Rhyme Report Masta Ace and Marco Polo - Richmond Hill - Photo by @mrwattson

Published on January 26th, 2024 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Masta Ace, Marco Polo: Richmond Hill – Hip Hop Legacy

Brooklyn legends Masta Ace and Marco Polo are back, dropping their latest album, “Richmond Hill,” a captivating exploration into the transformative power of Hip Hop. Following the success of their 2018 release, “A Breukelen Story,” this 18-track cinematic journey delves deep into the roots of the genre, examining how it can shape and redefine lives. Available for streaming on all digital platforms and for vinyl enthusiasts at Fat Beats, the project is an immersive experience that resonates with the soul of the culture.

Masta Ace and Marco Polo - Richmond Hill

Inspired by Marco Polo’s Checkered Childhood in Richmond Hill

Drawing from the Past to Echo the Present

Produced entirely by Marco Polo, Richmond Hill picks up where “A Breukelen Story” left off. While the previous album chronicled Marco Polo’s hustle in the big city, this new release draws inspiration from his checkered childhood in Richmond Hill, a small town in Ontario, just outside of Toronto. The album weaves interstitials about Marco’s early passion for Hip Hop, struggles with addiction, and the unwavering support of his parents. Masta Ace and Marco Polo collaborate seamlessly, addressing contemporary issues with the clarity and panache that have become their trademark.

Guest Appearances and Sonic Mastery

Welcoming Icons from Across Rap History

Featuring guest appearances from rap legends like Inspectah Deck, Coast Contra, Blu, Che Noir, Speech of Arrested Development, and more, “Richmond Hill” is proof of the duo’s ability to attract talent from all eras of the rap game. Marco Polo’s production prowess continues to shine, providing warm soulful instrumentals and crisp percussion that serve as the backdrop for Masta Ace’s insightful lyricism. The chemistry between the two artists is evident, as they navigate through 18 tracks, including skits, creating a sonic landscape that captivates from start to finish.

A Tinkering Collaboration

Crafting Excellence Through Feedback

“Ace and I are great partners because we each know our lane, but we’re not afraid to give each other feedback,” reveals Marco Polo. The collaborative effort involves constant tinkering and remaking of songs until they reach a state that satisfies both artists. The result is a cohesive and finely tuned album that showcases the best of their individual strengths.

A Thought-Provoking Journey

Masta Ace’s Sharp Commentary on the Evolution of Hip Hop

Masta Ace, a veteran emcee with a career spanning over three decades, uses his sharp pen to comment on the evolution of the rap game. In tracks like “Certified” and “Hero,” he effortlessly navigates through dissonant jazz attacks and comic book metaphors, showcasing his lyrical prowess. The album delves into diverse topics, from the exploitative market for sneakers on “Jordan Theory” to the holiday cheer on the jaunty “All I Want.”

In the Booth Revelations

Masta Ace’s Spontaneous Creative Process

Masta Ace shares insights into his spontaneous creative process, stating, “I usually ride with it, listen to it extensively, and then somewhere in the process of those listens, the topic just appears.” The element of surprise is crucial, with Marco Polo often discovering the song’s theme only when Masta Ace steps into the recording booth.

Essential Tracks and Fire Visual

Highlighting “Life Music” ft. Speech, Stricklin & E Smitty

The album is also home to the single “Life Music” ft. Speech, Stricklin, and E Smitty, a powerful track dropped in late 2023. Accompanied by a visually striking music video directed by Parris Stewart, the single serves as a preview to the depth and richness of “Richmond Hill.” It’s an essential chapter in the decorated careers of Masta Ace and Marco Polo, leaving an indelible mark on the Hip Hop legacy.

Streaming and Vinyl Purchase Details

Experience the wizardry of “Richmond Hill” by streaming it on all digital platforms. Vinyl enthusiasts can cop their [doubles :)] via Fat Beats.

Watch “Life Music” ft. Stricklin, Speech & E Smitty

Masta Ace and Marco Polo’s “Richmond Hill” is not just an album; it’s a profound testament to the enduring power of Hip Hop to shape and redefine lives.

Let them know how you feel!!!

Masta Ace: linktree | instagram | spotify | apple
Marco Polo: linktree | instagram | spotify | apple

Featured Image: Masta Ace and Marco Polo – Photo by @mrwattson

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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