I am just as aware as you the lack of updates on The Lost Tapes the last six months or so, a place that once bragged about its daily updates and exclusive contents and again sorry about that. I hope some of you ocassionally check out what's happening here, because although I don't really have time for this blog at the moment (and to be honest the large amount of watered down music, even from the legends these days, have made me somewhat uninterested in any new hip-hop compared to just a couple of years ago). With that said I still will want to highlight some new releases that I feel are worthy of our time as well as the ocassional compilation and so on. So if you're still here, trusted reader, peace be upon you, and if not.. Well, so be it.
The first album that I want to talk to you about is Masta Ace's "The Falling Season" which dropped a week or so ago by now but as it has been a suprisingly low-key record as far as promotion goes I figure some heads might still have missed out on it. Ace used to be one of my favorite artists in this game for a long time, releasing some incredible album gems that I would argue are, if not masterpieces, then at least close to that classic status. I am of course talking about the two Masta Ace INC. albums as well as the undisposable "Disposable Arts" and the equally slamming "A Long Hot Summer". Nothing but bangers on those albums, excellent rhyming over excellent production that sounded fresh and cohessive despite featuring a multiple of producers and guest emcees sharing mic duties with Ace. If you remember, "A Long Hot Summer" was supposed to be Ace's final solo album, and as such he truly went out with a bang. Instead he was to focus the rest of his career touring and droping ocassional collaborative efforts with his groups EMC, Ace & Edo (G) and the MF DOOM produced (through recycled beats) concept album/mixtape "M.A. Doom: The Son Of Yvonne". All these albums had their joints to be sure, and Ace could still deliver hot verses, but I always felt that a large chunk of the production and overall themes left a lot to be desired on all of these albums.
Imagine then the hype when I found out that The Master was working on an official follow-up to "A Long Hot Summer", a real solo album with all original beats that told a story interweaving skits and songs into a cohessive concept album just like his last two highly acclaimed and aforementioned proper solo albums. That album is finally here - entitled "The Falling Season" which follows the young future underground star throughout his childhood years, all set to the production of newcomer KIC Beats. Of the latter, Ace has described the previously untested California beatsmith as a beatsmith that does not rely very much on samples but instead incorporates live instrumentations whenever possible. And this to me is the albums greatest weakness, although I suspect it might grow on me. But I really have a bug about these legendary emcees who on his recent projects got bangers upon bangers from some of the greatest underground producers in the industry (Domingo, MF DOOM, J-Zone, Beatnuts, Ayatollah, 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Dug Infinite, Marco Polo, DJ JS-One, and so on). While KiC Beats has some good tracks his best work hardly reach up to the levels of the great tracks supplied for Ace by the producers mentioned above, and it definitely hampers the project.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad album per se, just an underwhelming one when you consider how amazing music Ace can put out when the chemistry between producer and artist is on top. Still well worth checking out, and don't take my word for it because I've heard several people highly praise this LP so judge for yourself - you can stream the entire project below via Bandcamp before grabbing a digital copy from their site. More good news is that its available on vinyl, CD and cassette so if you dig this or just want to complete your collection I say go for it (check out HHV for prices and editions). Check out the EPK up top, and stream the album above - oh and one more thing guests include Cormega, AG, Your Old Droog, Wordsworth, Pav Bundy, Stricklin, Torae and The World Famous Supreme Team. Give it a spin below right away!