I can't understand why people have been downing this guy. I can only assume that these are the same people who were down on Em when he 1st tipped his hat via major label backing. I always thought that any MC worth his salt had to have 3 things, subject matter, charisma & skills. If those 3 are covered in varying degrees & aren't being wasted on 'Thugnificent' type rhetoric then alls the better right? Not according to some which is why I think that Asleep In The Bread Aisle is going to suffer from over critiquing by folks who should know better than to judge the man as well as his music. Lets get the obvious out of the way, yes he sounds like Em. Now... the Indie influence, while obvious through almost the entire album, is a very welcome one. The effect is such that the whole concept sounds natural. Allie to this the breaks in tradition with tracks like Blunt Cruisin' & the Busta Rhymes assisted jump starter Lion's Roar & these is ealiy enough here for everybody to get their teeth into. Oren Yoel (he handles most of the production) is a name that I haven't heard of before now, I suspect that i'm not the only one but not for much longer. The subject matter, while nothing new, is varied, covers both comical, emotional & political boundaries & is very well executed. One thing I like about Ash's flow is that he knows when to dumb it down. Some of these new heads on the block fail to realise that going hell for leather over every beat they come across does not make them nice with theirs. His dream is a perfect example. Keeping the rhymes straight forward (not basic there is a difference) means that the feel that is supposed to be conveyed to us the listener is done so with ease (you'd be suprised how many times i've heard this mistake made). AITBI is an album that, at a time when mainstream Hip Hop is crying out for change, easily stands out from what is floating about currently. Asher could easily have gone down the controversial route in order to try & grab the same audience as his soundalike (which would've meant an even more adverse reaction in certain quarters). It's pleasing to see that he hasn't done so & has turned in some top quality product as a consequence.
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