Mellow Man Ace took the world by storm with his 90s feel good rap song, “Mentirosa” about a troubled lover who’s girlfriend couldn’t seem to tell the truth. As the first bi-lingual rap song, ever, Ace kicked the door down to the future of Latin influence in Hip Hop. Now this HipHop legend has come to downtown and he and his son Cazal are bringing some of the greatest HipHop Legends of the Golden Era with them.
During a recent interview with Downtown Weekly, ‘The Godfather of Latin Rap’ Mellow Man Ace gave a brief analysis on his rise in hip-hop, what he thinks of rap today and his upcoming performance with fellow Hip-Hop Legends of the Golden Era, presented by El Compadre Mexican Restaurant, broadcast live to all of Los Angeles on KDAYFM radio, October 1st.
“Longevity comes because there’s more power in numbers than there is in one person.”
Mellow Man Ace took us back through a 29-year-career beginning with his early performances in the studio, in clubs and at private parties. Brother of Sen Dog from Cypress Hill, working with DJ Muggs at Delicious Vinyl Studios, they would come up with the concept and co-write “Mentirosa” around having a bi-lingual base, that took Mellow a bit of time to manifest, until he found the inspirational spark that led him to release his party masterpiece. There could be no better group inside his inner circle to watch his back, besides his family of musically driven artists, looking out for each other’s best interests, and also contributes to that. Together the squad had the foundational structure of his pioneer style built on rock, not sand, that proved to be vital.
THE LEGEND OF MENTIROSA
Was she real? No one may ever know, but ladies loved singing the girl parts, and found the message easy to relate to. The brilliant mix of samples lent by Carlos Santana, “Evil Ways” repeating “Ain’t Got Nobody, Baby…Oh No You Got to Change” already burned into the memory of our dance steps had the world falling in love with the handsome 21 year old, who first began the long walk of fame.
“it’s a long journey, it’s been an amazing journey, I live in the journey…. I don’t take any of it lightly, I wake up everyday with the same hunger and passion that I had when I started [doing] hip-hop.”
These days, Mellow Man Ace has been working on putting on shows that will allow him to share the stage with fellow legends. Sharing the stage with the likes of DJ Quik, Suga Free, Luniz, Dru Down, Hi-C, Twinz, 2 Tone, Domino and others, coming to South Park on October 1st, El Compadre Restaurant presents the Legends of the Golden Era concert hosted by Candyman. The show will be broadcast LIVE on KDAYFM, which has been keeping the all-star lineup busy with radio interviews and public appearances all week. The Legends show, with back-to-back headliners is a first for downtown, and tickets are selling quickly.
“If you stick around long enough, you get back in style, and I’ve done that twice already…this is my third 15 minutes of fame”
Giving the world the first bi-lingual rap song, lead the way for the future of all nations inside of HipHop. What Mellow did, spread across cultures feeding off of its own power. A power that came from a place inside the untapped realms of HipHop, a power that demanded a voice, and found a voice with Mellow’s drive, and his talent, transforming itself to the articulate delivery of a young man, that everyone could seem to relate to, while getting his story off his chest, the best way he knew how, artistically. This is true HipHop, and the divider between the tragedy of mainstream rap and the attention it gets in contrast the many artists who stay true to its original style. Mostly meant to uplift the spirit, send a message of empowerment, keep you waiting for the next clever line, and leave you with good feelings when the record stopped or when the party was over.
“Get it done today so that if you’re not here tomorrow people can see what you left behind.”
Sitting with him and his son, Cazal, was unique as it brought experience and the new blood in the game alongside each other. Cazal has been doing music since he was 14, and he is the pride of his father. With his samples and original music, he’s one of the artists to look into, and most likely carries the blood and drive of champions.
Of the younger generation of HipHop all stars Mellow would recommend, are kids like Joey Bada$$, dudes like Action Bronson and other guys that are doing HipHop correctly, and says he thinks HipHop is awesome right now.
“It’s okay to be a fan, not everyone can do heart surgery”
To others, who may not be aware of the business, what it takes or may not be as skilled, he advised that maybe instead of devoting their lives to the quest for fame and fortune, that they take a look at their surroundings, take a look their family struggle and look at what their family requires of them, because a lot of kids will wake up with a dream and not necessarily have the means to achieve that and its okay to just be a fan.
SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WORLD?
Mellow expressed his frustrations toward mainstream media and the lack of media attention HipHop gets, compared to mainstream rap music, and how there’s not a leveled playing field. If only the big execs would give more [underground] kids the right shine…and of course, world freedom from poverty and oppression. The world’s problems can be expressed in art and temporarily alleviated with music, but it takes action to solve them.
Mellow Man Ace is not just an emcee; he’s transcended from that into something more. He gives back to the community. He helps the youth and tries to uplift them showing them an example of a brighter future if they stick to something. Also, he’s no stranger to Downtown’s homeless problem, many times doing charitable works at Gladys Park alongside fellow emcee turned activist General Jeff.
Check out Mellow Man Ace, October 1st, at Legends of the Golden Era brought to you by El Compadre Restaurant and 93.5KDAY. BUY TICKETS—>>> www.legendsofthegoldenera.eventbrite.com