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Masta Ace

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Masta Ace (born Duval Clear) is a rapper from Brooklyn, New York. Appearing on the classic 1988 posse cut, The Symphony, he garnered notoriety as an unsung asset to the Juice Crew posse, and is therefore, widely considered one on the roster, where he released a number of well-respected albums that were nonetheless little-heard outside purist circles. The single that has earned him the most attention has been Jeep Ass Niguh (alternatively known as “Born To Roll”, essentially a remix which uses the track from Def Jam artist Original Concept’s “Knowledge Me”).

His most recent (and reportedly final) solo album, A Long Hot Summer, gained considerable acclaim in 2004. He is currently in the group eMC, with Punchline, Wordsworth and Stricklin. They have a page at http://www.myspace.com/emcthegroup.

In the early stages of his career, Masta Ace was very energetic (cf. “Jeep Ass Niguh”, where, tongue-in-cheek, he taunts police officers for their knee-jerk predisposition to harass black youth on city streets.) He also recorded material with a six-member supporting entourage, Masta Ace Incorporated. In light of his newly claimed status as a veteran, he has gravitated toward an earnest, matter-of-fact plainspokenness in the new millennium. Many of the songs that have lent newfound heft to his reputation are simple, no-nonsense rumination on feelings and facts of American life, including “Soda and Soap”, “Brooklyn Masala” (which highlights a budding romance between Ace and a lovely but reserved Pakistani Hindu immigrant), and “Beautiful”.

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