Ace Hood’s career to date has been that of a seesaw ride, as his ongoing close ties to DJ Khaled’s highly visible We The Best brand have yet to result in a breakthrough success. Despite building his name with 2011’s “Hustle Hard,” appearances on his label’s compilations and establishing a strong presence on the mixtape circuit, the interest in Ace’s retail releases has fallen short of considerable sales. Determined to make good on his recent YMCMB affiliation, Body Bag Vol. 2 is Ace Hood’s latest free release.

Body Bag Vol. 2 is a trip through the flashy underworld of Broward County (neighboring Miami) and its lawless fast life filled with beautiful women, gaudy materialism, violent tendencies and excessive substance abuse. Though this topic material is potentially off putting, Ace Hood’s strong suit is the delivery and conviction with which he paints his reality on the energetic opener “Gutta Back.” As the tape progresses, Ace’s glaring limitations become evident, given simplistic punchlines like “Ballin every year, they just call me John Wall” and an overall lack of variety with each consecutive offering.

Where the Bun B & Kirko Bangz featured “Double Cup” is yet another ode to codeine, this very sentiment is echoed on “Geek’n” (assisted by Juicy J) with the repetitive hook “Them mollys, I’m rollin,’ that syrup, I’m leanin'” and “6 Summers,” “Lottery” and “B.L.A.B. (Ballin Like A B*tch) all celebrate acquired wealth. Similarly, boasts of toughness come with “Don’t Get Me Started,” the Young Chop produced Chief Keef replication “Yeen Bout Dat Life” and “On My Momma,” while “Let It Go” warns against investing energy into the same promiscuous ladies that “Make Ya Famous” seeks to make trophies out of.

Unlike Rick Ross, Ace Hood is unable to take a shortage of themes and muster up fascination over the course of the project’s 15 songs. With Body Bag Vol. 2, Ace Hood finds himself complacent with a narrow artistic viewpoint that doesn’t break new ground from the Southernplayalistic blueprints laid by Three 6 Mafia and the more recent Lex Luger. The only hint towards progress is “Roseries” where he finds a spiritual base amongst being stuck in the street life, proving he is possibly capable of saying more than he wishes to at present. Properly positioned to win over the masses, Ace’s fight to reach the top may remain an uphill battle so long as his creativity is at a standstill.

Listen to Body Bag Vol. 2 by Ace Hood