Album Review: Asher Roth's "Pabst & Jazz"


Rating: 8 / 10

Asher Roth has been one of the few artists to reach the mainstream level with an album release but continue to deliver Hip-Hop music, and his work doesn’t go unnoticed. Since his album release in 2009 (Asleep In The Bread Aisle), he’s dropped a mixtape (Seared Foie Gras with Quince and Cranberry) and a collaborative EP with Norfolk, Virginia, representative Nottz Raw (The Rawth EP), and now he’s releasing more music to round out 2011. Although it’s another oddly-named mixtape with an even more oddly-titled production squad by the title of Blended Babies, Pabst & Jazz is yet another great output from Asher Roth that shows off his lyrical diversity.

It’s not enough to break him away from that “White rapper mold,” but with the choices of titles for his projects and songs, one isn’t sure if Asher wants to break away from that defining element. He’s not a gangster rapper; he’s a White kid to the heart and thoroughly enjoys being that. At the same time, some choose to not pay attention to his rhymes because of that, and they miss out on one of the more technical, complex deliveries who’s cranking out music right now. It’s evident in almost all of the tracks here, and the rhymes flow over the Blended Babies production smoother than should be allowed.

The only real issue with Pabst & Jazz could be the overabundance of features. Action Bronson, Chip Tha Ripper, Casey Veggies, A$AP Twelvy, Pac D##, Nathan Santos, GLC, and YP are all featured here, among others. Chuck Inglish (of the Cool Kids) and the production collective of 1500 or Nothin’ (you may have heard of Mars since he produced Martians vs Goblins for The Game) also helps on the boards. There are also a couple of tracks which seem to fail to distinguish themselves due to the bland hook-writing.

When it all comes together, however, Asher Roth delivers another great project for people to vibe to until his next major release, slated for 2012 on Def Jam. It’s grounded in the fundamentals that makes Hip-Hop endearing to most of us, and remains fresh with its bland moments coming few and far between. It’s enough to get one interested to see what comes next.