[artist id="3123015"]Asher Roth's[/artist] name has been in the news a lot lately. You would think it's because the 23-year-old Roth recently released his first album, [article id="1608174"]Asleep in the Bread Aisle,[/article] which debuted at #5 on the Billboard albums chart, and the video for his second single, [video id="377783"]"Be by Myself,"[/video] debuted Thursday (April 30) on MTV.
But all that has been overshadowed by some recent comments he made. On April 23, Roth Tweeted, "Been a day of rest and relaxation — sorry twitter hanging with nappy headed hoes." Roth quickly Tweeted a retraction in two posts, saying he was making fun of [article id="1557094"]Don Imus, who was fired for using that phrase[/article] nearly two years ago: "Totally just making fun of Don Imus — sorry Scoot, not trying to be offensive. I'm extremely apologetic to anyone that took offense to my immature, bad joke."
All three Tweets were quickly removed, and many people began to question the sincerity of Roth's apology. Hip-hop blog NahRight.com said it would no longer post anything related to Roth. While the people behind Nah Right didn't feel Roth was insincere, they felt he had a duty to acknowledge his mistake.
Roth issued a statement Thursday doing just that: "The Twitter situation was an immature attempt to poke fun at an infamously moronic joke. In doing so, I unconsciously stooped to the level of its originator, making it just as bad, if not worse. Pathetic. Lesson learned — nothing good can come from repeating hateful words, regardless of your intentions. Leaving no context in what was being said and being presented through text (no facial or vocal inflection) the sarcasm of the joke (or lack thereof) was not properly perceived and left it purely in bad taste. I immediately apologized for my immaturity but the apologies and original post were deleted by my team in an effort to prevent more people from being offended. Unfortunately, the deletion of these statements led several people to believe that my apology was insincere, which is why I have made the decision to release this statement."
Asher also addressed recent comments he made to The Associated Press regarding how black rappers flaunt their wealth in the faces of those suffering in Africa. Roth said his quote in the article did not reflect the context of the conversation. "With the question and entire vibe of the conversation not being present in the article, when my statement came out in print it appeared as if I was taking black rappers to task randomly. Not the case. Although I do feel strongly about giving back when we are in a position of power and prosperity, it is not my place to talk about what others should do with their lives.
"Lesson learned: Talk about what you know," the statement continued. "You can call them mistakes, I call them life lessons. It is my duty as a human being to choose my words carefully, for I am a kind soul who puts a lot of stock in the progress of humans. I am a work in progress, as we all are, and I will take this opportunity to learn and grow. It's bigger than an apology, it's an understanding."