Eminem Shows Just How Much Juice Masta Ace Had In Influencing Him (Video)
Heads who have closely followed history know how influential Masta Ace is. The Brooklyn, New York MC whose career spans more than 30 years helped bring Rap cadence to its glory. This is the same man, tied to groups such as The Juice Crew, Masta Ace Incorporated, Crooklyn Dodgers, and The eMC, who would help make the concept album, as well as the album series, a prominent feature in Rap.
Throughout his career, Ace introduced a number of artists. From Leschea to Wordsworth, Tonedeff to Jean Grae, Ace has been instrumental to others. One artist who could be included on that list is Eminem. Em’ has credited Ace as an influence, especially his Slaughtahouse album. Both artists have a conversational style, with a similar cadence—especially during Marshall’s “Slim Shady” period. It was at this time, in the late ’90s, they recorded the song “Hellbound” (posted below) together (with J-Black), during Em’s tenure in New York City and New Jersey. Nearly a decade ago, the diamond-certified MC/producer remixed the title track for a Delicious Vinyl Records compilation. An online documentary film on Ace’s 2001 album Disposable Arts examines the relationship between the two MCs.
This month, Masta Ace held a 50th birthday in New York City. Attended by many peers (including Juice Crew alumni), this video was broadcast of Eminem wishing one of his inspirations a happy born day. Then, Marshall spits the bars from Ace’s breakthrough appearance on 1988 Marley Marl possé cut “The Symphony.” YouTube user Southpawer Official uploaded the video from the December 4 party. Ace shares the birthday (apart by several years) with fellow Brooklyn native Jay Z.
In October, another close Eminem associate, Royce 5’9″, joined Black Thought, Freeway, Pharoahe Monch, Smif-n-Wessun, and DJ J. Period in paying tribute to “The Symphony” at New York City’s Roots Picnic. Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and Craig G also performed their verses from the Juice Crew classic.
Earlier this year, Masta Ace released The Falling Season. The album features Cormega, A.G., Torae, and others. An Underground Hip-Hop pioneer, Ace deliberately refrained from releasing the LP to many streaming platforms.