When it comes to poker, it’s always good to have an Ace in the hole. When it comes to the rap game, it’s always good to have an Ace in the Hood. Riding high on the success of his most recent single, “Bugatti”, Florida based rapper Antoine McColister, better known by his stage name, Ace Hood, will be throwing down at the Tower Theater on Friday, April 5th.
Ahead of his show in Philly, we spoke with Ace Hood about his life, his music, his future, and a few things that just might surprise you.
Independent Philly: How did you come up with the name “Ace Hood”?
Ace Hood: Initially I had the name Ace growing up. I don’t know man, Ace just always represented “1” to me and when I wound up getting my situation done, it was “Ace Gunner” at first and then we wound up changing it to “Ace Hood”. It was just a childhood nickname growing up, I just always loved “Ace” ya know?
IP: How has the response been to your “Starvation II” mix-tape that you released in January?
AH: The response has been phenomenal. I think this is definitely my greatest work thus far, you know, mix-tape wise. A lot of real records, a lot of real music on there. My fans and supporters definitely love it. It’s over 600,000 downloads, the response has been amazing. Every city I’ve been to, in state or out of state, I’ve been performing a lot of records off of Starvation II…they love it.
IP: Your new album “Trials & Tribulations” comes out this July. The first single “Bugatti” has been your most successful track to date, what else can fans expect from the album once it drops this summer?
AH: Just expect substance. You know, I wanted to bring that part of the music back. Just kind of the things that I’ve been through, not just my trials and tribulations but my fans and supporters’ trials and tribulations, you know what I’m sayin’? So you know I want to represent that real music, I want to bring that timeless music back. I tell people a lot of time it’s funny that you’re able to hear a Biggie or Pac record in 2013, I want the same to be true for Ace Hood in 2022, that you’re still able to play that record because it’s classic. I take pride in my music, I feel like it actually does something for people personally, in their personal lives, so it’s real music and it helps people get through things like I was able to get through things.
IP: Early on in your life it looked like you might have a shot to be a top-notch football player. Do you ever think about how your life would have been different if you’d wound up as an athlete instead of a rapper?
AH: My body would have been beat up a lot. As an athlete now you take so many injuries, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s a lot of hard work and you put a lot of stress and pain on your body in order to do what you gotta do. I’m glad I did take up music and that is my love but if life was playin’ ball man, I’d probably be sore, layin’ down, and all that good stuff…hurt up.
IP: What do you think you’d be doing with your life now if you weren’t rapping?
AH: Something positive man, hopefully. Probably somewhere in school maybe, even though college isn’t for me, at all, you know what I mean? I’d probably be somewhere in graphic design, putting one of these talents that I have to work. Probably in college, something like that, or playing ball. Those are the only things I can actually think of.
IP: We know you’ve worked with a lot of other artists already, but who are a few other artists/producers that you’d like to work with in the future (that you haven’t worked with already)?
AH: I wanna work with some of the greats. I’ve worked with a lot of great up-and-coming producers lately in the music industry. But I’m excited to work with like a Timbaland, I’d love to have a Dr. Dre beat on there as well. Just some of the greats man so I can get that quality sound. I’m looking forward to working with like the Justice League as too. I think those are the names I’d wanna work with on this new project.
IP: Where do you draw the majority of your inspiration from when you write lyrics?
AH: Life. Life in general man. Knowing where I came from, knowing that I don’t wanna go back to where I came from, knowing that, you know, I have a daughter to provide for and, not only that but, I love the finer things in life. I wanna be able to live comfortably, you know what I mean, without any worries. So I just tell people all the time, life in general man. Seeing my daughter grow up, knowing that I want better for her than I had growing up. My mother, being able to take care of my mother. All that is inspiration man. I want certain things out of life. I want my grand kids, you know, my kids’ kids, being able to inherit what I’ve worked so hard to build, you know what I mean? So just life man in general, life.
IP: What advice would you offer to young MCs who are trying to break into the music business?
AH: Stay focused. You gotta believe in yourself. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve been able to do throughout my whole career, even before I actually had, you know, a big career in this industry. I’ve always believed in self, I’ve always believed that as long as I believe, nothing else matters. I just put that type of motivation and that type of energy into my music, and I’ve always had confidence in my music as well. I would just encourage any artist to stay focused, of course keep God first, and you know, just keep working hard. Try to outwork those who you idolize, you know what I mean? I try to outwork my competitors and some of my musical peers. That would be the advice I’d give.
IP: Putting all politics aside, who do you think would be the Top 5 rappers of all time?
AH: Dead or alive?
IP: Yeah, dead or alive.
AH: Jay Z, Biggie, Pac, Wayne, and Nas.
IP: You have a show coming up this Friday (April 5th) at the Tower Theater, what can your fans expect from your live show if they’ve never seen you perform in person before?
AH: Passion man, passion. Energy, the energy is crazy man. What I love about doing my concerts is always feeding off the fans and their energy. Passion, lyricism, and skills. You know I always like to go “a capella” and whatnot, and give fans that up-close-and-personal as opposed to how you just hear it on the record. What I actually do on the record, I can do that live too so you can expect that. You can expect a lot of hit records being performed, great music, you know, just a phenomenal show all around.
IP: Finally, can you tell us something about yourself that would surprise or even shock our readers…
AH: When I’m home, I cook here and there. I don’t know if that would shock readers. Cooking here and there…I may watch a little “Lifetime” know what I’m sayin’? Cookin’ and watchin’ Lifetime.
We can’t wait to catch Ace Hood at the Tower Theater this Friday, April 5th as he supports Meek Mill. You can buy advanced tickets right here. Hope to see you there Philly!