A Long Hot Summer
label: m3
production: dug infinite, 9th wonder, dr period, dj spinna, others.
guest: jean grae, big noyd, punch & words, edo g., the beatnuts, rahzel, others.
year of release: 2004
website: mastaace.com
1. The Count (Skit)
2. Big City
3. Good Ol Love
4. Fats Belvedere (Skit)
5. Da Grind feat Apocalypse
6. H.O.O.D.
7. The Stoop (Skit)
8. Beautiful
9. F.A.Y. feat. Strick
10. Fats Crib (Skit)
11. Soda & Soap feat Jean Grae
12. Do It Man feat. Big Noyd
13. Bklyn Masala feat. Leschea
14. The Proposition (Skit)
15. Travelocity feat. Punch & Words
16. The Ways
17. Wutuwankno feat. Edo G.
18. The After Party (Skit)
19. Oh My God feat. The Beatnuts & Rhazel
20. Cellmate (Skit)
21. Revelations
In many good films the first scene is set in the present. Everything else, we learn, happened in the past. In the end then, we're guided back to the present - everything else is set in the future.
A long hot summer tells the story about two individuals - Ace and Fats Belvedere - who happened to grow up the same way. And even if they decided on a different type of hustle, there's no good reason why their lives shouldn't intertwine.
A long hot summer takes place - guess - in the "H.O.O.D." and there, not much has changed since: "They got broke people, poor people, my people, your people (wherever I go) Listen/ And they won't change, ever change, can't change, don't change (And everyone knows)"
And as the camera zooms in, we see Ace and Fats talking at the stoop and later at Fats crib. If you wanna know what they're up to you got to listen closely. And in the meantime you get to hear some good stuff that sets you straight about what rap music is and always has been but still sounds like 2004. State-of-the-art with a timeless element, if you excuse a little pathos from my side…
Wrapped into the plot is the negative side effects of the artist's life. On this Ace is not really frustrated yet, still he puts a good amount of disappointment on display. Like on "The Grind", or "The Ways" where he's talking about the music game… "listen: a life of rap is like a knife in the back/…/ a label guy is like a bitch in disguise/ he just tryin' to stay alive/ see the twitch in his eyes?" This is the story of the unprofessional who knock out the underrated and no one even notices. Lesson learned: If you wanna get somewhere you better be crooked, cause it's the dishonest who get paid in the end. Full stop.
Did you miss anything in the play so far? The mysterious beauty perhaps? "Bklyn Masala" will be the scene where time stands still and nothing else matters, but in a moment too soon we're back to reality. "Travelocity" spreads creativity rhyme-wise, the saga told though, is not exactly something we wouldn't have heard before… However, we still got the big story going on. The story about Ace and Fats Belvedere. Therefore, we skip the rather uninspired "Oh My God" and head forward to the last scene (present), where Ace is talking to his "Cellmate". What happened?? You got to listen yourself.
"Revelations" finally offers some introspection: "At times I don't know who I be/ and when I look in the mirror it's like I don't know who I see/ am I even moving at all?/ cause I swear I can't tell if my life is improving at all /… / so I don't need no magazine to reach the pinnacle / screw the review and you can eat the interview / cause that's what y'all seem to tend to do / them cats you cover all seem identical / through it all I weave like the park was here / and shine underground cause it's darkest there".
Is there one more thing to say?
Ace a.k.a. the rhyme veteran, as glib as ever, presents a respectable guest list (producers included), a witty plot to round up the track list and of course, we feel the "Good Ol Love" that ever since floated from Brooklyn towards the other borrows and finally to the rest of the world. In this sense, "A Long Hot Summer" got only few edges to rip your sleeve off and this is good news and bad news. It impresses by melody and a comprehensive arrangement - but how could defining the missing be an easy task then? We got a sequence of incidents binding all the cuts together. And, well, there's not only pearls in the chain, but as for me, this is fine.
review: denise
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