Here’s another 2009 release that I missed–but how, I have no idea. I write about Masta Ace every chance I get–I picked him as one of the 10 most important rappers of the decade and I picked his Long Hot Summer album as the 9th best indie rap album of the decade. s for Ed O.G., he actually appeared with Ace on Long Hot Summer and in a few other songs now and then. So how did I miss this release, their first official album as a duo?
Although this isn’t their best work, it hits peaks that come damn close. In the first song on the album, “Hands High,” a keyboard-based riff of “There’s a Place In France” serves as the music bed. It’s a good first track (it follows a skit) to get your head nodding and your fists in the air. On the next cut, “Fans,” the duo really hit the beat. It’s the kind of smooth, “we are hip hop” tune that Ace and O.G. do so well–and it’s produced by, and features, another 1990’s genius: Large Professor. The title track follows, and it’s brilliant. It’s got a hook by Marsha Ambrosius, a british female I’ve never heard of before this, but she’s got a terrific voice. It’s also one of those alphabet tracks (where they use the letters A and E over and over in each verse), and I’m a sucker for those kinds of songs. Other highlights include appearances by Posdnuos of De La Soul, Doitall (of Lordz Of The Underground), up-and-commer Chester French, and KRS-One, and the song “Little Young,” which makes fun of all the rappers who put “Lil” before their names. My only quibble is I could have done without all the skits. A minor compaint, though, because they thoughtfully tracked each skit separately, making them easy to skip (or delete altogether) on your iPod.
BONUS MASTA ACE!
Ace’s Take (from MC Esoteric’s 2009 release, Saving Seamus Ryan)
Wra Cypher Rise and the Avid Record Collector with Wordsworth & Masta Ace (from one of the best 2009 releases, “Risen,” which if you read this blog and you haven’t gotten yet, shame on you).