A year or two after Masta Ace got his commercial breakthrough as part of Marley Marl's supergroup Juice Crew All-Stars (along with Kool G Rap, Craig G & Big Daddy Kane), he returned to his solo career and the urban prophet/messenger persona Ace, known for contemplative, orthodox skilled lyricism and delivery and massive attention to rap music as art and life style. One of Ace's similarities with mouthier "classmate" KRS-One is, except for both being born in '66, both known as level headed, old school NY rappers who's profiled as producing politically aware (Ace) or subversive (KRS) lyrics, phrased and contextualized in the vein of contemporary poetry rather than along the line of simple self-worship, aggression and technical sophistication, discipline, roots, delivery and their proximity to the streets, and first and foremost their undying devotion to rap as music and hiphop as a culture.
Masta Ace (alongside the likes of Rakim, Guru, Tragedy Khadafi, BDK and Kool G Rap) defined the socially conscious, dark, gritty, multisyllabic and - though full of real life stories about substance abuse, poverty, sexual encounters with misogynistic overtones, socio-economic stratification, how packing heat is a necessary insurance rather than a fashion choice, and the hustle of being a rapper living paycheck to paycheck in the golden wax era when Warner Bros. and the other behemoths ruled the earth. Masta Ace practically defined the constructive, zealous, social realistic, half-sarcastic half-sentimental rap that would dominate the late 80's and early 90's. Ace and KRS wound up on different sides of the bridge wars (diss tracks + responses exchanged between South Bronx's BDP and QB's MC Shan & Marl's Juice Crew in summer/fall of '86, a historic sequence of events that forced rappers with an honor to defend to make insults in rap form effective, threatening but funny, but sculpted so well the beat is not just a means to an end. Diss tracks and rebuttals evolved during '86 and '87 into an art form in itself, and today beefs (at least sometimes with a rhyme as a vehicle) between MCs, labels, between protegés and their teachers or between 50 year old purists and a 16 year old subgenre emissary, known only from youtube, is what many people associate hiphop with more than anything, This is much because in the dystopian cesspit of heavy weaponry, darwinism, repressive police force, premature deaths & general injustice that is USA getting decent at rhyming and having the guts to do it in public actually CAN work as releasing a pressure valve for young men with more shootings on their rap sheet than books in the shelf, and if your life is a bet in a gamble where you get high and away with another poor suckers welfare money at best, but usually end up dead, crippled or at the very least broke, indebted and too old and shell shocked to stay on your guard, even less likely live a decent life. So, ofc some psychos couldnt humiliate themselves enough to tell their entourage of premature, slightly brain damaged crack babies with nothing to add (not even qualified to be road crew and the financial or artistic side does well to fend off any meddling), no skills other than hot wiring cars and immunity towards proportionate retaliation, reason, consequenses and impulse control to just back off. (Beef DVD's, anyone?)
But back to Masta Ace: He represents some of the best of american hiphop. He made his recording debut in '86 and was working with Uneek, Rokkdiesel & Eyce at the same time Cold Chillin' promoted The Symphony and that shit blew up the charts a year later, changing hiphop forever, adding the term "collab" to the permanent rap vocabulary, This track, Go Where I Send thee is sort of a spiritual successor to the lighter, catchier and more casual As I Reminisce (also featuring Ice-U-Rock) on the LP Take a Look Around (1990). My guess is that Ace and the backup-rap-brothers recorded Go Where I Send thee later the same year, during the next session Ice-U-Rock, Marl & Ace had studio time. There's a forward motion, a anger and intelligence in both the rap and the production here, its clever, cool, smooth and devious, good, tight rap shit even considering Masta Ace being the reliable poster boy for "genuine, high quality hiphop".
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