Artist: Masta Ace
Album: Disposable Arts
Rating: 9 / 10
Reviewer: P The Uptownkid
“Disposable Arts”, as a whole, brings a breath of fresh air to the world of Hip-Hop. Like ‘Eyes On the Prize’ and ‘Simon Says’ from “Marley Marl In Control, Vol. 1”, back in 1988, Ace continues to amaze you. If one truly understands and appreciates rap music then it would not be hard to considerthis 4th album release of Masta Ace as a wait well worth the effort. The various tracks (excluding the skits) sheds light to the new “hip-hop head” generation an understanding where most of today’s rappers’ (example – Eminem, Bubba Sparxxx, etc.) influence and style originates from. Masta Ace spits a fiery barrage of intelligent and wordplay-filled lyrics while he communicates the non-egotistic, non-materialistic, analytical and humble side of the rap game.
The CD starts off on the right foot with ‘Too Long’ featuring Apocalypse and ‘Block Episode’ featuring Punch and Words which is a “aiight” track.” ‘Don’t Understand’ is good for radio airplay. Don’t sleep on Ace on tracks like ‘Acknowledge’, ‘Enuff’ and especially ‘No Regrets’ which finds Ace flashing back over a decade-plus career with all its high and lows and lyrically assassinates the tracks…
Take a Walk’ is another ode to Brooklyn, while ‘Dear Diary’ is an impressively self-critical reflection on Ace’s own limitations. One track on the album, ‘Hold U,’ is a collaboration with yet another female rapper (trying to make a name in the game) which invokes the common metaphor of the microphone as a woman / lover, but Ace, along with this strong cameo from Jean Grae, pulls it off by sticking to the basics – intelligent, heartfelt lyricism. The production and the album concepts is tight. Guests include Outsidaz Young Zee and Strick, Rah Digga, Jane Doe, Jean Grae, Punch & Words, J-Ro (the Alkaholiks) and King Tee, Greg Nice, Leschea and Mr. Lee Gee. Basically, in the big picture, the songs here find Ace doing what he does best: analyzing himself, hip-hop and the greater world around him.
While “Slaughtahouse” and “Sittin’ On Chrome” did pretty well during the early-mid ’90’s, most people didn’t give the respect due, nor did they acknowledge the advanced / ahead-of-his-time flow that Ace spits comparable to that of the mythical lyricist Supernatural. Impressive as the whole album is, Ace doesn’t tweak his style for the Y2K+1 (he doesn’t have to), and comes correct in the drive to keep Real Hip-Hop there for the community to revert to in the current “bling-bling” mentality that plagues the industry/listeners.
Recommendation: all who are considering picking this album up… DO IT, because you won’t be disappointed at all. Keep it happening, Ace, and drop more gems like this on us!!!