After the kind of success Asher Roth has had since the launch of his debut album, Asleep in the Bread Aisle – which is one of my favorite hip hop albums of this year – you can expect a massive influx of college educated white rappers in the scene.
And I’ll bet you my last dollar that most of them will meet with some measurable amount of success.
Simply put, the kind of values, the lyrics rappers like Asher Roth write about is something the majority of America (and much of the music buying public around the world) can associate and identify with.
I went to college. The lyrical content in songs like I Love College appeals to me. It’s nostalgic; I remember the parties I had in college when what Asher Roth sings – never pass out with just your shoes on, don’t have sex if she’s too gone, and when it comes to condoms, put two on – were actual values.
Does it make me any bit less of a hip hop fan?
No. The stereotpye that hip hop has to be “badass” or from the streets to be good has to be erased from the public consciousness. Just because a talented MC isn’t from the hood doesn’t belittle his talent or skill. Kanye showed us so; the hottest rapper right now has a certain fixation with college (or his inability to finish it). This kind of thinking is the reason why Metal has never hit the mainstream, and why Rock n Roll has an audience limited to middle aged accountants who long for “the old days”.
For hip hop to grow up and become a truly global phenomenon that the majority can embrace, these kind of prejudices need to go. Race, your income level, your education level shouldn’t be detriments to pursuing hip hop. Eminem is white; he’s also the finest rapper since the mid 90’s.
The world is changing. The key word today is diversity. In 50 years, America will have a white minority, a majority of Hispanic and black people, along with Asian immigrants. To cope up with these changes, music has to evolve too, as does hip hop.
Only time will tell if hip hop has matured enough to appreciate this globalization.