A BREUKELEN STORY
Cat no. FB5186LP
It's 2018 we find hip-hop's storied journeyman, Masta Ace, at the helm of another sharp, tightly wrought project. He's traversed hip-hop's ever-changing landscape for nearly three decades, navigating different eras while expanding his already extensive catalogue. From his formative work with the legendary Juice Crew, to a bombastically renowned stint with Delicious Vinyl, it's hard to find a more humble master of ceremony than Ace—even harder is finding another figure whose work is equally embraced on both coasts, East and West, as well as abroad. Polo is not new to forming quality collabs with others in the art form, with notable stints on the aforementioned Port Authority as well as it's follow up, PA2, and others like 2016's work with young MC, A-F-R-O, fittingly titled A-F-R-O Polo. Yet out of Polo's previous collaborative efforts, this one stands out and is a bit more special, according to Polo: 'Ace does not like to write random songs, its usually conceptual and topical,' he says. 'But we do have some straight spitting joints on A Breukelen Story which is what makes this album possible the most diverse of all of my collaborative albums.' The random meeting and a beat CD resultantly birthed A Breukelen Story, a collaborative release between the venerable veteran and an incredibly detailed and prolific producer. 14 tracks with pronounced guests (Pharoahe Monch on 'The Fight Song' for example) all strewn together through Ace's signature skits and interludes that frame the music and while telling the story of Polo manifesting his vision of being an NY transplant via Toronto while pursuing his dream of being a renowned record producer. Other guests range from younger MCs like Marlon Craft to spry OGs like Lil Fame (of M.O.P.), to Smif 'n' Wessun, to Styles P (of the Lox) Polo's pastiche style boom-bap is the drum-driven centerpiece that perfectly couches Masta Ace's thoughtful stanzas and vivid storytelling for this effusive Brooklyn narrative. - David Ma.