Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ace Hood - Trials & Tribulations (Album Review)

Release Date : July 16, 2013
Label : We The Best / Cash Money / Republic Records

Since the release of his 2011 album Blood, Sweat & Tears, Ace Hood has kept his name out there by releasing  four mixtapes (The Statement 2, Starvation, Body Bag Vol. 2 & Starvation 2). During that two year stretch we also seen a lot rappers using his "Hustle Hard" flow. For real I cant even count on one hand of how many people uses that flow now. To his credit, he did get at them on song "Wanna Beez". In addition to having his flow stolen, Ace Hood has been the butt of Instagram jokes lately because his "60,000" dollar watch fell apart on the red carpet at the BET Awards.

Now moving along, DJ Khaled moved his label We The Best  to Cash Money, so this is Ace's first album under the Cash Money umbrella. So you already know the album budget is gonna be way bigger this time around. Although he is known more for his club singles more than anything, Trials & Tribulations has more personal records. Like on the title track, he talks about his trials and tribulations in the first verse and in the second he talks about how he overcame them. The Come Up is about not letting the roadblocks stop you from getting money and taking care of your family. Anthony Hamilton's background vocals makes the song a million times better.  

Hope is another one of the standout tracks, Lee On The Beats piano laced production works well for the heartfelt song. Thats why I was saying earlier I think this is his most personal album. Mama is a dedication to his Mother, it features the legendary Betty Wright. Its a very relatable song because we all wanna make our Mamas proud and we appreciate all the things they do for us. Towards the end of the song Betty Wright takes us to Church for a few minutes when the hand-claps come in on Cardiak and DJ Khaleds soulful beat. Ryder featuring Chris Brown is out of place, but I understand the purpose of the song, its most likely gonna be the next single. Since Body 2 Body was a hit, why not make another song for the ladies?

Then we have the heavy bass hitting joints, We Outchea featuring Lil Wayne and Bugatti featuring Future & Rick Ross. There aren't that many flaws on Trials & Tribulations, we do get some generic songs like We Them Niggas and  Before The Rollie featuring Meek Mill. Ace hood goes into full auto tune mode on the atrocious How I'm Raised, this song would've been better without the auto-tune, leave that to Future and T-Pain who use it way better. For the most part, Ace stuck with the overcoming obstacles theme throughout the album, he also addressed several social issues.

I think the problem people have with Ace is that he can be very predictable at times and he doesn't really stand out that much. I think he gets judged based off the singles he makes instead the actual body of work he puts out. I respect the fact that he stepped outside of his comfort zone, but I have a question for y'all. The question is, Do people wanna hear Ace Hood make this type of music or do they prefer his "singles"? I enjoyed the album, there were a few songs that were kinda depressing, but nonetheless its a good album.


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