The test for the veteran Rap star is how they will give back to the culture that made them a success. Juice Crew alum Masta Ace figured out this challenge rather easily. For him, the Brooklyn native gives back by instilling the next generation of MCs with the skills needed to keep Hip-Hop culture thriving.
Enter super group eMC; the union of Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth, and Strick. All formidable solo artists in their own right, the long time collaborators finally came together for an official debut named The Show. With Ace as the groups mentor, eMC sought to show the hard to please Atlanta underground that this combination was no gimmick.
The super group rushed the stage with their frenzied manifesto eMC What Does It Stand For. The verses revolved around each MC explaining what the acronym meant to them, along with showcasing their individual abilities. The inspired production on the album helped to awaken the initially sleepy crowd, as tracks like the mellifluous, Little Brother assisted Traffic and the melodic Leak It Out allowed them to execute their lyrical dexterity over symphonic rhythms.
“eMC What Does It Stand For?”
It was a clear the group put a lot of effort and thought into their stage show. Whenever there was a track that featured just two artists, the other members would vacate the stage. This prevented too many MC’s attempting to play hypeman; allowing new fans to get acquainted with each individual artist. While seemingly a small detail, it helped tremendously in keeping the show visually and audibly fresh.
After exhausting most of the material from the new album, the show began to be dominated by solo material from veteran Masta Ace. The other group members were not left out, as Aces solos contain numerous collaborations with the other three emcees.
Strick joined Ace to ponder the parallels between football and societal ills on Unfriendly Game, while Punch and Words traded gems with the dramatic The Block Episode. The latter featured a memorable sequence of Wordsworth falling to the floor and continuing his verse as a gunshot victim.
The crowds nostalgic flame was lit as Masta Ace showcased his catalogue classics Crooklyn Dodgers, The Symphony, and Me and the Biz. The highlight of this trip down memory lane was Aces signature 90s hit Born to Roll. Utilizing Mobb Deeps Shook Ones Part 2 instrumental, Ace improvised the well known last verse as the smart Atlanta crowd joined in:
Black boy, black boy turn that sh*t down
You know that America don’t wanna hear the sound
Of the bass drum jungle music go back to Africa
N**** I’ll arrest ya if ya holdin up trafffic
I’ll be damned if I listen, so cops save your breath and
Write another ticket if ya have any left and
I’m breakin ear drums while I’m breakin the law
I’m disturbin all the peace cause Sister Souljah said war .
“Born To Roll”
“Born To Roll”
Throughout the show and particularly at the end, one could catch Ace looking admiringly at his fellow group members. Hes passed on the knowledge only a twenty year vet could have, and Punchline, Wordsworth, and Strick will benefit from the lessons hes given for years to come.