Mixtape Daily Main Pick
Headliner: Ace Hood
Representing: Broward County, Florida
Mixtape: Starvation 2
Real Spit: My, how Ace Hood has grown. When we first saw the Florida MC in 2008, he was chanting "Cash Flow," keeping a close eye on his riches. These days, Ace has expanded his repertoire beyond Benjamins.
On last year's Starvation, he bared his soul, opening up about the death of his infant daughter. With Starvation 2, Ace doesn't just deal with his pain; he examines the world around him.
"I touched on a lot of topics and the things that we've been dealing with in the community and things that have been going on generally in the world," the DJ Khaled-backed rapper told Mixtape Daily.
Starvation 2 dropped in late January, but its heavy subject matter is long-lasting. On "F--- Da World" Ace vents about the Sandy Hook school shootingand Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting, relating the widespread hurt to his own life. "What train of thought is telling you shoot up a movie theatre/ What kinda fool gon' walk in a school and off dem angels/ It could be my mom, my brother, my sister or friend that I knew/ The funny thing is, it could've been me, it could've been you," he raps over a slow and synthy Young Chop beat.
On "Why," the We the Best spitter wonders why bad things happen to good people, and on "Root of Evil," he weighs the pros and cons of being rich. For all of its introspection, Starvation 2 has plenty of ratchet rap moments as well. "Dec. 31st" finds Ace chastising his competition, especially the ones that borrowed the electric flow he displayed on his hit single "Hustle Hard." Hood stunts with Plies on "Got Damn," scorns his haters alongside French Montana on "F--- Em All" and trades braggadocios bars with Meek Mill on "Goin' Down."
There was a time when Ace flew under the rap radar, as many assumed he was just benefiting off of his relationship with hip-hop's biggest hype man DJ Khaled, but that time is long gone. Quiet as kept Ace Hood has assembled an impressive mixtape and radio discography and with his fourth LP Trials & Tribulations on the way it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Still, it is nice to know that as his career continues to grow, Ace Hood will never forget where he came from. "I represent that realness, that struggle music and music that helps you get through whatever you're going through," he said.
Joints to Check For
» "Root of Evil" - "I wanted to jump into the mixtape straight out the gate with geechiness. It's just having a lot of money, and when you do have money and you are blessed with success and whatnot, you have people, you have devils, these evil spirits that try to hold you back."
» "F--- Da World" - "This is just a record that truly hit me home, being that I have a daughter. ... For any mother or parent to ever go through anything such as a shooting, hearing about that when you send your child to school, not knowing you will never see your child again."