“Home in America” Releases June 18th

Hope in America Cover

“What is Home?” is the enormous question legendary
Brooklyn rapper Masta Ace poses on “Home in America,” the much-anticipated single from Analog
Players Society
released Friday, June 18th via Ropeadope. In three verses, Masta Ace skillfully
exposes the devastating multi-generational impact of systemic racism on Black Americans and proposes
a “what-if?” counterfactual history of the January 6 Insurrection.

Flashback to the before times, April 2019: producer/mixer Ben Rubin and APS
founder/producer/engineer Amon Drum convened New York jazz greats tenor saxophonist Donny
McCaslin (David Bowie ★), pianist Orrin Evans (the Bad Plus), bassist Dezron Douglas (Ravi
Coltrane / Black Lion), and drummer Eric McPherson (Fred Hersch Trio) at The Bridge Studio in
Brooklyn. The sole three-hour recording session, where little was said while the ancient spirits flowed,
yielded both the cut-up hip-hop instrumental record Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film and the jazz album
TILTED, both released in 2020 on Ropeadope.
Cut to quarantine, late 2020/early 2021: It’s time to add some vocals to Ben’s track “Starry Night.” Juice
Crew member Masta Ace is down and the timing is perfect.
“I was trying to avoid writing songs for my album during 2020 because I knew my emotions and strong
feelings about the political climate in this country would unavoidably come out in the music. The
opportunity to collaborate with Analog Players Society gave me an outlet to voice some of my angst and
give a sound to my thoughts from the past year.” – Masta Ace
The results are a dagger through the heart of white supremacism from a potent, unlikely melding of
poetry, musicians and production.
Analog Players Society is a collective effort founded by producer and engineer, Amon Drum, out of his
first studio, “The Hook,” in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The APS collective features a rotating ensemble cast of
some of the top players in New York City. Amon has been “cherry picking” these great musicians and
producers for a few years now in this rich garden. APS’ various projects, eclectic by nature, carry serious
strains of the Jazz, Dub, Funk, Afrobeat, and Soul variety within it. APS’ 2012 debut album, Hurricane Season In Brooklyn debuted in the top 15 of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart with press accolades
pouring in from NPR’s Fresh Air, Wired, and All About Jazz to name a few. Since their release, TILTED
and Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film were included in Bandcamp’s “best jazz releases” and garnered
strong support from Jazziz, Medium, DownBeat Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald and Postgenre.org.
Masta Ace stands as one of rap’s great anomalies. The Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York artist emerged
in the late 1980s, delivering next-level rhymes as part of Marley Marl’s Juice Crew with Big Daddy Kane,
Biz Markie, Kool G. Rap and others. After his 1990 debut album, he then released in 1993 a sobering
treatise on gangster rap and its impact on America with his SlaughtaHouse project before melding an
East Coast sensibility with the South and West Coast’s affinity for car culture with 1995’s revolutionary,
forward-thinking Sittin’ On Chrome album.
Yet it was Masta Ace’s next series of musical moves that truly cemented his status as one of rap’s iconic
acts. In 2001, Ace released Disposable Arts, an exceptional look at rap’s evolution, exploitation and
appropriation. His subsequent projects – 2004’s A Long Hot Summer, 2012’s MA_DOOM: Son of Yvonne
and collaborative projects with eMC, Ed O.G. and others – provided Masta Ace a new platform to tour the
world and become a rapper whose catalog is appreciated by different generations of fans for dramatically
different reasons. Now, with a career that stretches back to the 1980s and shows no signs of slowing,
Masta Ace continues pushing art in general – and music specifically – forward.
“I think I have contributed music that has challenged the status quo in hip-hop,” he says. “I have given
heartfelt music that moves listeners emotionally, music that does more than make you wanna do
something. I made you feel something and think about something.”
Benny Cha Cha whether mashing up hip hop and jazz with Masta Ace and Donny McCaslin, playing rock
‘n’ roll with Marshall Crenshaw, or producing Peter Bernstein solo jazz guitar, Grammy-nominated
producer/mixer/bassist Ben Rubin, (aka Benny Cha Cha) is known for making records that are pure or
genre-bending or both. A seven-time pick as a DownBeat Critics’ Poll “Rising Star Producer,” he has also
played the Newport Jazz Festival with Dred Scott Trio, remixed Killah Priest and Karsh Kale, and won an
Independent Music Award with his band Mudville. Ben has 100+ recording credits, many for SmallsLive
and Ropeadope Records.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.