Meet Asher Roth. He is, if rumours are to be believed, the newest rap superstar on the block, although God knows they're ten-a-penny these days. Not many are as persistently compared to Eminem as this 23-year-old Pennsylvania native is, though; and it's not just because he's a young white man from anonymous Middle America, trying to 'make something' of his life, either.
Indeed, Roth, who was discovered on MySpace several years ago, is fully aware of the constant comparisons - so much so, that he's written a song about it on his studio debut. 'As I Em' sees him ruminate "I'm constantly on the fence, defending my own name / Explaining we're not the same, there's not much that I can say, except that I'm sick of it", but his protestations fall on deaf ears; from his nasal tone to his attempted aping of the distinctive Slim Shady humour, 'Asleep in the Bread Aisle' attempts, and fails, to be The Man from 8 Mile, except without the wit or attitude to accompany it.
Apart from that, these songs are dull. With little musical innovation, the reliance on lyrical ingenuity is more intense than ever, but these tales of puerile, frat boy bravado - "humping dumb chicks", possessing "blunts" and wanting to stay in college forever (funnily enough, 'I Love College') are trite and exasperating. The numerous guest performers - Cee-Lo Green and Busta Rhymes included - add little to the mix, although their contributions ('Be By Myself' and 'Lion's Roar', respectively) are amongst the least awful. Lil Wayne, Kanye, Dre, and yes, you too, Mr. Mathers, fear not - you have absolutely nothing to worry about.