Artist: Ace The Grappler
Label: Pitch Control Music
Rating : 1.5
Reviewer: Nick D
REVIEW: Ace The Grappler – Ventilation
Every once in a while, a record drops that separates itself from the status quo in such a way that it almost defies critique. “Ventilation” by Ace The Grappler, is certainly one of those records. Normally, declaring a record ‘indescribable’ is a compliment; a testament to its unique, refreshing excellence. In this case, however, “Ventilation” only transcends description because, simply put, it is not very good.
As an MC, Ace is poor at best. To label him as predictable and uncreative would be to understate his lack of lyrical variety. From the same mold as Jedi Mind Tricks, Ace seems to fashion himself as a cryptic, vengeful, godlike character capable of mass destruction. The Grappler, though, has neither the vocabulary nor the dexterity of Jedi Mind to make any of his lackluster threats believable.
In this instance, Ace is extremely comparable to an even less-skilled DMX. As bad as DMX is, he at least conveys some kind of emotion on his records. Ace on the other hand, is literally monotonous, having absolutely no vocal inflection. Whereas DMX, for the most part, stays on beat, The Grappler appears to have almost no concept of rhythm at all.
Should one make the perilous decision to listen to this album, he or she should be prepared for some of the worst lyricism imaginable. At one point, Ace claims that he stands for quality over quantity. Nevertheless, with lines such as the following found on the track ‘Jerks’, this claim is baseless:
“I mean really
Fuck with us is just silly
Was more real-ly than you
More ill-y than you
More manly than you”
Because this is probably the best The Grappler has to offer, it is easy to see that the album suffers lyrically. Unfortunately for the listener, the production on “Ventilation” is only marginally better. Sticking to the same generic gothic horror theme, the production is equally as overbearing, and sometimes even less subtle, than the lyrics. The occasional hard rock guitar riff or mildly intimidating instrumental track, while still horrible, at least provides some variety, no matter how small the degree. This ever-so-slight change of pace is probably the album’s only formal positive.
If Ace is ever going to be the ‘Future Hall of Famer’ that he claims to be on the album’s eleventh track, he may want to think about getting a new posse in addition to enhancing his skills and revamping his flow. Featured verses by guest MC s such as JB, FundTheMentals, and Rick Whispers only further drag the album down as, in many cases, they are at least as bad as those by Ace himself.
From the lyrics to the beats, “Ventilation” is an amateur album. Its aggression is unsubstantiated and, as a result, falls short on every level. In fact, the only reason to even entertain ideas of so much as listening to this album is to put one’s musical taste into perspective. As redundant as hip-hop can be, it is important to note that it is rarely sinks to this level. In other words, “Ventilation” is only worthwhile in that it may help the listener gain appreciation of records that he or she previously despised.