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    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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    Asher Roth majors in success with hit 'I Love College'

    Asher Roth dropped out of college three years ago, but it has been his ticket to success as a rapper.

    I Love College, his autobiographical ode to having good times while behaving badly, has made him a big man on campus and just about everywhere else.

    With lyrics like "That party last night was awfully crazy, I wished we'd taped it ... Pass out at 3, wake up at 10, go out to eat, then do it again," he has a slew of fans toasting his sentiments.

    The single from his just-released album, Asleep in the Bread Aisle, has attracted more than 41 million plays on his MySpace page and sold more than 1.2 million downloads on iTunes since January. The album sold 65,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and landed at No. 5 on Billboard's album chart.

    "It taps into the celebratory aspect of school, not to mention the subculture," says Roth, 23, who grew up in Morrisville, Pa. "Whether you're 8 years old and you want to go to college, or you're 58 years old and went to college, you can relate."

    Roth, who started writing and recording rhymes in high school, attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania, majoring in elementary education. Roth grew up listening to Jay-Z, Outkast, the Notorious B.I.G., Mos Def and The Roots.

    "When your friends like it, you like it," he says. "It was edgy and different."

    In 2006, he posted a few songs on MySpace and friended promoter Scooter Braun. Braun, now Roth's manager, brought him to Atlanta to pursue a hip-hop career, and he was eventually signed to a joint venture between Braun's Schoolboy Music and Steve Rifkind's SRC/Universal Records.

    He started building buzz last summer with his mixtape The Greenhouse Effect with DJ Drama and Don Cannon, which he gave away on his website, thedailykush.com. A summer tour with Kid Cudi is in the works.

    He doesn't regret abandoning his goal to be an educator. "I've always been enamored with language and words and having fun with them. Instead of teaching 25 kids in a classroom, you're doing it on a broader scale."

    Roth says inevitable questions about following in Eminem's footsteps will fade, though he acknowledges that he's a fan. On As I Em, he shrugs off the idea that he's imitating him, " 'cause we have the same complexion and similar voice inflections."

    "It doesn't bother me, but it's a lazy comparison," Roth says. "The album reveals how different we are as people."

    He concedes he'll have to work to live down College's huge popularity.

    "People get fixated, but there is much more going on. The music is there."

    Reuters - Amazon debuts larger Kindle

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    Amazon debuts larger Kindle

    Wednesday, May 06, 2009 4:15PM UTC

    By Robert MacMillan and Alexandria Sage

    NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday introduced a larger souped-up version of its Kindle electronic reader designed for students, academics and newspaper readers.

    The new device, called the Kindle DX, has a larger screen, more memory and software to make it easier to navigate large documents and is priced at $489, compared with the $359 price of the original Kindle, which debuted in 2007.

    Amazon said that five universities would launch trials using the DX beginning this fall.

    Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos attended a New York press conference to announce the launch, together with Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times.

    The New York Times, Boston Globe and The Washington Post will offer the DX at a reduced price to readers where home delivery of those newspapers is not available.

    Textbook publishers Cengage Learning, Pearson and Wiley will offer their books through the Kindle store starting this summer, Amazon said.

    Amazon's Kindle, which was updated earlier this year, allows users to read books, newspapers, magazines and blogs on the hand-held device. The Kindle is only available in the United States.

    Shares of Amazon were down 2 percent to $80.26 on the Nasdaq.

    (Writing by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Derek Caney)

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