As Hip-Hop retirements
increasingly appear to be promotion or an alternative to falling off, Masta Ace,
a 16-year veteran, has revealed that he will hang up his microphone after the
release of his album, Long Hot Summer.
The new album,
Ace’s fifth, will be released on August 3 and will mark the end of an illustrious
and a remarkably consistent career.
Unlike other veterans,
Ace said he wasn’t forced into retirement either by an apathetic fanbase of
lack of lust for the rap game.
even finished recording this record, I kinda had it in my mind, that this’d
be the last one for me," Ace told AllHipHop.com. "It had nothing to
do with [sales], it’s just time for me to apply myself behind the scenes and
we have this new label, M3. I want to get it off the ground, and I can’t really
do that if I’m running around touring and recording and being an artist doing
interviews. Now it gets to the point where I can get behind the scenes are really
get this engine going."
In the past five
years, Ace has helped cultivate artists like Jean Grae, Punch & Words, and
ToneDeff in ways only an elder statesman could.
the 90’s, his crew Masta Ace Inc. included popular rappers like Lord Digga,
Paula Perry and even featured a young rapper named Stimuli, who is frequently
featured on AllHipHop.com.
In the 80’s, Ace
was a member of Marly Marl’s Juice crew, a group of elite rappers that included
Kool G Rap, Biz Markie, Craig G., Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante and others.
He said after many
years in the forefront, he would let others attract the fans while he managed
his fledgling company.
"My goal is
to be the guy behind the scenes on some big records that come out in the future.
I look at MTV and see this kid Eamon, and I see Milk D [of Audio 2], as the
guy behind it. The only difference [with that is], I’m not gonna be in the video,
I’m not gonna be on stage," Ace said.
Long Hot Summer
will be the first release on Masta Ace’s M3 label. The album features Jean Grae,
Beatnuts, and Ed O.G. combined with production from 9th Wonder, DJ Spinna, and
While rappers like
Jay-Z and Master P have left and returned, Ace said that wouldn’t be the case
with him. He said the curtain was closing fast.
He affirmed, "Once
I’m done, I’m done."