Masta Ace Is A Hip-Hop King. He Raps Royally On A Marco Polo Track (Video Premiere)
With 30-plus years of being one of Rap’s most consistent (and profoundly influential) lyricists in the game, Masta Ace teamed up with longtime collaborating producer Marco Polo to pay homage to the borough of Brooklyn. They did this by collectively constructing a full-length body of work that is conceptual, cohesive, and knockin’ to many eardrums.
The chemistry between these two began in 2004 while Ace was working on A Long Hot Summer. They soon linked again, when Ace was featured on Marco’s debut, Port Authority, three years later. Ace’s immortal lyrics along with Marco’s early-’90s boom-bap approach on the video single “Nostalgia” showed the world how memorable a duo these two would be in the years to come.
After touring and many more collaborations, the Juice Crew member and accomplished producer decided to become partners for an album named A Breukelen Story. With the length of 19 tracks that clocks in at a total of 55 minutes, A Breukelen Story touches on the subjects of despair, devotion, gentrification, Hip-Hop and the current climate of the culture. It also covers the two artists’ relationship, and growing bond.
The opening song on the album and new single “Kings” is an ode to the county that birthed Ace (and which Marco now calls home). A few months back, Ace posted a photo of flyers that he collected over the years and asked his fans to give him some ideas on what he could do with them. Thanks to music video director Olise Forel, the photos became an incredible idea as the backdrop for the visual of “Kings.” Along with the flyers, there are also images of Ace’s previous album art that distinctly comes to life while Ace is rhyming.
Marco’s signature hard bass drum and drum snare are meshed with pensive piano keys. The song is smooth, jazzy, and the perfect kind of beat for the “Music Man” to rock on. Ace laces the track with words that a king would speak to his imperial subjects to educate and build up to make sure a legacy such as this lives on.
During the first verse, Ace spits, “I’m from the V-I-double-L-E / Like M.O.P/ Where cats walk around like / Him or Me / Art of survival / Trying to calculate the heart of a rival / Understand like part of The Bible / This is a revelation / They say ni**as never learn / This an education / Since Malcolm and Martin / We’ve been marching for a better nation / Is this a big melting pot / Or is it separation? / I’m breaking bread with the tribes, no reservations / Yo, we gotta make it as a federation / Are we living together, or is it segregation? / Jim Crow Laws / Hem no flaws / I’m trying to run it up like 10 more scores / The chain of command / Analyze the brain of man / That understands the shame and the pain of a fan / They can’t comprehend / All these songs he’s hearing now / And can’t understand what these dudes is wearing now.”
While preparing for the release of their album, Ace and Marco created a YouTube series called A Breukelen Story. In collaboration with Fat Beats Records, the series features artists such as Sadat X and Roxanne Shanté, sharing their own stories about experience each has had related to Brooklyn.
A Breukelen Story is currently available on all music streaming services and features the likes of Styles P, Smif ‘N’ Wessun, Lil Fame from M.O.P., Elzhi, Pharoahe Monch and more.
Press image provided by Masta Ace & Marco Polo.
#BonusBeat: Stream/support A Breukelen Story: