"Dedicated To The Winners & The Losers..." - Raekwon


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Asher Roth Revisted Upon The Dawning Horror That Everybody Else Is Probably Right And The Dude Might In Fact Be A Bigoted Douchebag


"You guys are always going off about how much money you have. Do you realize what's going on in this world right now?' All these black rappers? African rappers? Talking about how much money they have. Do you realize what's going on in Africa right now? It's just like, you guys are disgusting. Talking about billions and billions of dollars you have. And spending it frivolously, when you know, the Motherland is suffering beyond belief right now." - Asher Roth, hypocritical black pot (Associated Press)

Dear Asher,

Duuuuuude. You can't excoriate other rappers (especially rappers who happen to be black and have grown up in miserable poverty) for wanton materialism and hedonism when you are willing to be photographed with dozens of scantily clad co-eds. Its against the rules. There is a profound difference between not patronizing Jacob the Jeweler and actually being a humanitarian aid worker in Africa. I can't tell you how on so many levels that statement is fucked up. Yes, it's true that making a song celebrating your love for your diamond necklace is incredibly shallow but so is a song celebrating beer pong. But more importantly what does that have to do with sick kids in Africa? (Well, besides the whole blood diamond thing to be fair but still...) Where are you making that brilliant intellectual leap?

And since when did it become the duty of rappers to try single handedly try and save Africa? The world has collectively decided to turn their back as Africa burn, black emcees can keep on ignoring the smell of smoke and charred ash like the rest of us if they damn well want.

I was willing to overlook the fact that you were dumb enough as a public figure to make a "nappy headed hoes" joke because nothing gets the gas face quicker than people pretending to be offended by things they aren't actually offended by because it was clear that you were making reference to the fact that you were at Rutgers University and more importantly, you weren't actively insulting anybody. This just makes me angry, though. Seriously, you need to shut the fuck up about any political statements unless you know what the fuck you are talking.
I'm retroactively removing a full mic from your album review on general principle.*


*If I were one to actively grade albums which I don't and never will. **
**Unless, of course, somebody (publications, internet, private investors, etc.) is willing to pay me to grade said albums. ***
*** I'd totally be willing to be hired by some person **** to go through your private music collection and grade your record collection, album by album, as well. This seems like an ideal job, actually.
****Preferably somebody who is rich and frivilous. *****
***** Poor and frivilous is preferable, too. ******
****** Actually, anybody willing to pay me. ********
******* I'm a whore for money. I have no shame. ********
******** It's a recession people. Don't judge.

20 comments:

Badmon3333 said...

Wow... yeah... fuck this toolbox. Why am I not surprised that he's originally from Philly?

bding7 said...

is it safe to assume the the recession has not been kind to the good doctor?

DocZeus said...

"is it safe to assume the the recession has not been kind to the good doctor?"

Sort of. I thankfully have a job that I enjoy some sort of security at but unfortunately, it's job that I loathe and is slowly killing my soul... and I can't quit because as if I'd quit I would have to move back in with my parents since I wouldn't be able to find a new job in this market and if I did move back in my parents that would mean I'd have to kill myself. So...

Yeah, the recession has been a motherfucker...

flycliches said...

i think there's a story about emperors and their clothes...
still, laughing my ass off at "african rappers."
is there a single relevant rapper in the game right now who is from africa? conspicuous consumption in rap music definitely doesn't deserve its bad reputation.

tray said...

I mean, those are some attractive co-eds. But for the millionth time, I don't know why Asher Roth's bigotry or lack thereof is that important. It's like if Beyonce happened to hate Jewish people. It's not like Asher's pushing some racist message in his music, unless you think that the very fact that he's white and has a toehold in the rap game threatens to, like, dissipate away the radicalizing power of hip-hop. Assuming of course that hip-hop still continues to have any sort of real political meaning.

Badmon3333 said...

It's not okay just to hate him for being a dick?

Remember when it was going around that Lauryn Hill hated white people? Now, she mighta gone all crazy and shit, but after completely alienating the main group that made her album blow up, she hasn't had another record since.

Saying dumb race-related things has brought down way more-important people than Asher Roth.

Badmon3333 said...

"Assuming of course that hip-hop still continues to have any sort of real political meaning."You GOT to hear Mr. Lif's new joint, 'I Heard It Today.'

DocZeus said...

" I mean, those are some attractive co-eds. But for the millionth time, I don't know why Asher Roth's bigotry or lack thereof is that important. It's like if Beyonce happened to hate Jewish people. It's not like Asher's pushing some racist message in his music, unless you think that the very fact that he's white and has a toehold in the rap game threatens to, like, dissipate away the radicalizing power of hip-hop. Assuming of course that hip-hop still continues to have any sort of real political meaning."

Well, no. I just wrote a six page essay directly below about the essential harmlessness of his music but there is an element of white privilege in his music that just gets made more ugly and prominent when he makes a statement like this.

I mean you're right to some extent, Professor Griff is one step away from being Walt Disney on Jewish people but that doesn't keep "A Nation Of Millions" from being awesome. Granted, I'm still not sure what Professor Griff actually does in Public Enemy but you know whatever...

Jordan said...

In the 3 months I spent volunteering in Africa, I never realized what was causing so many problems there was actually the conspicuous consumption of black rappers.

What pisses me off the most about this is the idea that throwing a bunch of money at the continent would solve all these problems, instead of recognizing the amount of work and ideas it takes to combat genocide, disease and the root causes of poverty in a place that doesn't have much in the way of industry or good soil. I know it's the least dumb/racist assumption here, but because of that it'll probably go unchallenged.

DocZeus said...

What I think is most troubling about the quote is that hes asserting that its inherently rich African-Americans responsibility to give to Africa as if the rest of the world can go about ignoring the problems but its Jay-Z's fault that Africans starve.

Badmon3333 said...

Particularly when you consider Patrice O'Neal's halfway-serious assertion that, by and large, a lot of Africans don't like black people very much.

Detroit P said...

"African Rappers"
^^^
lol...Akon?...what Asher fails to mention is that there are alot of rappers that silently donate alot of money..maybe not to Africa...but to the impoverished people in THEIR OWN neighborhoods and communities...none of these rappers are from Africa...i don't identify with Africa..I know nothing about any of the many cultures there...Do I celebrate Kwanzaa? No!..I don't even know where I'm going with this rant..but comments like these are just annoying...and though i didn't care before, i've been wondering...how is making the exact same joke Don Imus made taking a swipe at Don Imus?..especially like a year and a half after it happened and has become old news....thats like if Asher woulda called some black guy a nigger and said it was a joke and that he was taking a swipe at racists because he was saying it ironically..as if it was an episode of Family Guy...this guy's just as ignorant about social issues as most of the people I go to college with.

DocZeus said...

Regarding the Asher's Don Imus issue-

I think the primary difference between the way Asher Roth used the phrase and the way Don Imus used it was that Imus was directly attacking somebody and Asher's was just a smug reference that wasn't directed at anybody in particular. I mean with Imus there was malicious intent while Asher's it was the sort of drunken quasi-racist joke that an asshole friend of yours might make when he's drunk.

Whether that's better or worse is really up to your interpretation.

tray said...

I mean, I definitely agree that his comments are retarded on many levels, although I wasn't too spooked by the "I can't relate to most rap" stuff. I imagine there are plenty of black people who can't relate to most Asher Roth. But again, what does this really have to do with his music? It'd be one thing if I Love College contained some hidden hate-screed against African-Americans who don't send money to their distant African cousins. But it doesn't. There are a few silly shots here and there in his stuff, I take it, about rappers who flaunt their chains, and that's about it. As for the white privilege, elaborate. He's white, and he's sort of privileged, so therefore... he can't talk about his semi-privileged white life? Maybe he could record a song atoning for being a Caucasian. I can't see why this matters at all. At least when people were fretting about Soulja Boy's comments on slavery, there was some sort of tangential relationship between the general ignorance and overriding pecuniary obsession of his work and his thoughts on that specific subject. (Not that I'm not still a fan.)

Zilla Rocca said...

Badmon:

Watch yourself. He is NOT from Philly, he's from Morrisville, almost an hour NORTH of the city near the whitest, rich part of town (Huntington Valley) and adjacent to Trenton, NJ. Fall back.

brandon said...

I'd seriously suggest a ban on ever responding to Tray internet-wide b/c he's not going to concede or ever be like "I see what you're saying..."

That said, the issue with Asher's statements are in part his whiteness and privilege but it's more than that. Yes, he's dopey and should be called out for connecting American rappers to Africans while implicitly suggesting that none of the continent's issues are anybody else's responsibility or fault...it's like ass-backwards, in-reverse isolationism...if I can be self-loathing, it's a very wealthy Jew thing to say.

But moving on...I think where most people's issue with it comes is not the kinda racism at hand or the "yo he's criticizing another race of people" but that his ideas simply don't line-up. It's the same reason we love to hate preachers who turn out to be gay or doing meth or like when Jessica Simpson's life turns out to not be so Christian or virginal.

It's fun and infuriating because it's so glaringly obvious. That Roth has a song that's every bit as surface-level and hedonistic as the rap he's crapping on, and as far as I know, he isn't helping out any bombed out parts of Tel Aviv, he's just a dopey asshole. That he isn't bright or self-aware enough to see his own hypocrisy makes him a target and a deserving one.

Or it's why say, Immortal Technique's homophobia is fun to point out and mock him for, while it doesn't matter if say, Goodie Mob or Ghostface say "faggot".

DocZeus said...

"Or it's why say, Immortal Technique's homophobia is fun to point out and mock him for, while it doesn't matter if say, Goodie Mob or Ghostface say "faggot"."

I agree but this where I get off that particular train. It absolutely does matter that Goodie Mob and Ghostface casual use of the word "faggot" is a big deal (especially in the case of Goodie Mob because their music is just as "conscious" as IT's except its better). You can't excuse ignorance because the artist's music is overtly ignorant. We shouldn't hold Common to a higher standard than we do Gucci Mane simply because Common has overt aspirations of intelligence and Gucci doesn't.

Sure, its more fun to mock Asher Roth for his idiocy (especially considering he's a such a safe target) but its much braver and more important that we address the misogyny and the homophobia that is basically ignored in our favorite rap groups simply because we like their music.

I mean Asher is a sort of an ignorant, privileged douche for wantonly tossing around "nappy headed hoes" while he's performing at Rutgers but since when did hip hop fans start giving a rats ass about rappers calling women "hoes" n the first place. You've got to be willing to call out Snoop when he does it too or the exercise is completely meaningless.

*I realize I keep backsliding back and forth on the issue. I hate having nuanced thoughts.

brandon said...

Mad late on responding to this. It's really an issue of what bugs you/me/whoever, is it hypocrisy or "hatred"? "Ignorance" for me at least, only becomes an issue when the artists preaches some sense of attitude that conflicts with it or highlights it. When their shit doesn't line-up is when I get annoyed. I could write an essay about why it makes sense Khujo Goodie is homophobic in the context of his music, message etc.

Next to rap, the genre I listen to the most is Black Metal--Black as in dark, not race--which is namely early 90s Scandanavian bands screaming Nazi-ish ideology and I'm okay with it because dudes go for it, you know?

In short, I don't think misogyny or homophobia's an issue in rap, but bullshit.

PopeJamal said...

"He's white, and he's sort of privileged, so therefore... he can't talk about his semi-privileged white life?"

"I can't see why this matters at all."

Here's the problem with Mr. Roth as I see, based on my personal experience. I think this also applies to "white boys in hip-hop" in general:

I grew up in a shitty neighborhood, went to a shitty school, and lived in, what can broadly and generically be called a "shitty situation". I didn't have much contact with "white boys", and when I did, it usually boiled down to two scenarios:

A)Them saying: "Ha! Ha! I'm white, and you're just a nigger!"

or

B)Me thinking "Damn! What the hell!? These white boys have it easy: Low crime, nice schools, clean environments. What's wrong with ME that MY situation is all fucked up? Am I "bad" or "worth less" in some way? Was it "designed" this way, or is it just bad luck? Do I even deserve to have it better?"

So you think about this whenever you aren't quick enough to keep the thoughts tamped down, but you never really get a sense of how you FEEL about it (even well into your twenties), let alone forming your own answer to the questions.

Now, consider Hip-Hop. Over time, you've come to take solace in this genre of music that I consider to be "modern day ghetto blues". It's always cathartic to hear about the problems of someone else, especially when they're worse than yours. It helps you keep your own problems in perspective, scaled down and manageable.

Over the years you've "lived with" or "in" Hip-Hop, you've come to feel comfortable with the people there, and you understand, for the most part, where everyone is coming from, and what their motivations are. Then, BAM!!!!

All of a sudden, some "white boy" kicks the door in, and comes barging into the room like:

"Yeah motherfuckers! What up Bitches!?! Where my REAL niggas at!?!?

And we're like: "Word!?!?"

Sure he looks, like a rapper (sorta), and sounds like a rapper (kinda), but he doesn't SMELL like a rapper. We have no idea where he's from, where he's coming from, and what his motivations are. Is he making fun of me? Is he making fun of my situation? We don't really share any common life experiences, so how can I relate to him? Who let him in here anyway?

The divisiveness in our society has gotten so bad, and the cultural differences between different ethinc/socio-economic groups have gotten so wide, it's not always easy to identify with people outside of your own group.

That's not so much an excuse, as it is a REASON for why I'm not quite sure yet if I really like that motherfucker. Maybe some other people feel the same way I do. So, until I can better tell what this dude is all about, I'll quote Ghostface:

"Fuck that! I'm hatin'!"

Anonymous said...

As a black woman (who happened to have attended Rutgers) I love that people have been saying that Roth's comment clearly had no target and was a joke. Thanks hip hop for making me/us black women invisible nonfactors when it comes to humanity. Let there be outrage on him for targeting black rappers (mostly males) for not giving back to Africa. Now the outrage must begin.

theeqB