ACEYALONE – interview by farr
Aceyalone an originator in organized emcee battling, and father to the birth of LA’s Project Blowed, began his interview unlike any other emcee before. He steeped outside to finish digesting. Don’t wanna get a cramp Ace? Making it clear that he is the expected accepted eclectic indulging in the musical pleasures of the past and present as well a some free food courtesy of Belly Up.
Caught in a quandary, his latest release, “Love and Hate” tackles this symbiotic relationship, which has brought many men to there knees. Gathering the forces and moving on to some new producers, this album is as diverse as unique. In a time period where everyone’s an emcee and everybodies got an mpc, hip hop often become monotonous.
Yet Aceyalone seems to continuously deliver something new to break the monotony, once again segregating himself from the sheep that move in herds.
“With me it goes a lot of different ways, you know what I’m saying, on this album I had a few lyrics already written and I just found a few tracks for it and then the stuff I did with PMG which is a production crew that did about four or five cuts on the album, uh you know they just had a whole lotta tracks, basically it was skeletons and I’d come in with some skeletons of rhymes that they’d have skeleton’s of beats, and we’d start going back and forth ‘till we start building, like I did with EL-P, we built that on the spot… but some of the songs I did with RJ… one he gave me the tracks, he gave me a few tracks to work with, then when I got in there with him I said, pull up this and pull up that and we would just rock on the spot. “
One would wonder if the quantity of music Ace digests might affect his ability to write original content. Does he find ruminants of last nights listening seeping into today’s session? To this he replied,
“Some people’s music inspires me in a competitive way, to like, not do, what someone else is doing, that’s what the whole thing is, you know what I’m saying? That’s the good thing about hearing new music, I know what not to do. “
With an album styled and formatted (in respects to time signature, range, delivery etc.) in ways not found in parallel forms of hip hop, Aceyalone has intuitively maneuvered himself into a position of both inventiveness and progressiveness.
“I just listen to music in general, you know what I’m saying? But I got my favorites… my Miles, I like vocalized artist like Eddy Jefferson, Jon Hendrix… all the great heads of course, then I like new jazz new hip hop, all kinda new shit. “
With eclectic approaches and a refusal to go with the grain, Ace is building a paradigm unto himself. How does an emcee deal with the scrutiny others may bestow upon his art? And what is to be said of an emcee who has consistently tried to be innovative while remaining loyal to the heads who demand something of their hip hop? Does progressiveness and originality necessitate a need to segregate that music from others? What is the relevance to any of these thoughts that equate this outlet of expression with a particular title? Isn’t it all just hip hop?
“I don’t give a fuck about none of that shit! It’s all about progression. Fuck that. What is anything without progression… “
And he’s right. For years it’s been about where hip hop is from and where it’s at, but as soon as someone tries to show where hip hop is going musically or artistically, they get pigeonholed.
” It’s not just a one way street, you know what I’m saying? It’s not just about, boom bat everything gotta be this way, your lyrics gotta be like this and everything gotta be this tempo. There’s no rules on tempo for me. There’s no rules on time signature. I’m starting to learn what the people can handle. ”
As Aceyalone creates seven course meals to serve the music community, he remembers the pivotal ingredients which brought hip hop to its current juncture.
“We’re still using drum machines and records, mpc’s, vinyl, sampling, you know, we’re still writing words and bars, it’s still a three/four minute song and it’s still on some hip hop shit. It’s still music. “
With reasons, seasons, and surroundings dictating what the music sounds like, it varies along with his attitude. Such a versatile vintage point allows Aceyalone to approach every album differently.
“My next album won’t sound like this album you know, anything like it. So I think maybe a couple albums down the line people will start realizing, ok, this is a whole different thing. “Accept Eclectic”, it’s the beginning of me accepting that I am eclectic, you know what I mean? And the stuff I’m doing is gonna be all over the place. Don’t come to me for one sound. It’s like having conversations, I’m not gonna be talking about the same thing every time you talk to me. Sometimes life gets serious. Sometimes it’s playful. Sometimes it’s girls. Sometimes it’s family. Sometimes it’s politics. It’s a little bit of everything. I try to keep it kinda open and if there’s no room in the world for artists like that, then I don’t know what the world is coming to. If you gotta be in one little box like… ‘cause I know people hold music so tight to their own person like, this person represents what I’m talking about, this is it. Then they have a different mind state and they grow or they go through something in their lives, then you got a fan saying “Oh, its not like when I was…”, only because it’s represents a time when you were growing up. Your fun times. There’s an album that represents people lives at a certain time. Theme music to their lives. When you change outside of that, that’s them liking your music but not really understanding you as an artist