It's easy to be the big man on campus after you graduate college and then come back to visit. But [artist id="3123015"]Asher Roth[/artist] took everything in stride when he ventured back to his hometown in Pennsylvania to perform at his alma mater, West Chester University.
"It's a little crazy, man. It just goes to show you it's working," the MC said of his recent success. "This music is bringing people together. West Chester, I'm kinda cheating a little bit, because that's home. So it isn't until I walk the streets of British Columbia and people are outside waiting for me. Then, I know, 'OK, this is really working.' "
Roth's reception at various schools has been overwhelming, due to his breakout hit "I Love College," which celebrates co-ed parties and mulling about campus with a frat-boy humor mixed with lyrical wit.
The rapper is in the midst of a promotional run for the release of his debut, Asleep in the Bread Aisle, which drops Monday. While he has shows and appearances booked throughout the country, being able to take the stage in front of some familiar faces brought Roth a certain comfort, taking him back to his own college days.
"You know that you can just go up there and totally be yourself and the crowd's going to be there with you," he said. "Being here in PA — and this is just another one of those state schools — where we used to just come and hang out and just, on numerous occasions, kind of walk these streets, so then we pull up [now] and it says, 'Asher Roth: sold out.' It's like I'm starting a new life, man."
So does that mean that Roth, one of the MCs to Watch in 2009, has changed?
"Not at all, man," he replied. "I think that's kind of the cool part about it. I mean, yes, is it kind of turned up a little bit. Is it [me] at volume 10? Absolutely. But at the same time there is also that very simple part of me where I just like to chill out and don't want to talk to anybody — but everybody has that, though. For the most part, though, it's not some extreme — there's no celebrity. It's not like David Bowie, where he goes home and he's whoever and when he's out onstage he's got his David Bowie [showmanship] going on. But with me it's very much Asher Roth — offstage, onstage, on-camera, off-camera."