertainment. I opened it assuming that it was a simple press release for a project from one of the many quality acts that they represent (Def Jux, Battles, Prefuse 73, etc) but what I read was of an entirely differently nature. The email referred to terrorism, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, bomb threats, and a skinny white kid from Morrisville, Pennsylvania that likes to smoke weed and rap about going to college parties.
Rapper Asher Roth (aka Asher Paul Roth) and his band, who are scheduled to perform tonight on the Carson Daly Show, boarded a flight from Atlanta to LAX airport in Los Angeles. As the plane prepared to touch down at LAX, a passenger was reported of making bomb threats and becoming violent. The frenzied wingnut was eventually subdued by a group of passengers which included Roth and his bandmates. They restrained him with plastic ties and the plane landed safely in Los Angeles.
This whole scenario only just occurred this morning. As far as we are aware, Asher and his crew are still planning to appear on Carson Daly’s program tonight but will, most likely, not be at liberty to discuss the specifics of the situation which occurred on Delta Airlines Flight 110. Roth gave a statement to the FBI and we expect more information with the rappers involvement in restraining the man to be released over time. Especially, in a case like this that deals with National Security.
The photo provided above was taken by Roth’s bass player, Chris Llewlyn, and features the suspect being removed from the aircraft by law enforcement. Through an article from the LA Times we have learned the following statements based on comments from FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller:
“(the suspect) claimed he had a bomb and assaulted at least one crew member of a Delta Airlines.”
“At one point he tried to exit through one of the aircraft doors after the flight landed at LAX.”
“There was no immediate word on injuries. Authorities are currently interviewing the man, whose motive and mental state were not immediately clear.” and “The plane is being swept for any possible explosive device.”
Anyone who has yet to hear of Asher Roth will be introduced to his work shortly enough. Media attention like this cannot be bought with cash or simple publicity stunts. It’s fascinating to think that, while traveling cross country for a small promotional appearance on a half-hour television program that runs when most of the country is sound asleep, something outside of the entertainment industry could occur that will do more to springboard a rap career than any billboard, VMA performance, or liquor endorsement ever could.
Based on the self-written bio, press, and tracks on his myspace page, we can learn a few things about Roth and his work in the rap industry. In fact, he states that he was signed based off of the music featured on said myspace page. He also claims that his mix tape “The Greenhouse Effect“, featuring DJ Drama and Cannon, is the number one mixtape downloaded in the U.S. He is also working with Steve Rifkind, who has done work with the likes of WU-Tang and David Banner and is highly impressed with Roth’s potential.
Asher Roth recently released “I Love College” which is no more than a lighthearted party song about getting wrecked and throwing keggers. It’s not the type of shit that blows minds but it’s honest and deals with what he knows. He proudly represents the suburbs and will have no problem appealing to kids from those areas. At times, his voice and cadence are very similar to Eminem, another caucasion rapper and hero to suburban white kids that are into keg stands and double percolators. This song will, no doubt, become an even larger success over time but, the rapper seems to have much more up his sleeve than songs about fucking “hos” and stacking chips.
The best thing about Roth is that, based on what I have witnessed in this short time, he appears to represent the anti-G-Unit. Only time will tell, but Steve Rifkind has been quoted as saying , “He is the best lyricist I’ve heard in 10 years.” Asher Roth’s remix of Li’l Waynes “A Millie” is a blatant attack on what the original track represents and the current state of rap music as a whole. He questions the lack of money that the rap industry is giving back to communities and charities while pointing out that the rap game is focused around egos and showing off their material possessions. There is a definite contradiction with artists like 50 Cent flying out to places like Angola to show support and talk about the Aids epidemic. He arrived with his slew of bodyguards to the country in multiple stretch Hummers that had images of his own face plastered across their sides. He then shakes hands with Marines and preaches to locals who’s country has been destroyed by the oil and diamond industries and who are forced to pay upwards of $12 for a head of lettuce. G-Unit member Young Buck gained hype and brought attention to his career back in 2004 by knifing someone at the Vibe Awards live on television. Asher Roth’s crew, on the other hand, helped to detain a possible terrorist attack on an airplane full of civilians.
Who knows how long the rapper will stay humble and honest after the money starts rolling in? Common and Kanye West once were once known for their lyrical prowess and conscious approach but, all anyone has to do is listen to the track they did together on Common’s latest release to know that is no longer the case. For now, however, Asher Roth is just a young 23 yr old excited about working in the industry with his heroes and with having an opportunity to make a living at something that he has claimed is only a hobby for him. Yep, he has stated that he isn’t even really a “rapper” and that he just started rapping “a little bit ago“. As for Asher’s future, the sky’s the limit (pun intended). Who knows, maybe he’ll just bag the whole music career and get a job with homeland security.