Rhymes about Teddy Ruxpin dolls, sitcom dad Bob Saget and egging houses? That’s the suburban milieu that inspires Atlanta-based hip-hop artist Asher Roth, who plays the Tabernacle Aug. 2. Roth has taken some heat from critics for co-opting a predominantly African-American artform, but AJC freelance writer David Peisner defends the artist in an article appearing in the Living & Arts section this coming Sunday.
Says Peisner: “What do Roth’s tales of suburbia tell us? That despite the manicured lawns and better-performing schools, the totems exalted by suburban layabouts — namely, sex, drugs, video games and Barack Obama — aren’t much different from those of their urban counterparts. While this fact can be gratifying proof of the universality of youth, it’s also an indicator of hip-hop’s reach into the suburbs. According to various studies, somewhere between 60 percent and 80 percent of people who buy hip-hop albums are white, and that has been the case since at least the mid-’90s. Despite the general perception, hip-hop culture is not black culture anymore, it’s popular culture.”