For my taste, 2009 has been an incredible good year for Hip Hop. We have new dudes like Fashawn, Kid Cudi and Wale coming up as the next generation, who all released hot albums, we got some of the Heavyweights like Eminem, Jay-Z and Raekwon who released great albums, some hot ungderground albums like Double Barrel or the Superstar Quamallah album „The Invisible Man“ and we also had huge disappointments, like that Busta Rhymes album, which was really close to garbage. I know a lot of y’all won’t agree on these classifications, but that’s the way i see it.
An album that doesn’t really fit into any of these categories is „Arts & Entertainment“ by Masta Ace & Edo.G. Two legends who are making music for 20 years, uniting to record an album. Of course the expectations have been incredibly high. The first thing I gotta say about the album is, that I love the mixdown. The quality is great, sounds better than Blueprint 3. Filthy Rich and Ace were doing an incredible job on that. Not everybody has an album with a huge sound like that (wink wink Cormega).
The album is a concept album, as usual. It’s set up like a TV night and The Bundies, the latest signing of Ace’s m3 label, are playing the couple that’s guiding you through the album, in a really hilarious way. The Album starts off with a hypnotizing beat by M-Phazes for the track „Hands Up High“. Sounds more like an Edo joint than an Ace joint, sound wise. It’s almost Dr. Dre like. Definitely catchy, just like the hook, it’s a goodtrack for live shows. The raps are typical battle raps… „Your girl lips cute play the medley on the flute“ (Ace) All in all a really good one! Number 2 features Large Pro and is called „Fans“. Ace starts off and raps like he’s talking about his wife, when in fact he’s talking about the fans. Large Pro sounds great on this beat and is the perfect feature guest, Edo is coming correct too. Another good one.
The next joint is called „A’s & E’s“ and it’s the first concept song of the album. Ace mostley uses words that start with A and Edo uses words starting with E. HOT! Marsha Ambrosius is on the hook, which sounds a little weird, but in a good way, fits the song perfectly! The melody of the song is really simple, the drums make the track. They sound sick! Next up, the single „Little Young“. I’m sure everybody has heard it, seen the incredible video and loved it. The song has been on BET 106 and Park last week, I think that’s a great thing, hope some of these kids listened close!
„Reminds Me“ might be my favorite track of the album, it’s Ace’s solo joint, Edo is just doing the hook. I love the vibe of the song, a really soulful, relaxed beat and Ace is spitting 2 of his verses that we love him for: „Play this on your jukebox in your bar rooms, who the best who the worst all this arguin won’t matter when the smoke clears, Hip Hop’s not dead, there’s a little hope here…“ Gotta love this!
After this, there is another relaxed joint called „Good Music“ which features Pos of De La Soul. Another favorite. The DJ Spinna beat gives the 3 MC’s a lot of room to flow and deliver their message. The hook is very simple but absolutely perfect, Pos is definitely the right feature for a beat like this, and he told me that this is an absolutely great record. Everything fits.
Next up is one I like the least off the album. I don’t like the Double-O beat and KRS is coming with lines like „most of y’all pussy, the rest of y’all dickheads“. That is definitely not what you wanna hear from somebody who’s always preaching about the temple of Hip Hop…
But the next track saves it. It’s Edo’s solo joint called “Over There“. Another M-Phazes production, this dude is killing it right now. Not much to say about it, great one. Following is another joint about touring which features DOITALL from the Lords of the Underground. Sounds like someone used the „Juicy Fruit“ drums on here. Solid track, really good one again.
Next up is the grimey peak of the album. This one needs no Hook, „Ei8ght is enuff“, Ace and Ed spit 8 bars back and forth, some really mean lines the beat makes you put on your ugly face. From what I read all over the net this is one of the fan favorites on the album.
Track 11 is called „Here I go“. It has a really nice piano beat and Edo starts talking about his history in the game, Ace is becoming a little more personal with some personal fears that you face when you are an artist. 3rd verse is done by Jamelle Bundy, she’s one half of the Bundies and an incredible singer. She doesa great job.
Last track on the album is called „Dancing like a white girl“ and it features the rock group Chester French and Pav Bundy. I read that people really had mixed feeling about it. Some say this sounds like a lame effort to sound commercial, the others say they love it cause it’s so funny. You gotta look at the track as for what it is. There’s a reason they put it in the end. It doesn’t really fit the rest of the tracks, Ace & Edo knew that, but they wanted to do something different and funny. Now somebody tell me that this ain’t hilarious. On tour, they often talk to the people and dance with em afterwards. So imagine em chilling after the show in Europe and some white girls dancing with em completely off rhythm, trying to impress them, you need to make a track about this. And they did. After all this is just a great production, the beat is hot, the Lyrics are funny, so don’t complain you fockers…
On this example you can see what’s wrong with Hip Hop today. It’s like half of the fans are complaining that shit changed and doesn’t sound like the early 90′s and the other half is complaining that everybody is stuck on the golden age sound. Ace & Edo just did a really entertaining album, it is versatile, it is produced really well, maybe there could have been 3 more tracks on it but overall it’s just good music, simple and plain… Everybody who said they didn’t like it should give it a chance to grow on them.
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