1. He was Overshadowed By More Popular Members of the Juice Crew
Masta Ace started his career on one of the biggest labels in hip-hop at the time, Cold Chillin’ Records. Even though he was featured on songs such as “The Symphony” he was still largely overshadowed for a good part of his career by Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and Craig G. Boogieman summed it up perfectly in the 2001 diss track “Just You Wait” directed at Masta Ace saying “how would you feel if the only things fans ask you what up with Kane”. Boogieman also talks about people mistaking Masta Ace for Craig G which was a hilarious line, but if you are keeping it a buck, it’s some truth to it. Check out the little known diss record before Ace destroyed the Boogieman with his song “Acknowledge” off the Disposable Arts album in the same year.
2. His Branding Didn’t Define Him As An East Coast Emcee On His Most Successful Project.
Another reason that Masta Ace failed to receive acknowledgement is that on his most commercially successful project Sittin’ on Chrome he was largely perceived as a West Coast emcee. Songs like “Born to Roll” were anthems on the Left Coast and down south but NYC wasn’t feeling it. The fact that he was an East Coast emcee, Masta Ace wasn’t acknowledged for that project by real hip hop heads and many people thought he was from Los Angeles or even lived in Los Angeles. Check out Masta Ace explaining how the misconception that he was from Los Angeles started on Unique Access Ent.
3. Being Stylistically similar to Eminem
Whether Eminem copied Masta Ace’s delivery or it was vice versa. The similarity hasn’t benefited Masta Ace. Even though Eminem has previously stated that Masta Ace was one of his influences and they are on the song “Hellbound” together, a proper collaboration with one of the biggest artists in hip-hop would have raised Ace’s profile but it has been claims that Paul Rosenberg has stopped this because he didn’t feel it was beneficial career-wise to Eminem, ouch!! Check out Masta Ace describe playing “Hellbound” for Eminem the first time.
Masta Ace is one of the few hip hop artist that have maintained longevity for thirty years. Truthfully he is probably more relevant today than when he started rapping and has maintained a consistency like no one in hip-hop. He may not be the GOAT but it is a definite argument for him in the top ten!! Check out his 2018 debut single off ‘A Breukelen Story’.