Asher Roth ripped into the college hip-hop scene with his 2009 hit “I Love College.”
The rapper’s now a little older and wiser, and he wants to use his talents to aid worthy causes. The hip-hop artist’s working to build schools in Laos with Pencils of Promise, and he’s slated to perform Friday at the Kushcon II marijuana convention in Denver.
Who: Kushcon II, featuring Asher Roth, The Flobots and Mickey Avalon
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St., Denver
The three-day event is being held at the Colorado Convention Center, and it’s billed as the largest cannabis lifestyle convention in U.S. history. This could be the biggest post-graduation party in town.
Music is a big part of Kushcon, and the Friday-to-Sunday line-up features Roth, Denver’s Flobots, Mickey Avalon, Mix Master Mike, Aaron Lewis, The Dirty Heads, Gregg Rollie and War.
“Life’s been good since I made ‘I Love College,'” Roth said. “That experience brought more responsibility to my life, and I’ve been accepting that and using it in a more professional manner. I’m still having fun with it.
“I also got the chance to tour and see how passionate fans were about the music. I got to go to all these award shows and meet these celebs, and lived the whole dream aspect of my career. It did change me up musically, so now I have more understanding about how I work.”
Roth hit the music scene running with his 2009 CD, Asleep in the Bread Aisle.
“I Love College” was Roth’s debut single and the teen anthem immediately caught on. The exposure gave the rapper the chance to tour with B.o.B, Kid Cudi and blink-182.
“Everything was fun, but it happened so fast,” Roth said. “I tried to let people know who I was. I created a Top 40 album out of a parody record, and it brought some negative connotations about what people thought I was and what I stood for.
“My music is who I am. I try to be very honest and have integrity instead of catering to radio.”
That’s why Roth has a plan for his next record.
The project’s tentatively titled The Spaghetti Tree. Roth likes to name his projects after food items, and Life in the Bread Aisle is a prime example. The rapper also has a mixtape called Seared Foie Gras with Quince & Cranberry.
“The new music is melodic, fun and rhythmic,” Roth said. “I’m going back to something solid, instead of making 15 songs that reach the Top 40. I’m making the record for me — and I hope fans will be into it.
“My music is youth-driven and grassroots. I want kids to use their imagination and to go with the sound.”
The rapper’s also involved with pet projects that revolve around kids and communities.
“I’ve been speaking at schools and talking to kids about community,” Roth said. “I’ve been teaching kids how to be pro-active and write grants.
“I’ve also been working with Pencils of Promise. I’m passionate about nonprofits and this group helps build schools in Third World countries. I just returned from working with them in Laos, where I was sleeping in grass huts. It was eye-opening and it made me look at my world with a new appreciation.”
Roth’s on a mission to get his new music out and help worthy causes.
The rapper’s also passionate about hemp. That’s how he got involved with the Kushcon convention.
“I’ve educated myself and found out how commercial hemp is viable. It can be used for clothes or paper,” Roth said. “There’s also benefits to medical marijuana.
“That’s why I’m lending my services to Kushcon. They do a good job educating people on the power of hemp.”
The rapper has a prime slot on the opening night Kushcon lineup and plans to showcase his hits.
“I’m all set to have fun at this show,” Roth said. “I’ll be performing a lot of Asleep in the Bread Aisle, but not too much new stuff. This event is for the crowd to have fun and get involved.”
Roth waited out his career in 2010, but he’s looking forward to getting busy in the New Year.
“I was very patient in 2010 and didn’t force anything,” Roth said. “This was the year to be productive and have some downtime. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on tour, so I’m ready to get caught up with my life on the road.
“I’m also re-aligning my goals and priorities.”