Asher Roth was born and raised in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, a small town about 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia. His mother, Elizabeth (née McConnell), is a yoga instructor, and his father, David Roth, is the executive director of a design firm. His mother has Scottish ancestry and his paternal grandfather was Jewish. Roth does not consider himself Jewish, although his name sometimes leads people to believe he is. He attended Pennsbury High School. Growing up, Roth was exposed to little hip hop in his family, with his parents preferring "The Temptations, Earth, Wind & Fire ... Bruce Springsteen and Dire Straits." According to Roth: The first CD I ever bought was Dave Matthews Band's Crash ...That is how suburban I am...I finally got into hip hop in '98 when I heard the Annie sample with Jay-Z....When I wrote my 'A Milli' freestyle, that was me listening to 10 years of hip hop and not relating to it at all. Like, Damn I don’t sell coke. Damn, I don’t have cars or 25-inch rims. I don't have guns. I finally got to a point where I had the confidence to do this thing myself, and I was making music for me. And it turns out, a lot of people feel the same way I do. Asher has also stated that: Hip-hop has always been very influential in the burbs, [but] it’s just a matter of where we could relate to it. You find a lot of kids that are really confused. You look at them and they’re dressed out of character. They don’t look right. I figured out, I don’t have to dress this way, but I can still love hip-hop. After graduating high school, Roth entered West Chester University and became an Elementary Education major, while continuing to record verses over other people's beats. During sophomore year, Roth posted some of his verses on his MySpace page and sent a Friend Request to Scooter Braun, an Atlanta-based promoter and former VP of Marketing for Jermaine Dupri's So So Def. One week after speaking to Braun, Roth flew down to Atlanta and was immediately signed by Braun, who subsequently became his manager. Asher Roth cites Jay-Z and Eminem among his influences in hip hop, mostly by Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life". Roth's lyrics characteristically center around what have been called "middle-class minutiae, some also consider them to be a joke." Roth's song "I Love College" is about partying after a visit to Penn State, but includes fatuous lyrics such as "I can get pizza a dollar a slice" that have been identified as "far from threatening".