When you hear Ace Hood’s tone, inflection, and delivery, it’s impossible to deny the influence that Florida’s distinct hip-hop flavor has had on him. When DJ Khaled gave him an opportunity to shine, Ace took it and ran. With minimal sleep and the work ethic of a mogul-in-training, the 22-year-old rapper pushes his product—honest rhymes on Miami-hot beats—in hopes that he can recycle the inspiration he experienced while putting together his third studio album Blood, Sweat & Tears on We the Best/Def Jam.
With nothing to hide, Ace throws his cards on the table and speaks with Rap-Up.com about his mother’s influence, out-of-the-box collaborations, and his admiration for Beyoncé.
1. What region has the biggest influence on your music?
Mainly the south. I’m from Southern Florida but I listen to a lot of T.I. and Wayne. I’m versatile in what I listen to though. I like Canibus and some other artists from up north. I think in the north, they’re big on tight lyrics and in the south it’s based on swagger and how slick lines can be slipped in, in clever ways.
2. On the song “Champion,” you describe your mother’s support. How has she shaped your career?
Just by being there. By always allowing me to be in the studio, and do what I’m doing because she believes I am good at it. Even before I had a deal, she supported me. I also look at her work ethic and it inspires me—I have five siblings and she raised all of us by keeping two or three jobs sometimes. I appreciate her for giving me that.
3. What message are you trying to convey to America’s youth?
I just try to make music solely off of what goes on around me. My records are like my bio. They discuss my ups and downs and triumphs. I feel comfortable sharing that with the world because honesty always wins. I try to put out music that motivates, songs that make you want to go hard—hope music.
4. Who would you like to collaborate with that would really test your versatility?
Maybe Bruno Mars or something crazy with the Black Eyed Peas—artists that are different but able to fit into the pocket of music [I produce].
5. Which female artists’ energy would you love to absorb in the studio?
I would like to work with Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, or Melanie Fiona. They just produce great music. Beyoncé is a phenomenal woman. I would love to feed off her energy.
6. Will both men and women be able to relate to what you’re discussing on your album?
Yes. People can pop in the album and actually relate—honesty never lies. I have a record called “Letter to My Ex,” which is a funny record about those who did me wrong. I’m writing to let ’em know that they missed out on the good times. The ladies gon’ understand and relate because of their own experiences with exes, and the men are going to relate too.
7. How long does it take you to get ready?
I definitely take pride in my fashion. I like to look nice and smell good. It usually takes me at least 30 minutes to get ready. I iron my jeans and all that.
8. What do you know at 22 that you didn’t know at 17 when you started out?
Watch the people around you. Continue to stay relevant. I wasn’t so heavy on understanding the business part of the industry but as time goes on, I realize that’s important. I’m going to be a wiser man and am learning about how to be a mogul.
9. What are your tactics as a businessman?
Never sleep. That’s really my method. Work, work, and work. The money is in the studio. I base my life on it and stay trying to perfect my craft. I sleep about 4-5 hours a night. We have a long time before I get to where I want to be.
10. Do you plan to be a mentor in the future?
Yes. Khaled presented me with an opportunity and I would like to do that for a young kid and give him the same exact feeling.