Despite being a founding member of the legendary Project Blowed and Freestyle Fellowship crews, and releasing his twelfth album (group or solo), many of you still don’t know the name. Offering one of the few alternatives from gangsta rap in Cali in the early 90’s, Ace gained an intense following and it isn’t a rare occurrence to hear heads call him the greatest emcee of all-time. Love him or hate him, his innovation, skills, and catalogue of incredible music say all that needs to be said.
With Fat Jack on the boards as always, Acey also enlists the talents of some heavyweight indy producers. In a dream match up, Ace teams up with Rjd2 for three tracks. Lead single “Lose Your Mind” was obviously crafted just for Acey and the title may just be your reaction to it. At first listen, “Takeoff,” seems like it may have been better as an instrumental as it is a bit awkward at first. That doesn’t last long though because Acey gets rolling and shows he can rhyme over just about anything. “Moonlight Skies” is the magnum opus though, as Acey flows lovely over Rj’s melodic guitar licks. Fellow Def Jukie El-P is also in tow, pulling double duty on the mic and the boards for “City of Shit.” El and Ace One mesh nicely and Ace has no problems getting open on El’s vintage drums. In another awesome display of Ace’s ability to adapt, he handles himself nicely over an always quirky Anti-Pop Consortium beat (“Lights Out”).
“Junkman” is some high energy shit that really gets the album out of the gate. “Let Me Hear Summ” (produced by and featuring Casual) is well placed as it keeps up that up-tempo vibe. Never one to be limited to one pace, Ace easily switches things up and still knocks it out your box each time. Like the always awesome pairing with Abstract Rude on “The Saga Continues” or the funky “Ace Cowboy.” “Find Out” is another vigorous track bound to keep you head moving. The bonus track on the CD is a four year old song that just happens to be one of best songs of his career. “Ms. Amerikka” is a brilliant address of the state of America personified as a women. The flute-laced beat by Joey Chavez is ill to boot.
“Love & Hate” isn’t without some mistakes though. The area that could have gained the most from some adjustments is the hooks. Several otherwise good songs were dragged down by choruses that just don’t work (“In Stereo,” “Love & Hate,” “So Much Pain”). Otherwise you’ve got another good release from Aceyalone. “Love & Hate” was incredibly well sequenced and is easily playable from front to back. Lots to love, nothing to hate.