Masta Ace

Masta Ace
When word first surfaced of this project, it seemed straightforward enough. Revered MC Masta Ace rhyming over beats from MF Doom's critically acclaimed Special Herbs instrumental selections. Simple. But this is Masta Ace we are talking about. Despite his perennially underrated status, which still persists roughly 25 years into his career, Ace has carved out a fine reputation for crafting conceptually sophisticated albums. The satirical Slaughtahouse, industry critique Disposable Arts and neighbourhood fable A Long Hot Summer are fine additions to any hip-hop collection. So, while Ace is rhyming over Doom beats for the duration, the record's theme focuses primarily on the "Son of Yvonne" subtitle. His most personal concept record to date, Ace reflects on the influence of his late mother on him, and the record (semi-?) autobiographically touches upon his life as a youth and early forays as a recording artist. Doom (along with Big Daddy Kane) stops by to emphatically endorse the MA Doom project's thematic focus, tying up the loose ends on yet another conceptually successful Masta Ace project.

How did this project come about? It's not obvious to people that Masta Ace would work with MF Doom.
Right. I guess officially we really haven't worked together yet because this was a project that was born out of a mixtape idea. A friend of mine had made me aware of all the Doom instrumentals that were released and he gave me a copy of them. I was just listening to them driving around and I started to hear a few beats that really got me thinking about song ideas. It was like, "I think I'm gonna do a little mixtape rhyming over a couple of these tracks. People like Doom ― I don't know which of these beats he has songs to, I don't know which of these are joints or just instrumentals ― but I'm just gonna see if I can create some records off of these beats." He didn't really know I was doing it until it was done and I played him the final album. He loved what he heard and he went so far to bless me with a verse for the album, and that was cool. He's pretty much giving thumbs up to the music that I put together over his tracks. And maybe some day down the road we'll get a chance to do some touring together too.

Was this MA Doom record going to be free release?
It was going to be a free mixtape and then Fat Beats heard about it and they basically talked me into turning it into more of a real album. Once they started talking about money and that "We could actually make a couple of dollars off of this" and "We believe it could be a viable album," I said, "Well, okay, let's see." And then it really started to take shape. I started thinking about skits and concepts, and it turned into something much greater than my original vision.

Read a review of MA_Doom: Son of Yvonne here.