Album review: Asher Roth’s ‘RetroHash’
Roth grows up and mellows out with his sophomore album.
Remember Asher Roth’s 2009’s hit “I Love College”? That ode to drinking Miller Lite? The song, off Roth’s full-length debut, Asleep in the Bread Aisle, was an anthem for every frat bro who’s ever drunkenly thought he could rap.
Judging by Roth’s terminally chill sophomore album, RetroHash, he’s moved on to, uh, other substances, and mellowed out.
The album begins with “Parties at the Disco (feat. ZZ Ward).” It’s still a rap about a party, but this time, it’s backed by a reggae-ska funk. Next up is “Dude (feat. Curren$y),” featuring so-obscure-they’re-almost-profound lyrics like, “Hair long, tomatoes, grow my ver' own / Barebone, dare you to out-stare a scarecrow / Blow whale's airhole, hair like scared werewolf.” (Okay, maybe they’re just obscure. But so is life, man).
Halfway through the album, Roth cautions his listeners, “Don't get caught up in the / Fast life, someone's always caught up in the fast life” in “Fast Life (feat. Vic Mensa).” The song is one of many on the album about stopping to take things slooooow. Others on RetroHash show a deeper, more introspective Roth — a Roth who knows heartbreak and, like, the duality of man, bro.
But beneath all its not-so-thinly veiled — or, in the case of closing track “Keep Smoking (feat. Chuck Inglish),” blatant — references to the sticky icky, RetroHash is a solid sophomore album. Roth has grown as an artist from his younger and more bro years, and RetroHash could certainly hold its own against current hip-hop heavyweights. It’s a great album for chillin’ out (or maxin’ out, and probably relaxin’ all cool, too).
MOVE gives RetroHash 3 out of 5 stars.