Masta Ace (feat. Jean Grae) – “Soda & Soap”

So, the end of summer is just right around the corner. Man, that was quick, huh? It seems like just yesterday I started this blog and was hitting you with summer jams. Well, here’s another one before it’s really over.

Masta Ace is an unsung rap legend. Since his arrival in 1988 as a wet-behind-the-ears teen on “The Symphony,” an iconic rap posse cut featuring a collective of high-profile Queens-based rappers known as the Juice Crew, Ace has been putting in serious work over the past two decades as a talented and dedicated emcee, one who deserves more recognition, in my opinion. While mainstream success has largely eluded him, and his music is tailored more towards old-school rap fans pining for the Golden Age of hip-hop (like me), Ace really doesn’t quit (though he has toyed with the idea of leaving the game more than once). His music, especially his later two solo efforts, 2001’s Disposable Arts and 2004’s A Long Hot Summer stand out as ridiculously underrated works.

A Long Hot Summer is one of my faves by Ace, a concept album which follows the plot of Ace reluctantly being taken under the wing of Fats Belvedere, a shifty hustler who promises to make Ace a bonafide rap star by the end of the summer. In keeping with the title, the album sizzles, and the tracks really make you feel like you’re in the city on the hottest day of the year. And this one in particular feels like a wonderful conclusion to that day, where you can just kick back with your buds or the one you love, enjoy the sunset, and take in those final, fleeting moments of the day. The beat is calming and smooth to the point where you don’t even notice that Ace is cramming it full of references to pop (or “soda” to you Yanks) and soap products…which, I really have no clue as to why. Maybe he’s getting kickbacks from Tide and Dr. Pepper. Whatever, I don’t care, it’s still a good listen.

Originally posted on my old blog, Emaciated Wildebeest, on August 26, 2010.

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