A Long Hot Summer
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Audio CD, 4 Oct 2004
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A veteran from the late '80s, Masta Ace had an old soul even when he was young. As far back as 1993's Slaughtahouse, Ace was backlashing against gangsta posturing and fake thuggery--before it became trendy to do so. His career has been uneven (if not invisible) during the past decade, but A Long Hot Summer is the dark-horse candidate for the season: a well-crafted concept album that has Ace spreading stoop wisdom. He's sentimental, to be sure, but not overwrought or ironic; his is a more meditative, relaxed attitude, matched by his smooth flow. His production team goes international, with French and even Eastern European beat-makers joining in, and they lay down a jazzydelic vibe that complements Ace's reflective manner. Ace claims that he's retiring after this album, but if it's his swan song, A Long Hot Summer is a fine, fitting closure to a career that has been rejuvenated in its autumn years. --Oliver Wang
Top customer reviews
Now to the album. This is Ace at his best, and probably my favourite album he's done. A real strong liquid rapping beast of an album with some seriously amazing songs in there. Standout for me is "Beautiful" - excellent to see a rapper rapping about REAL stuff. Not b**** and cars and guns etc etc that commercial rappers do.
Now for the best news yet! I contacted the distributor of this cd and asked when Ace is next on tour. Apparently a new cd is being released in next couple of months and a tour is to follow shortly after (as at Jan 16). I am one happy man and will deffo be buying me some tickets!
Enjoy the album peeps. It's awesome.
Ace's skill and versatility are showcased throughout by a production crew almost as numerous as the deep track list. Entering the fray with energy levels to match Dug Infinite's heavy Big City beat, Ace sounds equally at home flowing effortlessly over 9th Wonder's soulful Good Ol Love. Beautiful lives up to its name with sublime sounds from Croatia's Koolade before Jean Grae arrives to witness the LP's lyrical high point in Soda and Soap; "sometimes you gotta find a better place to be in, maybe go to a mountain dew a little skiing" exemplifies Ace's ability to drop soda and soap powder references with an ease that makes Gza's Labels sound contrived. The less inspired production is saved for a supporting cast including Big Noyd, the Beatnuts and Wordsworth where their interplay with Ace more than compensates for less spectacular soundscapes.
This is excellent, if it is to be the last offering from Masta Ace, he will have embarrassed his rivals yet again by choosing to go out at a level they are never likely to reach.
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