Most rappers wouldn’t be crazy about having a powerhouse like Eminem bring out an album less than a month after theirs. But after enough comparisons to the fellow white rapper to inspire a song, “As I Em,” Asher Roth was happy to have a new Eminem album around to differentiate the two artists from each other.
“It could not have turned out better, honestly,” says Roth, 23, who lit up the charts this year with his debut album, “Asleep in the Bread Aisle,” and the Top 15 hit “I Love College,” a good-humored ode to the Pennsylvania native’s days at West Chester University.
“I think the worst thing that could’ve happened would’ve been for me to put out an album and then Em never putting another album out. I think then the (comparisons) would’ve gone on forever. But then the two projects came out so close, and people could see how different we are.
“And Em has gone on record as saying he’s a fan, which is cool. That’s all I needed was for him, especially, to say, ‘Hey, give the kid a chance ... ’ ”
Roth’s first serious road trek, meanwhile, puts him alongside another up-and-coming MC — Kid Cudi, a Cleveland native making noise with his first mix tape, “A Kid Named Cudi,” and a subsequent appearance on Kanye West’s latest album, “808s & Heartbreak.”
“We’re buddies,” Roth says. “Obviously, I didn’t grow up with the kid and I can’t say we have this long tenure of friendship, but we definitely met through this whole music thing and we share the same experiences. Whenever you can link up with somebody who feels the same way you do about the world and what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s always good.
“So we definitely bounce ideas off each other, and it’s allowed us to be, ‘Why don’t we hit the road?’ and, sure enough, here we are.”
Asher Roth and Kid Cudi, with B.O.B. and 88 Keys, perform Saturday (July 18) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26 in advance, $28 day of show. Call (248) 399-2980 or www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.
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