Today Masta Ace has invited fans to consume the next chapter in his musical life narrative with the release of The Falling Season. Ace considers TFS to be his first official release since 2004’s Long Hot Summer, however, it does serve as a continuation from his specialty, one-off project, 2012’s MA DOOM: Son Of Yvonne.
“When I did the MF Doom record it was called ‘Son of Yvonne,’ it was dedicated to my mother and I went back in history or in time to when I was around 12 years old, when I first got introduced to hip-hop and I was trying to tell that story; me in junior high and the neighborhood. But I realized that there was another part to be told,” Ace tells WatchLOUD.com.
“The high school part of it was a bigger story because I started playing football in H.S. and I was traveling to this white neighborhood, Sheepshead Bay, where there was a lot of racial tension in 1980. In the late ‘70s people were coming home from these neighborhoods talking about how the white boys chased us home again with the chains and bats again. For no reason. Hearing that as an 8th grader I was like ‘Damn I gotta go to school out here?’”
The Falling Season, produced entirely by Kick Beats, opens with Ace having to make a hasty transition to a new high school after his mother doesn’t get a job in Atlanta. So he winds up attending Sheepshead Bay High, a long way from his neighborhood of Brownsville.
The very first song “3000 Ave X” (the address for Sheepshead Bay High) features Your Old Droog, who gives his own spin on his Brooklyn high school Hunger Games.
“I met Your Old Droog because he was about to do his first show ever in NYC and DJ Skizz and Marco Polo reached out to me to come have a session with him to help him put his show together and that was my first time meeting him. I had never heard any music or knew anything about him. Then I heard the music while we were rehearsing and I said I like this kid, this kid is good. His voice is very reminiscent of Nas but different. So that’s how our relationship started. And then when I was working on the album I got this beat and knew what I wanted to rhyme about and thought that his voice would sound good on this song ‘3000 Ave. X.’ So I hit him up and he obliged.”
Working with new talent like Droog is part of what Ace feels contributes to his longevity. The Brooklyn MC dropped his first album Take A Look Around in 1990 after joining The Juice Crew in the late ’80s.
“What’s helped me stay around is being a fan of the music and what cats are doing, trying to seek out the new cats that are good and listen to what they’re doing. I’ve never had that mentality of ‘Everything in the ’90s was the shit and everything else is garbage.’ There’s good stuff out there. Luckily I’m around guys like Wordsworth and Strickland who are constantly playing new stuff when we’re on tour. You have to take that energy from the new, good cats—not to sound like them— but to recycle that into what you’re doing.”
Masta Ace breaks down the lyrics to his second single “Young Black Intelligent” in our upcoming Verse Behavior. Watch the full video of him talking about The Falling Season above.