A&E (Masta Ace & EDO G) Jump “In the Mix” [DJBooth Interview Exclusive]
Last week, we jumped In the Mix with Sha Stimuli, a Brooklyn emcee who recently dropped his long-awaited freshman full-length, My Soul to Keep. For the 14th installment of our Booth-exclusive interview series, we're giving readers an up-close and personal look at A&E, the pair of hip-hop veterans who brought us reader-approved album leak "Little Young."
A&E is made up of of rap icons Masta Ace and EDO. G, the former hailing from Brooklyn, New York and the latter from Boston, Massachusetts. Masta Ace, considered by many to be one of the finest and most influential rhymesayers in NYC hip-hop history, made his debut on the Juice Crew's '88 classic, "The Symphony," and went on to cement his legendary status with a series of acclaimed solo and collaborative releases. EDO G began his musical career in 1991 as a member of rap group Da Bulldogs, and proceeded to amass a sizable local and underground fanbase on the solo tip, working with such greats as Pete Rock, DJ Premiere and many more. The seasoned emcees' debut set as a duo, Arts & Entertainment, dropped last week and is available now in stores and online.
In this exclusive, five question interview, Masta Ace and EDO. G discuss the circumstances that brought them together, their least favorite current musical trends and their sky-high hopes for hip-hop's future.
What brought you together to create this album?
Ace: We've known each other for a while from around the industry and in 2004 we were featured on each other's albums and toured with one another.
EDO: Yeah, Ace planted the seed in 2004 and at the end of 2007 this partnership began.
On the album's lead single, "Little Young," you not-so-subtly poke fun of today's current generation of artists. What are your biggest pet peeves with hip hop in 2009?
Ace: Albums with WACK titles.
EDO: Too much of the same stuff and not enough originality.
What criticisms do you both remember hearing in the early 90's, after you had just began your careers as emcees?
Ace: I recall being thought of as a "novelty act" because of the "Me and The Biz" single I had.
EDO: I really didn't feel any [criticisms] that stood out to me.
What would you say to a young whippersnapper, whose idea of hip-hop is far removed from the sound of your beginnings and isn't able to connect to your new material?
Ace: I would say "Oh, well." They probably don't understand where we're coming from.
EDO: If you are into Hip-Hop, for real, then take 45 minutes out of your life and listen to Arts & Entertainment front to back. You will be a believer.
Track #9 on your "Arts & Entertainment" project is entitled "Round and Round."; forecast the cycle you see this genre experiencing over the next decade?
Ace: I'm happy to say that lyricism is on its way back. Artists who have been around for a while will be able to find a lane to function in.
EDO: I really feel that the older fans will ride with the artists from their era. I don't see a divide between young and old. I think we are in uncharted territory, where we will be able to do this at a high level for 10 or 20 more years if we choose; as we grow so does the fan base. Hip-Hop is only 30 years old, so the possibilities are endless.
Final Thoughts? Mentions? Plugs?
Ace: Check out our website, aetheduo.com.
EDO: The album is in stores now! Please support it!