Masta Ace has been a rapper's rapper since he jumped into the game back in 1988, and after a 27-year career he remains one of the most respected underground MCs of all time.
However, as much as hip-hop heads may be clamoring for a new Masta Ace album it's not as if the prolific MC has taken off the last decade. Since releasing LHS, the wordsmith has been working on collaborative projects with his side group, eMC (along with Wordsworth and Stricklin), as well as on his collab with MF Doom.
'I really wasn't going to put out a new solo album unless I really had something I really wanted to say, and so that's what happened with this record,' Masta Ace says.
What is your take on the current state of hip-hop music?
There's some signs of life, and there's some signs of hope and optimism. There are some new artists that are trying to break in or have broken in and are starting to sell records, and pure hip-hop artists that make music that can heal and that people can learn from. Those types of artists have always existed; the problem is the masses weren't costuming that music. They weren't going to buy it. Now there are artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole selling units, and hopefully people will continue to buy it. The most negative and misogynistic and everything you can think of from a negative standpoint — that's what labels were looking to sign. They thought that's what hip-hop fans wanted to hear, and that's what hip-hop fans supported. I'm happy that's starting to shift a little bit.
What do you think about people who say acts like Migos, Young Thug, and Rich Homie Quan are ruining the game?
I don't know who Migos is, but when you make a statement like something is ruining hip-hop, I think that's giving them way too much credit. They aren't ruining hip-hop. The consumers are — the fans of the music are ruining hip-hop. Artists can make anything they want to make; they make straight-up violent, the worst music you can possibly make, and if you, the consumer, want to take your money and purchase that type of music and make that music go platinum, then you're the problem. Artists can make anything they want to make. They can rap over a drip of water, and if you buy that, that's your fault. Hip-hop fans have made artists with zero talent rich and famous. If that's what rap fans want to support, then it's the rap fans' fault. Don't blame the artist. Blame the people who listen to it: rap fans who dance to that music and support that music.