Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ace Hood: Gutta: Album Review


Ace Hood, Gutta (Def Jam?! You signed this guy??? 2008)

Let me say, first of all, READ THE POST BEFORE THIS ONE. It's kinda interesting, and I didn't want to step on it but I had to get this out of the way. I'm not gonna lie; I barely listened to this album. You can see why they signed him; he's like a way more skilled version of Plies (high praise, I know) with a way higher-pitched voice. He killed the Make It Rain remix. [Or maybe that was Ace Mac??? Who can tell the difference these days?] But he's really good-natured and uncharismatic and boring and can't match the ignorance of these supremely ignorant beats. Leading the whole thing to sound like a really bad DJ Khaled album. As a huge Port of Miami fan, I hoped this would work along similar lines, but Ace just can't bring the ignorance like Rawws. I know that sounds like it doesn't make sense, but imagine, say, a Runners-produced Nas album and I think you'll see the problem. You need to bring a certain something to the table to work over these sorts of beats, and Ace doesn't have it.

I DON'T GIVE A FUCK (PROD. BY KANE BEATS)

The melodramatic intro that every southern album of this sort's gotta have. This is like really bad Shawty Redd. Ace is competent. Eminently skippable.

CAN'T STOP f. AKON (PROD. BY THE RUNNERS)

Just what you'd expect from an Ace Hood, Akon-featuring, Runners-produced song. Nothing more, nothing less. Especially nothing more. Like a way less inspired version of 'Out Here Grindin' (which is so infinitely superior to 'We Takin Over,' but another post for another day, my friends).

GET EM UP (PROD. BY DRUMMA BOY)

Drumma Boy's great, he drops a pleasant enough, upbeat little beat here. What's really, really weird though is that Ace plays this song as a tribute to 'Put On'. Not only does he do a perfect bite of Jeezy's flow, he recycles half his lyrics, subbing in different words here and there. Seriously, it's like a 'Put On' cover. I'm not sure what he was thinking; I thought we all agreed that Jeezy's not even very good on that song. (Well, jesus shuttlesworth and I agree, anyway.)

GUTTA f. TRICK DADDY (PROD. BY GOLD RU$H)

What a lame Gold Ru$h must be. Not only is he called Gold Ru$h, he sampled Turn The Beat Around for this shit. Didn't even flip it, just added some Khaled-bap drums. This song is really sad. Trick Daddy, formerly a great rapper, is used as Ace's hypeman/sing-along partner. It literally almost brought tears to my eyes to hear Trick moan "I'm making money" after Ace goes "I'm making money," and "oh what a feelin" after Ace goes "oh what a feelin." Reminds me of that story about Ronald Reagan's acting career drying up and having to sing and dance in some shitty Vegas vaudeville show to pay the bills. (Yeah, that really happened. See here at the 9:10 mark.) He does a little verse too, and it's a relief to hear him rapping at first after Ace's mediocrity, but then he basically just jacks 8Ball's verse/flow from 'Don't Want No Drama.' T-Double, I hate to hear you like this. Get well.

GUNS HIGH F. R. CITY (PROD. BY DJ NASTY)

Cheap synthy beat. What else is new. R. City is apparently a reggae singer from the Virgin Islands. He wrote Sean Kingston's "Take You There." His hook on this is aight. Ace is still using Jeezy's 'Put On' flow. So strange. You keep waiting for Ace to say something funny or ignorant or clever but he won't. All he does is competently rap about getting money and the haters and how Gutta is his religion. Whatever.

CASH FLOW F. T-PAIN, RICK ROSS, AND DJ KHALED (PROD. BY THE RUNNERS)

You know it's bad when you're happy to hear Khaled. Ace switches it up on here a little. The Runners do their best to provide thrills. T-Pain's likeable enough. Ross is great. Dude's a real team player, he devotes half of his verse to talking about how gutta Ace is and shit. But make no mistake, this is no 'Hustlin,' or even a 'The Boss' (to say nothing of POM's 'Boss' - what a fun song).

RIDE F. TREY SONGZ (PROD. BY THE INKREDIBLES)

The Inkredibles aren't incredible, but they're pretty good. They've got the Paula DeAnda's first single synths going in here. This song had huge potential. Could have been a Yung Bergian pop-rap fest. But does every big label southern album need a Trey Songz-featuring chick song? This shits on Jeezy's version, but Ace doesn't bring anything to the table. Let me break that down, actually. There are a couple routes you can go on a big label southern chick song. You can go nasty. Think T.I.'s 'Let's Get Away.' Ace refuses to do that, the most he'll say is "I never cuddle, I keep it gutta in those sheets." You can brag about how expensive the girl's bags are; Ross did this brilliantly on 'Money Make Me Come.' Ace doesn't go there. You can go all sentimental and real detailed and narrative. Ross has done this successfully on a ton of shit, most recently 'Here I Am.' Ace refuses to do that too. All we get are generalities; he'll be the Clyde to her Bonnie, the Jay to her Beyonce, etc. Failure.

FED BOUND (PROD. BY STREETRUNNER)

Interesting vocal sample here from the guy who brought you TS's 'Take Me Home.' I'm not sure who this is, but it's some sort of angsty late 50s, early 60s oldies shit. Cool idea. Although the words don't match up at all with the song (the guy keeps crooning, "good for himmmmm, he's got her"). Ace tries to do the whole defiant, "the Feds won't catch me" shit, but he's too nice a guy.

STRESSIN F. PLIES (PROD. BY J.U.S.T.I.C.E. LEAGUE)

Acoustic guitar beats always win. Plies kills this. Seriously. Just an extended hook, but he kills. Occasionally he's not total garbage like that. Ace bitches about how he got a girl pregnant and various other stressful situations. He should've just given the whole song to Plies, the way Kanye wisely gave a track to Common on Late Registration.

MONEY OVA HERE (PROD. BY THE INKREDIBLES)

Again, the Inkredibles are pretty good. They've got some weird sounds on here, sound like a cross between computer beeps and flutes. Ace - well he's got money ova here.

CAN'T SEE Y'ALL F. BRISCO (PROD. BY SHAWTY REDD)

This had to come from the budget Shawty Redd line. You never would've known this wasn't by one of the many sucky producers on the disc. Ace is so rich/driving so fast he can't see y'all. Or you can't see him. Whatever whatever.

GET HIM (PROD. BY THE INKREDIBLES)

Again, The Inkredibles - they're aight! Don't come around Ace's way talking all that shit. He'll GET YOU. Coming out of Ace's mouth, it sounds like an offer to play a game of Frisbee Golf.

CALL ME F. LLOYD (PROD. BY THE INKREDIBLES)

The Inkredibles - they're versatile! Lloyd's stock keeps rising. 'Girls All Around The World' owned the summer. He's okay here. Ace tries to go nasty. Offers to beat it from the back in his jeans and Timb boots until the object of his affections feels like fruit juice (whaaa?). I didn't know Floridians dressed that way. What do I know.

GHETTO F. DRE (PROD. BY COOL AND DRE)

How Dre gets to date Milian I have no idea. I guess she knows he won't cheat on her. Anyway... Ace is from the ghetto! He tries the repeating his name trick here ("Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace"). Even that isn't amusing when he does it. Nothing Ace Hood does is amusing.

TOP OF THE WORLD (PROD. BY DJ INFAMOUS)

DJ Infamous made 'Mr. Carter' and 'La La' (the good one). This should be good. And it is! Bouncy piano line, organs, some cute Hard Knock Life sing-along kids on the hook, and Ace gets personal. Talking about how he made it and got signed. Thanks Khaled for putting him on. I love how after 15 songs of talking about how he sells dope when he's not busy rapping, he admits that he quit a promising basketball career to become a rapper. Dude, no wonder your drug dealing raps are so boring. You never lived that life and you're not creative enough to imagine what it would've been like if you had. See how much better you get when you stick to the truth? I wouldn't say this is great, but it's fairly touching. Especially after all the crap that came before it.

RIDE (REMIX) F. RICK ROSS, JUELZ SANTANA, & TREY SONGZ (PROD. BY THE INKREDIBLES)

Rappers with personalities! The Inkredibles are so thorough they even changed their beat up a little for the remix. (Although adding these gothic synth lines to the verses like there's this big sense of URGENCY when it's a chick song makes very little sense, but points for switching things up at least.) They're easily the best thing about the album, and they're not even all that good. Juelz does one of those verses where you can't tell whether he's rapping about a woman or a gun. I think he gives it away at the end, but it's too close to call.

Best songs: Cash Flow, Top Of The World. Strangest song: Get Em Up. Saddest song: Gutta. iPod worthy songs: Probably none, but if you're a huge connoisseur of the "I'm here, I made it!" genre, purchase Top Of The World from your local mp3 dealer. And if you're really, really into staying up on emerging southern producers, check out The Inkredibles' work on here, it's pretty decent. [Edit: I change my mind. Cash Flow is iPod worthy. I wasn't in the greatest mood when I wrote this, and I'm a sucker for big stupid bangers like that. Still, the song would be 10 times better if Ace wasn't on it.]




13 comments:

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

when did t-pain and trey songz replace kells as the go-to hook guys for a) big, raucous anthems (think 'speedin' or 'go getta') and b) songs for da laydeez?

he's dating milian? wow.

Jordan said...

Pretty sure the guy on the Make It Rain remix is actually Chicago's Ace Mac and not this guy. This confusion is the fault of both guys for having such terribly generic names.

tray said...

No, no, Dre dates Milian. I don't know what happened with Kells. I think he just specializes in remixes now. Also, maybe people are just skeeved out by his bizarre interview with Toure and won't work with him. I mean, T-Pain, yes, Trey, not so much. He had that wonderful "I'm Gonna Make It" song and then what happened. He's so fucking generic.

DocZeus said...

I thought I was only one who thought that dude killed the Make It Rain (Remix).

Actually, I'm pretty sure the Make It Rain (Remix) is my favorite thing anybody involved with the song has done in ten years. Kell's verse is trenchant.

tray said...

Well, back before my entry to the blogging illuminati, I used to belong to a message board or two (no really, just one), and the people over there all thought he killed it too. But jordan says it's Ace Mack, and it looks like he's right. Oh well. I guess Ace Hood has never done anything good in his career. Kells's verse is crucial, except for that one moment where he goes "so don't get it twisted" and sounds just like Wyclef.

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

yea, trey songz is pretty boring. he's on the hook to dj khaled's "we global" and sounds just like robert. also, i can't believe i missed that interview, i must have been busy moving and didn't have cable yet. from what i've seen, it's hysterical for all the wrong reasons

tray said...

I actually try to avoid most Khaled (like I didn't even know there was a 'We Global'), it's just so bloated and devoid of ideas. Out Here Grindin, probably one of the best things on the radio this summer, but when Akon raised his arm in the video on the top of the CGI building like he was doing a Black Power salute and said that people talk about greatness when they speak about him, I was just kinda blown away by how empty their shit is. Like, greatness by what measure - ringtone sales? He's not musically great, technically great, he's certainly not some sort of world leader - I guess he makes money everytime T-Pain and Colby O'Donis open their mouths but if anything that's kinda disturbing. Their whole shit is just "we sell a lot of music." Why would I, why would anyone want to listen to music about how much music you sell? I mean, I guess Diddy did that sort of thing well back in the No Way Out days, but there's a subtle but important distinction between bragging about being on top, making hit after hit and just being like "OUR MUSIC IS SOLD WORLDWIDE, YOUR RESISTANCE TO OUR RINGTONE-SELLING MACHINE IS FUTILE."

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

do you think i actually like dj khaled?

i think khaled's logic is if he says something over and over, people will just believe it. they obviously have nothing to say, but it's pretty amusing to watch them believe their nonsense.

tray said...

Oh, of course not; I'm just saying I avoid that shit entirely.

rudebwoy381 said...

In my opinion, Akon's 'greatness' has so far been limited to only one thing: his decision to sign Kardinal Offishall and release 'Not 4 Sale.'

tray said...

All I know about Kardi is that awful song where the big dog is getting the little cat to purr, and he can't help noticing you noticing me noticing you. That sucked so much. And Kardi was the worst thing about it.

rudebwoy381 said...

The 'Not 4 Sale' album is a great blend of pop production and semi-underground moves. I'm a big dancehall fan, so I've always been a Kardinal fan. But the joint with the Clipse and a half-dozen other songs on that album are tight.

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