Monday, November 19, 2012

New Orleans rap trio Ace of Hearts releases groundbreaking EP “Birth of the Hard”

Ace of Hearts, an old-school rap trio from New Orleans, has published their first official EP, “Birth of the Hard”

Ace of Hearts, an old-school rap trio from New Orleans, has published their first official EP, “Birth of the Hard.” The digital record is comprised of three traditional rap tracks with beats not unlike the ones first created from loops taken from vinyl albums by pioneering artists in the early nineteen-eighties. Members “the Ace,” “the King,” and “Jo Wild” co-write each song as a trio, and this early clutch of tracks doesn't just showcase their obvious skill as poets and performers; it stands as product and proof of remarkable talents that seem to come absolutely instinctive to them.

Regarding this aspect of their art, Ace of Hearts comments: “[We've] found rap the easiest music to pursue since it is a constantly changing form. Its digital aspect was more accessible than formal training on any particular instrument, and hip-hop appealed to our natural creative instincts.” The result of this intuitive and logical, although seemingly casual decision is a small set of tracks that true rap aficionados would be sadly mistaken to overlook. Ace of Hearts is rap music with the filler stripped away. It's honest, straightforward, and completely, utterly fearless, and the sooner they start their next record, the better the hip-hop community will be for it.

Coming from what they call a “McDonaldville” heritage, Ace of Hearts grew up together from an extremely young age in a famously music-rich community. On the bayou coast of Louisiana they garnered backgrounds in rhythm n' blues, hip-hop, traditional Mardi Gras, and second-line music (second line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans, in which troupes of dancers and musicians form a second, unofficial parade behind a primary parade). Still, only tinges of these elements are prominent in Ace of Hearts' own brand of hip-hop. Their old-school style has far more in common with Clarence Carter or the Beastie Boys, except that Ace of Hearts is less “vanilla,” having more aggressive overtones and a slightly more masculine mood. This is not to say they border on the brutish, however. While their lines and beats are both smart and energetic, they never stray into the realm of the obnoxiously macho, which annoying trait many hip-hip bands (such as the Beasties) never outgrow.

The lyrical content on “Birth of the Hard” (which title is perhaps an allusion to Miles Davis' legendary record, “Birth of the Cool”) is infused with a steady undercurrent of good humor without becoming outright goofy. T+hemes range from simply fun to downright hilarious, and are never too serious nor melodramatic. Sense-of-humor notwithstanding, the sheer intelligence behind their rhymes and word choices is entirely apparent from the first line to the last line. All in all, Ace of Hearts' first official work is entertaining, groovy, unpretentious and absolutely jam packed with talent. There remains little doubt that Ace of Hearts will be following up their “Birth of the Hard” EP with an equally excellent long-playing album.

“Part of our philosophy,” they write, “is to enjoy life without hurting anyone. It is important to smile, laugh and make good memories, so our music will often portray some sense of humor. Another part of our philosophy is to provoke thought and discussion. Intelligence is one of our greatest gifts so our music is intentionally thought provoking. Thought is colorless and shapeless. You might say our music is scenic and our listeners come to share that space with us.”

As it turns out, Ace of Heart's “scenery” is a great place to visit, and legions of music fans are surely going to want to live there. Here's hoping they hurry up and make more space.

-Sean McCauley
MondoTunes Staff Writer

The EP “Birth of the Hard” is distributed globally by MondoTunes ( and is available at iTunes for convenient purchase and download

MondoTunes ( supplies the largest music distribution in the world and provides upstream services for many major labels in search of breakout artists. While most independent distributors reach only 45-50 retailers despite charging needless monthly and yearly fees, MondoTunes reaches over 750 retailers and mobile partners in over 100 world regions without any monthly or yearly fees.


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