Paste has compiled a quick list of songs written by musicians about other musicians. Great, right? Well, sort of.
As the magazine points out, these homage songs can say quite a bit about both the person singing and the subject they’re singing about. But the list Paste provides falls a bit short. They smartly include the excellent “Will Oldham Williamsburg Horror” by Jeffrey Lewis, and Cat Power’s wonderfully confessional Dylan tribute, “Song to Bobby.” But Asher Roth’s “As I Em?” Really? Isn’t it a little early to be dropping this guy into lists, and a little silly to give him credit simply for making the all-too-obvious decision to rap about Eminem? I would submit that, in both cases, the answer is yes.
Sure, the rest of the list is fine, even with the inclusion of Sugarland, and they do link to the brilliant video for “Will Oldham Williamsburg Horror” (so see it if you haven’t). But the fact that the list is only six songs long sure does make that Roth choice stand out. There has to be better songs by more established artists worth mentioning in this category, right?