Masta Ace Announces Retirement in August

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.

"Before I

even finished recording this record, I kinda had it in my mind, that this’d

be the last one for me," Ace told "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.

Furthermore, in

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

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."

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