Archive for April, 2009

Asher Roth. The guy kinda sucks.

April 27, 2009

For all the shit that's he's put out in the last few years, not to mention recently, Eminem used to be pretty good. I recall more than a few songs on his first three albums that were downright funny and dare I say, great. Also, and perhaps more importantly, Em was very funny when he wanted to be. I remember a time when Eminem would drop a song that would have you and your friends screaming and laughing, shocked by the audacity of the lines he was spitting, and the way he was saying them. Currently, he's dropping some hideous comeback crap, chock full of dated references and if the new leaked track is to be believed, sad horrorcore throwbacks. Which brings me to Asher Roth, the current new fresh kid to ape and take advantage of the Eminem style. You might have heard his terrible "I Love College" song. What is remarkable about this guy is that he has all these Eminem comparison's without actually having any of Eminem's most important characteristics, humor, self awareness, and ability.

Asher Roth is a bad rapper. Slow and clunky, the lines in "I Love College" flow like a broken conveyer belt at Fed Ex. Lines don't necessarily rhyme, and it's all completely witless. Which I guess is fine for an attention getting, audience pandering first single. To make sure I was justified in disliking this guy, I sat down with his album, Asleep In The Bread Aisle. Woof, my friends, woof. Asher Roth hasn't a thing to say. While much has been made of his middle class upbringing, his lack of personal strife and conflict is both boring and offputing. "Bad Day" sounds like a bad comedian riffing(and whiffing) about riding coach in a plane, with the HI-larious punchline, "I forgot my iPod." Certainly all in jest, but also not that funny. If this were just one jokey song amongst some hard hitting material, I'd shut up right now and lay praise and hosannas. But it's just one of many.

 "Lark In A Go-Kart" is a bad Family Guy episode in lyrical form, with as many pop culture references as Roth can spit at a time, which isn't that many, since he's such a slow rapper. Listening to Asleep In The Bread Aisle, I felt a little bad for anyone going to college who will most likely be subjected to this relentlessly during their freshman year. My freshman year, I had to contend with the first Nelly album and Lil Kim's "How Many Licks?". Yes, I lucked out. "Ride Wit Me" is actually pretty great. Asher Roth should be so lucky to make anything as catchy and fun as "Ride Wit Me" or anything on Eminem's most acclaimed discs.

The laziness is the most striking aspect of Roth. At one point on Asleep… Roth devotes an entire track to defending himself against Eminem comparisons. You wish, man! I should put out a terrible record and devote a track to telling everybody to stop comparing me to Jay-Z. What do I have in comparison to Jay-Z? About the same amount of things  Asher Roth does with Eminem. On Eminem's first album he killed his wife and disposed of the body with his kid! Em convinced Dr. Dre to shoot a guy in the face. Asher Roth rides around stoned and meets a girl who "just wants to dance." Asher Roth wants to Pacino to Brando's Godfather, but he's more AJ Soprano to Gandolfini's Tony. A young imitator with all the chances and none of the ability.

The line being thrown around is that when Roth's low sales are announced next week, it won't be because people heard the album sucked, it'll be because it "undershipped", which must be the "dog ate my homework" for the underperforming artist. My advice to the record companies looking for their next great white rapper, find a guy with flow who actually gives a shit. And make sure he's actually funny, not "remember Saved By The Bell" funny.  

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend

McCarty didn’t like the new Fast & Furious movie.

April 7, 2009

A new Fast and Furious movie? Try to stop me. Just try.

I don’t know why I find Vin Diesel an appealing action star, I just kinda do. He’s built like a piece of ammunition, and seems to have been designed only for being in action movies. Which is why no one wants to see Vin Diesel in a drama. I heard Find Me Guilty was actually pretty good. But I didn’t see it. Because at no point does Vin shoot at a car and make it explode. Not only that, he has hair in that movie! Totally misses the point of Vin Diesel.

Fast & Furious is actually a prequel to The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift. We know this because some Asian guy in the beginning of the movie says, “Things are getting too hot here. I heard Tokyo is nice.” (beat) With that out of the way, this new F&F can stay comfortable, firmly lodged in the mythos, because whenever I talk to people about this series, which is with most people, most of the time, the first thing they bring up is the mythos. Eventually they talk about the cars. And Vin Diesel. No one talks about Paul Walker, but they know who he is. They’re just being polite is all. How are you supposed to make friends with people if they keep bringing up Paul Walker. It’s a recession, lady. Things are tough all over.

Justin Lin directed, and I wonder how he felt about that. After Better Luck Tomorrow, I don’t think anyone thought he’d follow up with Annapolis(James Franco prefers you forget that one) and F&F:Tokyo Drift. Clearly, he was the man for the job of rebooting the franchise (again), having proved he could work with fast cars and/or Jordana Brewster.

The plot is that Vin Diesel and Paul Walker drive modified cars real fast. There’s some drugs, and Michelle Rodriguez gets killed in a flashback 15 minutes into the movie. Spoy! Ler! Vin Diesel spends the rest of the film trying to kill the guy who killed Michelle, and he’s so determined that he repeatedly ignores the advances of this terrible model/actress. Dude has to stay on point. Can’t be playing around when Michelle Rodriguez needs avenging. This might also explain all the casual lezzing out by the various extras. See what happens when you take smoking out of movies? You force the background artists to resort to lipstick lesbianism. They just want attention, filmmakers.

So, what else is there? A couple of cool chases, Vin Diesel crushes a guy with his car, and lots of Garmin use. I’m finding I retained very little from this film, but I recall enjoying it while I watched it. But I do have one big qualm. At the end of the film, the courts decide that Vin Diesel must go to jail. He’s on the jail bus when three cars, one driven by Walker, one by Brewster, and one by a terrible Latino stereotype, swarm it. I get all set for a big rescue scene, and bam! credits. Lazy. Don’t set up something awesome like that, F&F. Also, I couldn’t help but wonder just how they were going to get Vin Diesel out of that bus. The only way I know is the blow it in half, Money Talks style. Now that was a movie.

My example starts at 4:20

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend