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Saturday, August 25, 2012

[Comp] MASTA ACE - "Building The Arts"

Unlike many of the legends that debuted in the late '80s to early '90s, Masta Ace never tried to adapt to the hot trend of the day, instead focusing on delivering quality material that speaks on who he is and where he's from. Through his 23 year recording career, he has earned his stripes as one of the greatest lyricists of all time with his clarity, personal lyrics, multiple flows and impressive discography. Ace has constantly continued to release dope records displaying his songwriting skills, and ear for beats. The longest break from releasing albums was the six years span that passed between the last release with his I.N.C. crew, '95's "Sitting On Chrome" and 2001's brilliant "Disposable Arts"; the latter often mentioned as one of the absolute top releases of the last decade. 

Contrary to what many think however, M.A. was not entirely missing from the scene during those years, but rather working towards a new sound on several sessions that resulted in several booming 12" releases on a variety of different labels. This is the records and era that this Lost Tapes compilation is focusing on. It's obvious that it was a big change for Ace, as he was returning to work as a solo artist after two incredible projects with the six-man crew (later four) Masta Ace Incorporated. You can hear the style and sound later heard on "Disposable Arts" begin to take shape during the sessions represented here. I've taken pretty much all of those records, and sequenced them to emulate the sound of a real album, which I personally think succeded as well as I could've hoped for. Check out how the last song here, "Last Bref" mirrors "No Regrets", and "Revelations". Or peep how great the two opening numbers (the Domingo produced "The Outcome", followed by the heavy hitter "Warfare") brings you into the vibe found on these 16 cuts.

All songs were originally released as 12" singles or on promo compilations under Masta Ace's name, except "Express Delivery" which is a track by The Runaways UK, although it features Masta Ace on all vocals. All tracks originally released between 1997 and 2001. The majority of these songs are also found on Ace's self-released compilation "Hits U Missed Vol. 1", but I still encourage y'all to listen to this front-to-back, as I spent a lot of thought into the sequencing of this. Enjoy!

01. "The Outcome" [prod. Domingo]
02. "Warfare" [prod. J-love]
03. "NY Confidential" [prod. J-Love]
04. "Ghetto Like" [prod. Saukrates]
05. "Brooklyn Blocks" (w/ Buckshot) [prod. M.A.]
06. "Splash" [prod. J-Love]
07. "Rap 2K1" [prod. Gerrard C. Baker]
08. "Hellbound" (w/ Eminem & J Black)
09. "Observations" (w/ Apocalypse) [prod. M.A.]
10. "Yeah Yeah Yeah" [prod. The Union]
11. "Conflict" (w/ GURU) [prod. Paul Nice]
12. "Cars" (w/ prod. Spunk Bigga)
13. "Express Delivery" [prod. Runaways UK]
14.  "Spread It Out" [prod. DJ Rob & Domingo]
15. "N.F.L." [prod. J-Love]
16. "Last Bref" [prod. M.A.]


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