Ace Amin – Life After 10 Year Bid
Hyattsville, Md. native Ace Amin hails from a musically-inclined household. His mom had classic oldies in rotation, and his two older brothers listened to classic acts like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, and Three 6 Mafia. Over time, his fascination with lyricism grew. He’d replay Bone Thugs’ songs, writing their lyrics in his notepad. Then, he’d study the lyrics for understanding and recite them until he had the cadence down. In his late-teens, he started putting his own words to melodies, and recorded his first song when he was 19. Not long after, he went to prison, serving a 10-year sentence.
In his music, Ace Amin talks about his time behind bars. The experience is significant, as the majority of his adult life was spent there. Still, he doesn’t let it overtake his lyrical content. Rather, he explores the world as a whole and how he interacts with it. Every song he makes is his story or that of someone close to him. He doesn’t talk about things he can’t relate to and that don’t affect him. It’s his sincerity that sets him apart.
On a track, Amin can weave tales of trial and tribulations or let loose, being silly and fun. His flow is variable, and every song could pass as entirely different artists. He makes music for creation’s sake – not because he knows he can or to blow up. His music is substantive and bound to stand the test of time. He’s drawn to other artists who keep him on his toes lyrically — J. Cole, Pusha T, and Joyner Lucas. His biggest influences are Jay-Z (for his subject matter) and Eminem (because of the way he sets up rhyme schemes and uses alliteration, as well as other lyrical devices).
Ace Amin’s new project, Year of the Wolf II: What’s Done in the Dark, was released on February 23rd (paying homage to 23rd & Amherst – the block Amin calls home). Releasing this album with the support of a team, and having it pushed by different media on multiple platforms has been huge for him. After witnessing people die or be imprisoned for life – and personally being able to emerge from prison level-headed and better than he went in – makes the project even more significant.
Year of the Wolf II consists of 13 tracks recorded in linear fashion (it’s essentially one big story), but Amin recorded the intro and outro last. While he doesn’t have a favorite song, Amin says “Outro” in particular conveys an important message. It’s a high point – overstated rather than subtle. It’s positive and motivational. Once people really get to know Amin’s story, they are going to love “Outro.” Amin felt jubilant and triumphant when he heard the instrumental, and listeners will be able to pick up on that emotion while listening to it.
Year of the Wolf II is also very relatable. Amin talks about the streets without glorifying them, and while most of the tracks are radio-ready, he never sacrificed substance making the hits. In that, Amin is looking to expand. He wants DCTOP20 to put him in places he can’t go by himself, and put him in front of people he can’t meet by himself. An infectious performer with insane energy, he wants to attract fans who can relate to the emotions behind the music.
Amin reasons that a few thousand avid fans that’ll completely lock in makes an artist’s trajectory limitless. The backpackers, the trappers, the ladies – his music is appealing to them all. He’s a lyricist and he’s honest. He cares about substance, creativity, and doing things the right way. So, he’s looking for loyal fans. That is who will push him to the top.