You may remember Masta Ace from his performance on the classic Marley Marl joint “The Symphony” (yeah that’s Ace spitting the first verse). You may also remember his run in the early-to-mid 90s with acclaimed but under the radar albums such as SlaughtaHouse and Sittin’ On Chrome . But my first introduction to one of my favorites emcees of all time was his 2001 come back album Disposable Arts.
I first discovered this album five years ago, and instantly fell in love with it. The album follows a narrative, where Ace was just released from prison and decides to leave his hard nosed neighborhood to attend IDA (Institute of Disposable Arts).
There are countless gems on this masterpiece including one of the fiercest dis tracks I’ve ever heard “Acknowledge,” the Jean Grae assisted ode to the microphone, “Hold U,” and some of the most moving introspective tracks I’ve ever heard “Dear Diary” and “No Regrets.”
This is an album that flew under the radar for many years, but has since garnered the respect and acclaim it deserves. Ace said last year that he was working on a 10 year anniversary edition of the album (because it’s out of print), but the release has yet to come into fruition. If you have not heard this classic album yet, I recommend you do so immediately.