[Review] Ace Hood’s “Blood, Sweat & Tears”

Ace Hood is no stranger to the rap game. He gave us proof enough with his previous records, “Gutta” and “Ruthless”, including all eight of his mixtapes; now, in my opinion, he has one of the best Rap albums of the summer and definitely for the year. “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is on fire. There are absolutely no space fillers and no crappy tracks that deserve to be thrown out. Expect to find songs about working hard, being ambitious, overcoming trials, finding love, going through pain, and other issues faced in the daily life. However, the main concept of this album is telling the story about the life of a hustler. Ace has worked tremendously hard on this record, hence living up to the album’s title. If you’re desperately searching for some good hip hop music then this is the one to satisfy your thirst. So go on this journey with me as I dissect each track and try my utmost best to convey its purpose to you.

Ace lets it be known that this is the realest s**t he’s ever written. And “King of the Streets” is the perfect depiction of how much he’s been through and how he got through the tough times with “hard work and dedication”. This song gives hope to those struggling and trying their best to rise above the difficulties they’re facing. It also reminds us to stay strong and not give up; despite of the discouragement, you can still make it. T-pain provides the coolest hooks ever. He’s considered the reviver of auto-tune but I think more than any other artists, it works best for him. And this track is the best opener.

True hustlers are survivors of hard times…but struggle is measured upon the hustler…be a go getta, be great, approach life wit a motive, go n get it.” What deep words indeed. The second single “Go N’ Get It” really opened my eyes. This man is the representative of hustlers. The song’s about having that drive and focus that pushes you into going forward and becoming successful. It’s so relatable because it touches on the topic of being broke; having bills past due, and not knowing where the next meal will come from. In order to survive you need to push yourselves. So “go n get it.” The music provides a dramatic feel in the background that stretches further the song’s meaning. And the video brought to life every single thing Ace is rapping about. See for yourself:

 “Errry Thang” is about enjoying the rewards after achieving so much. Ace raps about the pleasures and tasteful things he’s experiencing now that he’s made it: girls, clubbin’, cars, expensive lifestyle, etc. Yo Gotti is one of the smoothest rappers out now and I’m feeling his contribution on this track. 

Hustle Hard” is my favorite track on the album, and now my favorite rap song of all time. I think the reason for that is because it holds so much truth within the lyrics; it doesn’t get any realer than this. Ace did a really good job in combining all the elements of a rough life within one song. He touches on the daily life of a hustler and breaks it down bit by bit exactly how they get by and what they’re doing it for, which is to survive. This is probably one of the best songs he’s ever made and it is the hustlers’ anthem. 

The album’s hard tone comes down a notch with the sexy “Body 2 Body”. Chris Brown provides the most sensual hooks on any song he’s featured on and at first I thought maybe he wouldn’t fit in on this album, but this song is just right and it works. Ace loses his bad boy, hardcore style and becomes the romantic guy we’re not used to seeing. In this track, he’s trying to convey his feelings to the girl that he wants to get close to her in the most intimate ways he possibly could. The music video certainly caught me off guard because after “Go N Get It” I wasn’t expecting a “Body 2 Body” track to be released as a single, but Ace seems like a man full of surprises. And this is the beginning of songs on the album that touches on more softer, spiritual, and sorrowful topics. Check out the video below:

Letter To My Ex’s” sounds like a f**k you to all the women who screwed him over. They seem to have used him for what he had while he was investing his feelings in the relationship, being blinded by a love that never truly existed. And despite all the hurt and pain he’s been through, Ace is still searching for the true meaning of love.  He hasn’t given up on finding the one that will genuinely be there for him and hold him down. He’s looking for the one. 

Kevin Cossom provides an addictive hook for a raw but passionate love song. “Beautiful” is about appreciating a sexy and confident woman. Her beauty shines from the inside out and that’s the kind of woman Ace is attracted to. This is probably the shortest track on the album but it is one of the coolest that couples can rock to in the club. 

Lord Knows” takes a more spiritual tone. Ace is praying for a blessing upon himself, his family and all the other people going through a predicament. He’s also showing how thankful he is for being lifted out of the turmoil. I love the acoustic guitar and how much the melody captivates the soul. This song is more proof that all he’s rapping about is true and nothing made up. It takes you on another level. Ace has lived a life full of struggles and he’s showing it us; no BS and no sugar coating it. 

Bitter World” is a clear view on how ruthless life can be. I don’t think I could break this down any further than how Ace has because this track is so self-explanatory. Listen and you’ll get my point.

The next track is an appreciation to the one Ace has worked so hard for. “Spoke to My Momma” is an explanation of why he does what he does. The rapper owes all he has to his mother and only does it for her to be proud of him. He presents her with all his success and gives her nothing but the best now that he can. This is an amazing track because it shows how much he loves and respects his mother and thankful he is for all the support he has received.

The album concludes with the “Hustle Hard (remix)”. The remix features lifelong hustlers Lil’ Wayne and Rick Ross adding their own unique swag to an already hot track; hence, intensifying the flame. This is the perfect collaboration because all these rappers together create something absolutely magnificent.

I believe we should appreciate the fact that this man is sharing his skills with the world. Ace Hood’s music is undeniably full of raw emotion; so much you can’t comprehend. “Blood, Sweat & Tears” defies all odds and once again I say this is the best rap album of 2011. And I will not retract that statement. Overall, the album gets a rating of 5/5

Track listing:

01. King of the Streets
02. Go N’ Get It
03. Errry Thang
04. Hustle Hard
05. Body 2 Body
06. Memory Lane
07. Letter To My Ex’s
08. Beautiful
09. Lord Knows
10. Bitter World
11. Spoke To My Momma
12. Hustle Hard (Remix)

(Purchase this album now on iTunes)

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