Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Masta Ace Project Part 1: Take A Look Around

As of this (first) post, I currently have 7 favorite MCs of all time (and the last 3 slots are STILL open), and I recently gave Masta Ace the 6th slot, respectively. Beginning with part one of this project, I'm going to dissect Ace's debut and the rest of his discography, showing my support and appreciation of one of the most underrated and slept on artists in hip hop history. (And yes, expect Nas and Jay-Z projects too!)
With the exception of four songs, this entire album was produced by Marley Marl. 

Release date- July 24, 1990

Music Man 
Ace is a "music man", and that's evident with this good opener. 4 out of 5

I Got Ta (Produced By: Mister Cee)
Ace runs down a long list of things he gots to do over a nice beat with a James Brown sample, including having mustard on his hot dog, lol. 4 out of 5

Letter To The Better (Remix)
Nothing special on this one, but not skip worthy. 3 out of 5

Me & The Biz
Apparently Biz Markie was unable to make it to the studio for this session, so Ace ended up doing Biz' role and himself to very good and creative results in this tribute to a fellow labelmate. 4 out of 5
The Other Side of Town
We get one of the first looks at Ace's (early) storytelling prowess on this apply titled song. 4 out of 5

Ace Is Wild
Although Ace doesn't go wild on this track, it's still a good one. 4 out of 5

Four Minus Three
Without Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and Craig G, Ace delivers a freestyle over the classic Symphony beat. 4.5 out of 5

Can't Stop The Bumrush (Produced By: Mister Cee)
Mister Cee is behind another very good track, which is almost uptempo and of course Ace keeps up with the beat like only he can. You can't stop this lyrical bumrush. 4.5 out of 5

Movin On
This is almost like a reflection on life in the past type song, but the message is clear. 4 out of 5

Brooklyn Battles
In what was likely a frequent occurrence at the time, Ace talks about some of the fights in Brooklyn in a story form. 3.5 out of 5

Maybe Next Time
Over a nice Stephanie Mills sample, this is another song where the message is clear, maybe next time, what you attempted before, you'll be successful in it. 3.5 out of 5

Postin High (Produced By: Mister Cee)
We get a third very good Mister Cee track, this one with a feel good, old school vibe, even if it doesn't match the theme of the song. 4 out of 5

As I Reminisce (Featuring Eyceurokk, Produced By Mister Cee)
Although I tend to like songs where the artists talks about happenings back in the day, this one is decent, nothing more, and again, Mister Cee's beat is nice. 3.5 out of 5

Take A Look Around
This is a deep spoken work by Ace. 4 out of 5

A positive way to close the album, as Ace touches on getting things done if we pull together, even with a fork in the road. 4 out of 5

Initially I gave this album a solid 4 star rating, but I have to bump this up to a 4.5, mainly because I continue to like Ace more and more with each listen, plus this album has grown on me a little more. Very good debut. 

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