Ace Hood Trials and Tribulations

Ace Hood Trials and Tribulations
7
On his fourth studio album, Trials and Tribulations, Florida-based MC Ace Hood finally manages to live up to the hype. As someone who's been "the next big thing" for half-a-decade, folks were rapidly starting to lose faith in Hood. This album, while not without its flaws, is strong enough to restore much of that goodwill. Hood attacks grimy street rap, social commentary and painful self-analysis with equal vigour. "Pray for Me" is an angry, urgent, paranoid number where Hood flies between bragging about his wealth, mourning dead loved ones and sleeping with one eye open for circling foes. High intensity lead single "Bugatti" will certainly be the club hit of the summer, and with good cause. "My Bible" is the highlight of the album, with Hood ditching the synths and hi-hats in favour of a stripped down boom-bap beat and a gripping gospel vocal sample. It also features his most aggressive delivery, throwing out each syllable like it's done something to him. Trials isn't without its flaws: Chris Brown duet "Rider" is almost staggeringly dull, while "Mama," which is dedicated to his mother, obviously, is well intended but corny, to the point of self-parody. These missteps aside, Trials and Tribulations is a solid album; Hood is able to make music that moves both asses and minds, which is a rare skill. (Cash Money)