Trials & Tribulations

On his hit "Bugatti," Florida rapper Ace Hood brags about a crib as big as a college and the horses in his Porsches, even itemizing his expenses – "$4,200, my mortgage." Hood is not a dazzling lyricist, but he brings earnest intensity and thematic range, pivoting from post-Trayvon angst to emo sweetness ("Mama," featuring Seventies soul great Betty Wright) to the urgent empathy of "Hope," where he big-ups every girl who never had a daddy and all the homeys who can't pay their bills. Crisp Florida bass beats from producers like DJ Khaled and Boi 1da and sharp guest spots from Lil Wayne and Future keep things rolling, but his big heart keeps it real.

From The Archives Issue 1189: August 15, 2013
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