Masta Ace
A Long Hot Summer


4.5
superb

Review

by LambsBread USER (32 Reviews)
July 16th, 2015 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I was always tellin Ace it was CRAZY to go out there breakin his ass, makin phonecalls, sendin emails, runnin in & out of town, for a few grand here a few grand there, but he had a passion for it, he didn't care, and honestly I had to respect him for that

It is becoming rare to see rappers selling their personality as the forte of their music. Yet it was not so in 2004, the year Masta Ace dropped A Long Hot Summer. Masta Ace brought a blunt-but-likeable personality to the rap game, and influenced many successful artists, such as Eminem. Ace is one of the few old school artists that evolved well with the times, while keeping the zeitgeist of the old school alive. A Long Hot Summer is in the format of a developing story narrative that uses skits to connect the songs in a very similar fashion to Kendrick Lamar’s recent album Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City. The album cleverly teaches lessons and makes subtle points about the duality of life in Brooklyn. It also touches on the business side of rap, by using Ace's recent adventures on tour, during 'A Long Hot Summer', as a case study.

The story starts in the “Big City”, a song that sets the stage in a very negative light. The song is a list of all the problems with living in Brooklyn. This negativity is then balanced with some “Good Ol Love”, a track that highlights the type of pride, love, and respect that can only be gained by going through the type of struggle he faces in Brooklyn. The album continues in this sort of way, balancing negative topics with a dose of positivity on a relevant topic. On one song he figuratively says "*** these groupies they all hoes", then he has another song about ***ing groupie hoes, literally, on the road, and how it's awesome. Then on “Brooklyn Masala” he tells the story of how he fell in love with a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan. It's remarkable how he brings all of this together into a coherent and respectful philosophy regarding women. The yin-yang nature of this album doesn't stop there. After he's done pointing out the oft overlooked "Beautiful" things in every day living, he strikes back with “F.A.Y.”, a likeable rant about how Ace hates virtually everyone around him at times. He has a type of undiagnosed bipolar disorder that is as rational as it is funny. These fascinating and intertwining themes of the album are also complimented by his ability to tell a story without sacrificing the quality of his music. The beats help achieve this by being sonically diverse, but stylistically they all are generally of the traditional ‘80s-‘90s East Coast style, highlighted by simple, yet enjoyable sampling. The forte of the album though, is the rapping and the lyrics. The flow/production combination is almost always on point, and he does this while maintaining undeniably great lyricism that shows wit, talent and personality. He's a seasoned veteran that's been rapping longer than most rappers have been breathing, and there’s not a single line on the album that is not intriguing for its lyrics alone; whether they be clever, funny, or just likeable. A lot went into every bar.

From the first time the hook plays on the highlight track, “Da Grind”, Ace's struggle that he faces in his profession becomes extremely relatable. The inhumane amount of work he has to do as an underground rapper just to make a modest living is shocking and enviable. On one verse, he laments:

“I be the manager, road manager, and call handler
Booking agent, choreographer and tour planner
I be the V.P. of marketing and promotions
Producer and arranger, with a range of emotions
And after it all, I still gotta perform
At three o'clock in the morn', when half the fans are gone
But it's fine
Been on the grind since like '88 or '89”

It becomes hard not to have both respect and pity for Ace after listening to A Long Hot Summer. One of the album’s themes deals with how he pours his mind, body, and soul into his music; yet, disloyal fans, clueless cunts and the soulless music industry make it all for nothing. It probably wasn’t surprising to Masta Ace, then, when the album went on to become unanimously regarded as superb, by both fans and critics alike; yet, it didn’t sell much at all. Even for an artist that is clearly not concerned with marketability, this had to be disheartening. What troubles ace more than not making a decent living, is he feels no one is listening to him, despite his talents. Masta Ace is the quintessence of an unsung emcee. He’s not the only emcee to experience this struggle, but he has probably captured the pain of the U.S.A. ( ‘Underground Starving Artists’) better than any other emcee ever has with this album.



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user ratings (101)
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
LambsBread
July 16th 2015


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OK sputnik, you havent given me any feedback on my last two reviews



but ill forgive you if you do it now



thanks to johnnyonthespot with his help with proofreading/typos and sharktooth for showing me Masta Ace

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
July 16th 2015


6738 Comments


(edit: fixed)

--
gave it a quick skim and the changes look good so far.
i'm surprised Ace hasn't been reviewed here before

LambsBread
July 16th 2015


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks again, for some reason relatable comes up wrong on my spell check



yeah i couldnt believe it either, thats why i had to write this review, i'm gonna buy this album soon too. He has a really cool personality.

argonaut
July 16th 2015


818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listening to this now, great stuff.

HipHopKid
July 16th 2015


54 Comments


Great review man, glad to see Masta Ace finally get a review on the website.

LambsBread
July 16th 2015


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks, i heard hes coming out with an album this year, anyone know anything about it?

SharkTooth
July 16th 2015


14137 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

About time an Ace album got a review

PappyMason
July 16th 2015


5702 Comments


This is probably the best review I've read from you, props.

I need to spend more time with this and 'Disposable Arts', only spun them a few times.

LambsBread
July 16th 2015


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks a lot, i was happy with how this came out, sharks and johnnys feedback helped a lot, i think im gonna have to start using the proofread thread a lot more



yeah im having a hard time starting another album by him, i've heard disposable arts but i cant bring myself away from this album yet.

LambsBread
July 16th 2015


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the sampling / scratching / flow on Good Ol Love is so impressive



so is the wordplay/message combination on soda and soap... theres a lot about this album i left out cuz i couldnt make it fit in the review

HalfManHalfAmazing
July 17th 2015


1972 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

da grind is a goat hip hop song

LambsBread
July 17th 2015


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed

LambsBread
July 17th 2015


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

when i'm broke, my moms wont even give me a hug

but on pay day i'm her bay bay and she call it 'love'

HalfManHalfAmazing
July 19th 2015


1972 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that line is powerful. Masha Ace probably has the most consistently good discog in all of hip hop

SharkTooth
July 19th 2015


14137 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

True dat

LambsBread
July 20th 2015


6523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Masta Ace probably has the most consistently good discog in all of hip hop



http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/image.php?u=1035697&dateline=1437418988

Sunnyvale
September 21st 2015


1183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is so fantastic.

SharkTooth
September 21st 2015


14137 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hard

Sunnyvale
September 21st 2015


1183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty shocking to me that this gets so little attention.

SharkTooth
September 21st 2015


14137 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm reviewing another one of his albums, the guy in general needs serious attention



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