Disposable Arts [PA]

Details

Format: CD
Label: JCOR Entertainment
Catalog: 860 948
Genre: Rock/Pop
Rel. Date: 10/30/2001
UPC: 042286094823

Disposable Arts [PA]
Artist: Masta Ace
Format: CD

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Reviews:

Masta Ace first came to prominence in 1985, when he appeared on Marley Marl’sclassic posse cut, “The Symphony,” followed by several albums on ColdChillin’. But the past few years his profile diminished. He was consideredwashed-up, finished. Ace worried about it himself. So he did the only logicalthing possible: he made a concept album about it, a la Prince Paul’s APrince Among Thieves.

Disposable Arts follows Ace as he finishes a five-year prison sentenceand attempts to rehabilitate himself and escape his crime-ridden Brooklyn neighborhoodby attending hip-hop college. (We hear a radio ad for the Institute of DisposableArts: “Get your freak on, beeyotch—enroll today.”) As Ace begins classes(his roommate, in a casting masterstroke, is played by MC Paul Barman), he findshimself drawn back into the game he left behind, whose neat double meaning hereis both his character’s criminal past and the MC’s actual historyin the rap industry.

Disposable Arts may be the sneakiest comeback album in hip-hop history;rather than follow the usual routine of hiring a hot producer or three, Acewent with lesser-known talents like DJ Rob, Ayatollah and Domingo. The beatsmay never match those of Timbaland or DJ Premier, but they provide solid supportfor Ace’s terrific rhymes, equally effective baiting the High and Mighty(“Y’all sound like a couple of high Whiteys”) on “Acknowledge,”and detailing shady neighborhood goings-on with “Take a Walk.” Theresults are involving, both as a narrative and a musical work. Masta Ace first came to prominence in 1985, when he appeared on Marley Marl’sclassic posse cut, “The Symphony,” followed by several albums on ColdChillin’. But the past few years his profile diminished. He was consideredwashed-up, finished. Ace worried about it himself. So he did the only logicalthing possible: he made a concept album about it, a la Prince Paul’s APrince Among Thieves.

Disposable Arts follows Ace as he finishes a five-year prison sentenceand attempts to rehabilitate himself and escape his crime-ridden Brooklyn neighborhoodby attending hip-hop college. (We hear a radio ad for the Institute of DisposableArts: “Get your freak on, beeyotch—enroll today.”) As Ace begins classes(his roommate, in a casting masterstroke, is played by MC Paul Barman), he findshimself drawn back into the game he left behind, whose neat double meaning hereis both his character’s criminal past and the MC’s actual historyin the rap industry.

Disposable Arts may be the sneakiest comeback album in hip-hop history;rather than follow the usual routine of hiring a hot producer or three, Acewent with lesser-known talents like DJ Rob, Ayatollah and Domingo. The beatsmay never match those of Timbaland or DJ Premier, but they provide solid supportfor Ace’s terrific rhymes, equally effective baiting the High and Mighty(“Y’all sound like a couple of high Whiteys”) on “Acknowledge,”and detailing shady neighborhood goings-on with “Take a Walk.” Theresults are involving, both as a narrative and a musical work.