Local Wire

Aceyalone @ Club Red

Over the years, Aceyalone (pronounced Ace-ee-alone) has released enough smart, meandering rhymes that his collection could have driven even the most dedicated hip-hop heads to boredom — maybe even himself, if his last two albums are any indication. After a sensible collaboration with RJD2 on the critically acclaimed Magnificent City (2006), he released Lightning Strikes and Aceyalone & the Lonely Ones. The former was made up entirely of dancehall beats, and the latter is an ode to swing and big band music. Both were a change from Aceyalone's socially conscious raps and his past as a nurturer of new, open-flow MCs. But for hip-hop's lyrical scholars, Aceyalone is still a deity of sorts. He's got far-reaching influence, a versatile flow, and longevity in a game defined by turnover. He's an MC's MC. If many of the lyrically conscious rappers from California that proceeded Aceyalone sound like him, it's probably because he played a hand in their development. In the early 1990s, the Los Angeles rapper founded Project Blowed, the world's longest-running open mic freestyle night. He was also a founding member of legendary underground groups Freestyle Fellowship, Haiku D'Etat, and The A-Team with Abstract Rude. Today, Aceyalone remains a cornerstone of underground West Coast hip-hop — more influential than widely rotated.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Piel
Contact: Chris Piel