Spotlight: Ace Cosgrove Aims to Feed the Uninspired with New Project (Album Stream)
24-year-old Ace Cosgrove is a Maryland MC for whom 2014 was a watershed year. Two of last year’s releases, Simple Criticism and UsVsRobots, introduced him to a wide swath of Heads, thanks in part to acclaim from a handful of highly respected outlets. Today (September 15), the young spitter releases his third effort, Baby Need Food, his first retail release and a project promising to make 2015 another landmark year in his career. Since first honing his craft in 2011, a personal tragedy in the form of his best friend’s death and the subsequent influences of artists like Curren$y and Stalley have resulted in four years’ worth of maturing and mastering, a strategic offensive noticeable on his new LP.
In an interview with Ambrosia for Heads, Cosgrove details his journey thus far and the driving agenda behind his new music, which continues to feature the thematic goal that has remained steadfastly present throughout his repertoire – that of nonconformity and defiance against socially constructed ideas of identity and expression. “My sound has evolved over the time simply because I’ve been working at it for the last four years, so it’s matured a lot. When I first started rapping I was making weird-ass music over Trap beats [laughs], now the songs are organized meaning the beat selection has gotten a lot better, the lyrics have gotten better while I’m still conveying the same message of being a rebel to society. When I first started rapping, I was hella unorthodox, naturally—I still am—but I’ve gotten a lot better overall. So the songs are more on point. The overall message of music is that you shouldn’t have to bow down to the norms of society. You shouldn’t have to just work a 9-5, barely getting by,” he shared.
Acutely aware of his emergence into an industry that is oftentimes over-saturated, Cosgrove rightfully trumpets his self-awareness as one of his major strengths. “What sets me apart from other MCs I think is my work ethic. I didn’t come into music knowing much about music so I had to start living and breathing music. There’s still a bunch of shit I need to learn, but I committed to doing so back in 2011, and that’s how I even got this far. Also, I don’t think I sound like anyone but all of us rappers think that shit [Laughs].”
Drawing inspiration from life’s vast cross-section of realms including socio-political issues like police brutality, the personal angst of growing up without a father, and the lifelong pursuit of finding true love, Baby Need Food is a nine-track project featuring production from Robbie Anthem and boasting provocative song titles like “Emotional Cancer,” “Black/Flawless,” and “Loan Shark” matched by equally thought-provoking lyrical content. That foresight – of maintaining a thoughtful A to Z conceptual approach to his music – can be partly attributed to his listening to an Outkast song. “[I was] listening to ‘Prototype’ while I was high as shit. Something hit me and told me this is how music should sound,” says Cosgrove.
Now that the album is finished and has dropped, Cosgrove has the platform on which to secure other goals with his music, particularly when it comes to his listeners’ experiences. “I want fans to feel like you can overcome and conquer anything. I want to inspire people with success, meaning they hear the problems that I’m going or went through and see that I’m still out here trying to turn negative situations into positive situations. Hopefully, that inspires them to do the same,” he says. “At the end of the day, I want whoever listens to me to feel like a rebel.”