Published Jul 02, 2012When 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. On the first of the album's interwoven skits, we meet Ace as a smart-mouthed 12-year-old going by the name D Ski. On "Ninety Seventy Something," Ace vividly recounts rifling through his mother's prized vinyl collection and her subsequent chagrin with his distinguishable stop-start narrative style. Ace's laidback flow is also employed, to great effect, on the amorously awry "Slow Down" and the character sketches of "Me and My Gang." It's a testament to his detailed approach that Ace is able to recast Doom's beats so well, but he's careful not to suffocate the mysterious artist's presence. Indeed, Doom (along with Big Daddy Kane) stops by on "Think I Am" to emphatically endorse the MA Doom project's thematic focus, tying up the loose ends on yet another conceptually successful Masta Ace project.
Read an interview with Masta Ace here. (Fat Beats)