masta ace's 'disposable arts'
Marley Marl's group or collective The Juice Crew was responsible for the emergence of numerous high profile rappers in the mid to late '80s. Perhaps most rememberable is the track 'The Symphony' a posse-cut featuring the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Craig G and Masta Ace. Masta Ace after that release continued to evolve into one of those most technically skilled rappers of all time. Throughout his career Masta Ace's own solo material has focused around concepts. 'A Long Hot Summer' revolved around a rapper and his trials through going on tour and dealing with his manager. 'Disposable Arts' revolves around Masta Ace going to a fictional hip-hop university to escape his former life. While the concept definitely helps propel the album it really doesn't effect the material of the tracks which deal with a variety of topics. Every track is nearly a highlight and the only thing I can see turning some people off is the abundance of skits. Luckily Ace has done a well enough job implementing the actual songs within the skits so the album has a very linear nature. The most interesting part of this record is that Ace is still as good as he was in the '90s and at the same time he has updated his songs and beats in a way that this album makes perfect sense alongside other '01 releases like 'The Blueprint' and 'Stillmatic'. More great New York hip-hop that has certainly gone unnoticed by many.