Masta Ace & Coast Contra Unite On A Certified Banger
This weekend (January 26), Masta Ace & Marco Polo have released Richmond Hill. The longtime MC/producer battery’s second album is a thematic sequel to 2018’s A Breukelen Story. That concept LP, named one of Ambrosia For Heads‘ best of that year, looked at Brooklyn, New York’s history—including as a home to Brownsville native Masta Ace as well as Marco—a transplant originally from Ontario, Canada.
Richmond Hill examines Marco’s journey. The former Rawkus Records artist and veteran album-maker retraces his roots in skits throughout the Fat Beats Records LP. The 18-track collection also shows how Masta Ace and Marco Polo can blend in many environments—something they’ve done for over 50 combined years. One of the LP’s most compelling moments is “Certified,” a collaboration with Hip-Hop quartet Coast Contra. It is currently featured atop the Ambrosia For Heads playlist (follow it here).
Coast Contra represents one of the most exciting and skills-forward acts of Hip-Hop’s new class. The foursome includes Taj Austin and Ras Austin—twin sons of Ras Kass and Teedra Moses, as well as Philadelphia MC Eric Jamal, and Colombian-American Rioloz. In addition to multiple projects, The Coast has dropped some of the finest freestyles of the last three years.
On “Certified,” all parties mesh over a high-energy, percussion-driven Marco Polo beat. Masta Ace raps fast about fast-money and a survivor’s mentality, while referencing his own tenacity and 20-year-old Long Hot Summer album. Coast follows, with Rioloz going bilingual in his menacing delivery where the MC talks about growing up in a hut to moving to the United States with dreams like this. With less than four minutes of total song, the five MCs get busy as a unit. The song is fiery and efficient — hosted by an MC who knows a thing or two about posse cuts.
Richmond Hill also features Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck, Blu, Che Noir, and Wordsworth, among others.
The AFH playlist (follow it here) also includes additional several new songs by Masta Ace & Marco (including lead single “Life Music,” featuring Stricklin of The EMC and Speech of Arrested Development) and Coast Contra. The C.C. track is from last month’s THE OLD WAY MIXTAPE. Another current playlist song, “Life Behind Bars,” is from Marco Polo & Torae’s Midnight Run LP. The playlist also includes new music by Eminem, Benny The Butcher, Erick The Architect, R.A.P. Ferreira & Fumitake Tamura, and Boldy James & Nicholas Craven, among others.
#BonusBeat: AFH‘s 2018 interview with Masta Ace and Marco Polo, filmed in Brooklyn: