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Asher Roth

Pabst & Jazz

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Asher Roth is back! Who's Asher Roth? He's the "I Love College" guy. The white rapper with the laconic delivery who summed up the college experience with conceits like "Time isn't wasted when you're wasted" and "I can get pizza for a dollar a slice." Roth's latest incarnation seems to be as a weed rapper. But that doesn't mean he's become lackadaisical. He has a new album that drops this spring; this mixtape is just three months old.

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I'm going soothsayer on that backside: Pabst & Jazz will turn out to be superior, more surprising and more engaging for hip-hop fans than his upcoming official release. Certainly, his label is interested in repeating the success of "ILC," but these tracks are created by a man out to prove he's something more than a one-hit wonder. "Get By" demonstrates Roth's lyrical and reliable pop sensibilities. "Running Away" unveils the mindset of a man ruminating on his own hip-hop authenticity: "I've been bordered up by a border / I'mma sort it out in order / ... / Not interested in anybody's listening / Do it for the gist of it." Roth quickly graduated to stardom but it's here that he becomes an emcee.

Asher Roth performs with Black Mask at the Chamberlin Rail Jam at the Big Sky Brewery on Sat., Mar. 10, at 8:30 PM. $23.09, available at railjammissoula.eventbrite.com

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