Ace Clark Shows Signs Of Greatness On A Jazzy Collabo With Talib Kweli & Joell Ortiz (Audio)
Gang Starr’s Guru once professed on “Moment of Truth”, “Cultivate, multiply, motivate or else we’ll die.” Twenty years later in a progressively demanding and often times burdensome social climate, these lyrics ring truer than ever. To remain positive, inspired, and purposeful in an atmosphere that can easily wear you down is an increasingly complex mission.
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn MC, Ace Clark, shares the same sentiment and merges with two fellow BK dignitaries in Talib Kweli and Joell Ortiz on the track “Signs” to offer encouragement and instruction on combating those day to day hindrances encountered. That song premieres today at Ambrosia For Heads. With a potent chorus bearing the lyrics “Life gone’ pass you by if you don’t recognize the sings,” the introductory single from the 26-year-old Clark’s second full-length project, Black Privilege, is a lyrical offering to those in need of a reminder to keep evolving.
The always socially and politically conscious Kweli sets the track off, immediately conveying “Are you reading my mind? / Go inside my inner thoughts and stay in touch with the world / Are you seeing the signs?” Following up the reassuring Talib verse, the blossoming Ace Clark goes on to address a bevy of significant topics including racial injustice, society tearing those in the pursuit of success down, the perils of social media acceptance, and the alarming prescription medication crisis. Clark, who rocks a blend of Hip-Hop and Neo-Soul, laces a powerful message while staying hopeful throughout, eventually stating “As I see destruction on a day to day / My key takeaway is that I got to make a way / And if I plant seeds I want to see ‘em grow / Teach ‘em all I can before I go.”
Running anchor on “Signs,” the ever-certain Joell Ortiz raps about the struggle of individuals growing up in toxic environments, the tendency of isolation within that habitat, and the dangers of coping with strife via substance abuse. Ultimately though, similar to Common’s 1994 classic “I Used To Love H.E.R.,” Ortiz addresses Hip-Hop and it’s culture directly. Expressing gratitude for the liberating role it has played in his life, Ortiz delivers “Hip-Hop to you I write this cold letter / Dear boom-bap Rap, break-dancers, and dope levers / Turntable originators and poem spreaders / Thank you for taking me under your wing / Making me one of your kings / I’m as humble as a bumble bee in spring.”
A revitalizing message cloaked in pristine Jazzy production, “Signs” is a necessary prompt for those damaged by doubt to stay the course, remain conscious of your surroundings, and to embrace opportunity before it perishes.
Black Privilege, which is the follow up to Clark’s 2015 effort, The Good Fight, carries features from Talib, Joell, Beanie Siegel, and Skyzoo among other notables and will be released on September 14.