Clear performing in 2005
|Birth name||Duval Clear|
|Also known as|
|Born||December 4, 1966|
|Origin||Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, US|
|Labels||Cold Chillin', Delicious Vinyl, JCOR, Yosumi, M3|
Duval Clear (born December 4, 1966),known better by his stage name Masta Ace, is an American rapper and record producer from Brownsville, Brooklyn. He appeared on the classic 1988 Juice Crew posse cut "The Symphony". He is noted for his distinct voice and rapping proficiency, and has influenced several MCs. In 2000, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but he did not reveal it to the public until 2013 , after first revealing his condition to his touring peers when his medicine syringes and vials were exposed after a police stop in the Czech Republic, as the group's belongings were searched and exposed.
Clear graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1988, after meeting Marley Marl in 1987 during his summer break.Ace made his recording debut on the Juice Crew posse-cut "The Symphony", along with fellow Juice Crew members Craig G, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane, released on Marley Marl's In Control album. The album also featured two additional Ace tracks, "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" and "Simon Says". In 1989, he released his first solo single, "Together" b/w "Letter to the Better". His debut album, Take a Look Around , was released through Marl's Cold Chillin' label in 1990, featuring production from Marl and DJ Mister Cee. The album featured two minor hit singles in "Music Man" and "Me & The Biz", the latter track including Ace impersonating Biz Markie who did not reach the studio for the planned duet.
In the early stages of his career, Masta Ace was very energetic (cf. "Jeep Ass Niguh", where, tongue-in-cheek, he taunts police officers for their knee-jerk predisposition to harass black youth on city streets.) He also recorded material with a six-member supporting entourage, Masta Ace Incorporated. In light of his newly claimed status as a veteran, he has gravitated toward an earnest, matter-of-fact plainspokenness in the new millennium. Many of the songs that have lent newfound heft to his reputation are simple, no-nonsense rumination on feelings and facts of urban American life, including "Soda and Soap" and "Beautiful".
During the years between his debut and his second album, Ace began having bitter feelings toward the commercial state of hip hop music, as well as the prominence of Gangsta rap, feelings which ruled the content on his second release, 1993's SlaughtaHouse , with the loose concept of the album seeing Ace taking the fake "gangsta emcees" to his "SlaughtaHouse". The album featured Ace's new crew, Masta Ace Incorporated, which included Eyceurokk, Lord Digga, Paula Perry and R&B vocalist Leschea. The singles "SlaughtaHouse", "Saturday Nite Live", "Style Wars" and "Jeep Ass Niguh" were taken from the album. The latter featured an unlisted remix titled "Born to Roll", which became a crossover single in 1994, peaking at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.In the same year, Ace became a member of a temporary crew Crooklyn Dodgers, formed for the release of Spike Lee's movie, Crooklyn , along with MC's Special Ed and Buckshot of Black Moon, and recorded the title track of the album soundtrack. The song became Ace's second Hot 100 hit in 1994, peaking at #60 on the chart.
Ace furthered his mainstream appeal in 1995, with his radio-friendly Sittin' on Chrome album. This effort was also released with the Masta Ace Incorporated crew, now also known as The I.N.C. The album was Ace's most commercially successful release, breaking into the Top 20 on Billboard 's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Sittin' On Chrome included "Born to Roll", as well as two other Hot 100 hit singles, "The I.N.C. Ride" and "Sittin' on Chrome". Following the album's success, Ace had a falling out with I.N.C. members Lord Digga and Paula Perry, leading to the breakup of the crew. After the split, Ace was largely missing from the hip hop scene over the next five years, save for a number of random vinyl singles. During his vinyl days, he bounced from a number of labels, releasing his "Cars" single on Tape Kingz Records, his "Yeah Yeah Yeah" and "NFL" singles on the Union Label, his "NY Confidential" single on Replay Records, his "Express Delivery" single on Three Sixty Records, his "Spread It Out/Hellbound" single on Yosumi Records, his "Conflict" single on Mona Records, his "Ghetto Like" single on Fat Beats, his "So Now U A MC" single on Bad Magic Records, and his "Brooklyn Blocks" single on Buckshot's Duck Down Records.
Ace's "Ghetto Like" single led to a misunderstanding with an underground emcee named Boogieman, who released a somewhat similar single titled "Ghetto Love" which was released on 420recordings not long before. He thought that Ace was "biting" his track and released a diss song toward Ace titled "Just You Wait". Ace responded to Boogieman on the diss track "Acknowledge", which also dissed The High & Mighty over a misunderstanding. The trading of records led to a rap battle between the two at a Lyricist Lounge event. "Acknowledge" was also included on "Disposable Arts."Masta Ace can also be found performing numerous "Dubtitled" voice overs on the television series titled "Kung Faux" seen in 150+ countries worldwide.
Disposable Arts became one of the most acclaimed underground hip hop releases of 2001, beloved for its pure hip hop style and clever album concept, which served as a fictional story, chronicling Ace's time spent at a satirical rap school named the "Institute of Disposable Arts". JCOR Records folded soon after the release, leaving it out-of-print, until being re-released in 2005 on Ace's self-established M3 label. The album closer, "No Regrets", led many fans to believe that it would be Ace's final album, because of the line "I don't know if it's the end, but yo, it might be". Ace killed the rumors by returning in 2004 with his fifth album A Long Hot Summer , another highly acclaimed effort. The story concept, similar to that on his last release, served as a prelude to the story told on Disposable Arts, chronicling the "Long Hot Summer" that led to his character's incarceration at the beginning of the Disposable Arts album. Rumors once again spread about a retirement, which were again squashed, when Ace announced the formation of his new rap crew named eMC, including himself, Punchline, Wordsworth and his protégé Strick. Ace remarked in a December 2006 interview that he would no longer record as a solo artist, only with eMC.eMC's first group album, The Show , was scheduled for early 2007 but was released in February 2008 digitally and April 2008 physically.
In 2007, Masta Ace had a track included on the Official Joints mixtape, a compilation of previously unreleased tracks by various NYC rappers.
In 2009, Masta Ace joined forces with Boston rapper Ed O.G. to release Arts & Entertainment which was released on November 3, 2009.Arts & Entertainment got shortened to A&E which resulted in the cable TV channel A&E asking Masta and Edo to remove the symbol from their original album artwork. The albums already printed have been sold at live shows following the release of the record.
In 2011 and in 2012 he coached high school football for the Irvington Blue Knights in NJ.[ citation needed ]
In 2012, Masta Ace released "MA Doom: Son Of Yvonne", produced entirely by MF Doom. He is also set to release a 10th anniversary release of Disposable Arts, featuring new recordings of songs from the album with a live bandThe same site interviewed Masta Ace and he explained that Son of Yvonne helps him put across the things he didn't get to say to his mother before she died.
In January 2014, Masta Ace reunited with Stricklin, Wordsworth and Punchline as eMC, signing a record deal with Penalty Entertainment and Sony Red.They're expected to release an EP in April 2014, followed by a sophomore LP due out in early 2015. Punchline left the group in October 2014.
Late 2014, it was announced that Masta Ace signed to M3 Records/Penalty Entertainment for his 6th solo album "The Falling Season" will drop in 2016.
In 2016, Masta Ace was interviewed by Ryan Maxwell for Hip-Hop Kings.The interview spoke in depth about the Disposable Arts re-issue, and the documentary which celebrated 20 years of the album. At the end of the interview, Masta Ace also confirmed he has begun filming another documentary for his critically acclaimed album "A Long Hot Summer".
Via Twitter, Marco Polo announced a new Masta Ace album in January 2018,produced entirely by himself, which is titled A Brooklyn Story and scheduled for release on November 9, 2018.
September 11, 2018, a collaboration with DJ/Producer Tomo in der Muhlen was released, a remake of the infamous Goblin track "Profondo Rosso". The title of the rework is "The Formula".
He and Croatian producer Koolade made a song "Beautiful" that was on his album A Long Hot Summer.
He is featured on a song off of album Protuotrov (antidote) by Bosnian rapper Frenkie, the song is called Živili (live on) featuring Masta Ace & Phat Phillie and is produced by Edo Maajka.
He appeared on Czech hiphop group Prago Union's album "HDP", where he performed on the track "Beat and I a já und ich" along with German rapper Dendemann.
He also appeared on Polish rap group Familia H.P. album "42" on the track "Born In New York".
In 2003 he appeared on the Swedish rapper Chords' track "Get u awn" with Punchline. The track is on the album "The garden around the mansion".
Masta Ace travelled to Australia in 2008 to record for the Funkoars track "This is How" which came off the album The Hangover. The track sampled parts of the Masta Ace's 2004 track "Good Ol' Love". The Funkoars have made several references to Masta Ace in their lyrics as well as using samples in other works.
He is also featured on the track "Sminke" by the critically acclaimed Norwegian Hip Hop duo Karpe Diem. The title of the album is Aldri Solgt En Løgn (Never Sold a Lie). In English the word "Sminke" means makeup, and the song is about artists trading their image for what their record companies want it to be.
In 2007, he appeared on Admit It, a song by Swiss hip hop group Nefew from their album Off the Cuff .
In 2010, he appeared on "Set You Free" along with Wordsworth, a track by UK hip hop DJ/Producer "Skitz" from his album "The Sticksman".
In 2010, he appeared on "You don't know about it" alongside M-Dot, a track by French hip hop DJ/Producer DJ Jean Maron from his album "RUN MPC". It was the lead single of the album and received heavy radio rotations. (released on 12" and CD)
In 2012, he is featured on the track "Progression" by German DJ/Producer DJ Q-Fingaz from his album "Qllection".The same year, he is featured on "The Bridge", a song by Polish hip hop squad Slums Attack from album "CNO 2"
In 2014, he collaborated with Canberra-based Australian rapper Nix on the single "SHE".
On December 19, 2014, Ace was featured on a track called "My Style" with German Producer The Mighty Moewho also produced for Termanology, Reks and many more.
In 2014, he is featured alongside Tajai (from Souls Of Mischief) on the track "2 the Essence" by German Rapper Kool Savas from his album "Märtyrer"
In 2015, he appeared on "Thinking of You", a song by Swedish hip hop duo Professor P & DJ Akilles from their album "All Year, Every Year".
In 2015, he is featured alongside Kidaf & Nekfeu on the track "Nothing Changed" by German hip-hop/pop producer Shuko from his album "For The Love Of It".
Masta Ace is considered to be a highly skilled and influential MC – music journalist Peter Shapiro describes him as “one of the great pure New York MCs”,and Allmusic describes him as “truly an underappreciated rap veteran and underground luminary”. Commenting on how Masta Ace is sometimes overlooked despite his skill, Rolling Stone says, “even the most avid fan of raw hip-hop lyricism can sometimes neglect to mention Masta Ace alongside hard-bitten champs such as Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick and Kool G Rap”. Eminem mentions Masta Ace as one of his influences in his book The Way I Am, saying, “Masta Ace had amazing storytelling skills – his thoughts were so vivid”.
Tommy Flaaten, best known by his stage name Tommy Tee, is a Norwegian record producer, rapper, broadcaster, record executive, concert promoter and magazine publisher. He is known as the godfather of Norwegian hip hop. Tee owns the label Tee Productions, which is located in Oslo, Norway and is Norway's leading hip hop label. As well, he publishes Norway's only graffiti magazine and hosts a weekly national rap radio program.
The High & Mighty is an American hip hop duo from Philadelphia, composed of rapper Mr. Eon and music producer DJ Mighty Mi.
The Juice Crew was an American Hip Hop collective made up largely of Queensbridge –based artists in the mid–to–late 1980s. Founded by radio DJ Mr. Magic, and housed by Tyrone Williams' record label Cold Chillin' Records, the Juice Crew helped introduce New School artists Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shante and Kool G Rap. The crew produced many answer records and engaged with numerous "beefs" – primarily with rival radio jock Kool DJ Red Alert and the South Bronx's Boogie Down Productions, as well as the "posse cut", "The Symphony".
Take a Look Around is the debut solo studio album by American rapper Masta Ace. It was released on July 24, 1990 through Cold Chillin' Records with distribution via Reprise Records. Recording sessions took place at House Of Hits in Chestnut Ridge, New York and at Libra Digital Sound in Long Island City. Production was handled by Marley Marl and Mister Cee.
SlaughtaHouse is the first album from hip hop group Masta Ace Incorporated, and the second overall album from rapper Masta Ace. It was released on May 4, 1993 by Delicious Vinyl. The loose concept of the album is addressing the growing trend of violence in hip-hop music at the time, notably from Gangsta rap. He addresses this satirically in the over-the-top single "Slaughtahouse".
Sittin' on Chrome is the second and final album from Hip Hop group Masta Ace Incorporated, which includes Ace, Lord Digga, Paula Perry and Leschea. Ace followed the success of his 1994 hits "Jeep Ass Niguh" and "Crooklyn" with his most commercially successful album, which concentrated more on the West Coast/"gangsta" Hip-Hop sound that particularly became a popular trend among many artists nationwide since the mega-success of Dr. Dre's The Chronic.
Disposable Arts is the fourth solo album by American rapper Masta Ace, his follow up album since Sittin' On Chrome (1995).
Edward Anderson is an East Coast hip-hop artist from Boston, Massachusetts, United States, better known by his stage names Ed O.G. and Edo G..
Aaron Phillip, better known by his stage name Afu-Ra, is an American underground rapper. Afu-Ra is a member of the Gang Starr Foundation, and has worked closely with its members, Gang Starr, Jeru the Damaja, Big Shug, Group Home, and others.
Masta Ace Incorporated was a hip hop crew formed by rapper Masta Ace. The group, also known as The I.N.C., included Eyceurokk, Lord Digga, Paula Perry and R&B vocalist Leschea. Ace first gained notice in the rap world as a member of the legendary Juice Crew, and with the release of his acclaimed 1990 debut Take a Look Around, which featured an appearance from Eyceurokk. In 1992, Ace formed the I.N.C. crew and recorded their first group album, SlaughtaHouse, which was released in May 1993. Ace provided almost all of the rapping, with Lord Digga serving as the hype-man. Digga was also responsible for a bulk of the beats, producing five of the album's songs as part of the duo Bluez Brothers. Paula Perry was the main performer on the song "Who U Jackin'?", Leschea provided vocals for "Don't Fuck Around (Outro)", and Eyceurokk appeared on the tracks '"Slaughtahouse"', "Ain't U Da Masta" and "Saturday Nite Live". The album was highly acclaimed, but sold only moderately well. Some versions of SlaughtaHouse included the hidden bonus track, "Born to Roll", which became a huge hit in 1994, breaking into the Top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Eyceurokk split from the crew after SlaughtaHouse, leaving the group to four members.
Hits U Missed Vol. 2 is a compilation album from Hip Hop artist Masta Ace. Unlike the first volume, Hits U Missed, which featured all Ace singles, this installment is composed of collaborations and mixtape tracks featuring Ace.
eMC is a hip hop crew composed of rappers Masta Ace, Wordsworth and Stricklin. Punchline was also a member, but he left the group in October, 2014.
Delicious Vinyl is an American independent record label founded by Matt Dike and Michael Ross in 1987 and based in Los Angeles, California.
The Show is the debut album by Hip Hop supergroup eMC, which consists of rappers Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth and Strick.
M3 Records is an American independent hip hop record label in New York City, headed by rapper Masta Ace. The label was founded in 2003, nearly two years after Ace's former label, JCOR Records, folded. The first nationally distributed release on the label was Ace's fifth studio album A Long Hot Summer. The label is now home to Ace's supergroup eMC, which also features underground duo Punch & Words and Milwaukee rapper Strick.
Koolade is a Croatian hip-hop, electronic, and urban music producer. Born in Zagreb, Croatia in the late 1970s, he began his music career in the late 1990s. Along with other members of the Blackout family he played a major role in establishing hip-hop genre in the Croatian and regional (Balkans) music scene, rocking charts, record sales and winning a few national music awards in Croatia and Bosnia.
Adnan Hamidović, better known by his stage name Frenkie, is a Bosnian rapper from Tuzla. The themes present in his music are often concerned with the political situation in Bosnia, as well as traditional hip-hop subject matter such as battle rapping and pop culture. As of 2019, he has recorded four successful full-length albums to date: Odličan CD (2005), Povratak Cigana (2007), Protuotrov (2009), Troyanac (2012) and Egzil (2017). He also released extended plays Pokreni se (2008) and Putanja (2016), and a Bosnian only released album DOSTA! (2006).
Antoine McColister, better known by his stage name Ace Hood, is an American rapper. He was born in Port St. Lucie, Florida and raised in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He was initially signed to DJ Khaled's label We the Best Music Group in 2008. He has released four studio albums with his most successful of which being Blood, Sweat & Tears (2011) and Trials & Tribulations (2013). He is best known for the hit singles "Hustle Hard" and "Bugatti". In 2016, McColister announced his departure from We the Best Music and is currently working as an independent artist.
"Born to Roll" is a single by Masta Ace Incorporated. Released initially as a standalone single in 1994, "Born To Roll" is the West Coast remake of "Jeep Ass Niguh" with the all the same lyrics intact, now musically modified to pay homage to the West Coast sound and the lowrider scene, keeping with the theme of cars and loud, booming music. Group leader Masta Ace was the sole performer of the song, as well as the sole producer of this version under the credit of Ase One.
Double Barrel is an album made in collaboration between American rapper Torae and Canadian hip hop producer Marco Polo. The album was released on June 2, 2009 by Duck Down Music Inc. It was preceded by Marco Polo's critically well-received debut album Port Authority (2007), and Torae's inaugural release Daily Conversation (2008) on which Polo has produced three tracks.