Friday, May 27, 2011 at 4 p.m.
A couple weeks back, our look at so-called "frat-rap" here on County Grind, just before Mac Miller's South Florida performance at America's Backyard, drew some healthy discussion across the interwebs. Here's the summary of the back-and-forth across Twitter, Facebook, and in the post's comment section: Nobody came forward to defend 18-year-old Cam Meekins, Hofstra grad Chris Webby, or beach-drinking bro Sam Adams. (This is proof that the Internet rap world still has some sense. Thanks guys.)
However, Mac Miller's fans won't let him be so easily dismissed. Supporters pointed to his golden-age style beat choice and loose, relaxed flow -- and one commenter even suggested Miller was the victim of "reverse racism." (Not sure when a white male succeeding in the music industry has truly suffered from reverse racism, but we see what you were trying to do there).
Absent from the discussion, however, and from the Internet at large in general lately, though, was the frat rap granddaddy of them all, Asher Roth. While Roth certainly wasn't the first suburban kid to rap about partying, he pretty much wrote the mainstream book on the budding subgenre by sampling Weezer and setting his "I Love College" video in a frat house.
Still, we surmised that maybe Roth had been a victim of bad marketing. Unlike Webby, Meekins, Adams, or even Miller, Roth has a long history working with hip-hop artists NOT in a particular white, New England-centered circle. And, it turns out, he's been in the lab working on a new album. So will it do much to quash the naysaying that followed his first debut?
The guest star on the first leaked (ok not really leaked, legally distributed by publicists) track from the album doesn't bode well. It's, yikes, Akon. But "Last Man Standing" is neither "I Love College Pt. 2" nor a synth-pop song about strippers, as you'd expect from either artist.
Instead, the track features a harder boom-bap type of beat with Roth sounding hungrier and more fierce than before. Not a single mention of flip cup here, but a lot more verbal tongue-twisting that sounds a little labored, but whose effort is appreciated.
Akon's "Oh-oh-ohs" throughout the whole thing come close to making this really annoying, but you can't win em all. In any event, if this is indicative the direction of the rest of Roth's new album, it should be an interesting listen indeed. Follow the link (and a million pop-up ads on Mediafire) to download the track.