While Asher Roth's two VMA nominations may not be a surprise to many people, they definitely caught the artist himself off guard.
"That was a nice little thing to wake up to this morning," said the rapper, speaking from his dressing room before a show in Baltimore, of the nods for Best New Artist and Best Hip-Hop Video that his "I Love College" clip received. "I've got a 20 percent chance [in each category], so I'll take that. Obviously everybody wants to win, but for the most part the nod is all you really need. It says, 'We appreciate your work.' "
According to Roth, the video for "I Love College" — which illuminates all of the frat-house revelry the MC talks about in the song — wasn't intended to be an award nominee. "Shooting the video was almost an accident," Roth explained. "We just turned the camera lights on and did what we do. It wasn't like, 'Let's try to win a VMA with this one!' But I think that's the beauty of it — you stay true to form and you get a nod of appreciation."
In the Best New Artist category, Roth is going up against his tourmate Kid Cudi, and Best Hip-Hop Video sees him squaring off against titans like Jay-Z and Eminem. "I'm in a category with some heavy hitters," he said. "It's kind of cool. To be with those guys, I must be doing something right."
(It's also worth noting that VMA nominees Roth, Cudi and Drake were touted as 2009 "MCs to Watch" by MTV News back in January.)
The VMAs will begin what should be an interesting September for Roth, who heads out to Bakersfield, California, to join the Blink-182 tour the day after the show. But first he'll enjoy being a part of the show in New York on September 13. "You always peep the VMAs — I'm always by a TV to catch that show," he said.
But who is he most looking forward to meeting? "Everybody's out that night, so it's more like who do I try to ignore?"
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards will take place September 13 at 9 p.m. ET. Nominees, celebrity presenters and additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks. To be the first to find out the inside scoop, follow the Inside MTV Twitter account at Twitter.com/InsideMTV.