All Balls Don't Bounce - Revisited

Aceyalone

Project Blowed, 2004

http://www.myspace.com/aceyalone

REVIEW BY: Ben Ehrenreich

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/13/2008

Aceyalone is one of the best rappers ever. No extra context needed –  he is just that good. Because of the usual bullshit label politics, Ace’s debut All Balls Don’t Bounce, originally released in 1995, was taken out of print shortly after it was released. Thankfully, in 2004, Project Blowed re-released it with another whole bonus disc, hence the Revisited part of the title.

The album title says it all: just because people put you in a certain category (balls) doesn’t mean you will act like everybody else put in that category (bounce). Of course Ace is one of those balls who does not bounce because of the absence of violence and mistreatment of women in his music, which immediately makes him an outcast in the hip-hop world, especially the my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 L.A. scene. Ace describes this perfectly on “Mr. Outsider,” which contains production from The Nonce that resembles more of an East Coast underground sound than the Dr. Dre West Coast sound of ’95. 

Aceyalone is one of those MCs I would just love to see battle any commercial MC today (especially Lil’ Wayne) because it would be the equivalent to the Ravens massacre of the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Ace’s second verse of “Arythamaticulas” is just aching to be thrown in the face of all those stereotypical commercial MCs today completely selling out with no knowledge of the effects of their actions.

Although this album is very consistent, my choice for the best track is probably “Keep It True.” A calm beautiful beat courtesy of Fat Jack has Ace, Abstract Rude, and Change of Rhythm drifting on about life, perception, and of course “staying true.” He starts out with the line “This isn't really what you think it is/That is if you're even thinkin' in the first place,” which gives a mental check to the casual listener. Songs like this are evidence of Ace’s brilliance. His songs are continually about making his listener better or at least more open-minded people.

Ace is versatile, though, and actually gets his Slick Rick on several times during the album. My favorite one is “TweakendZ,” a joint off the bonus disc, which includes hilarious anecdotes about a very eventful weekend. Of course his lyrics are dope, but his flow is so sick you honestly don’t even need to pay attention the first time round to gain appreciation.

I could honestly write about this album for days, but that would almost be a disservice to you. This is an album that needs to be heard, and no words I write could come close to doing it justice. All Balls Don’t Bounce – Revisited is one of those albums that rewards long discussions with friends and definitely facilitates it. My recommendation: cop it on an evening when you are hanging with friends who enjoy having intelligent conversations and enjoy.

Rating: A-

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© 2008 Ben Ehrenreich and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Project Blowed, and is used for informational purposes only.