ACEYALONE Choose your own adventure.
by Adam Gnade


Wed March 24

Berbati's Pan

10 SW 3rd

"Now once I broke the ice on the lake, the water felt cold/But nevertheless it was water" raps Aceyalone on his greatest song, "Annalillia." He's courting this girl Annalillia in a bar. He's drunk, a little clumsy with the lines, but he's trying. She shoots him down: "I don't even know who you are fool/keepin' that barstool warm like Norm" and that just makes him like her more. So he tries again, but blows it. She takes off, "all because a brother just flirted/And didn't know how to word it."

Couple days later, he sees her out on the street and apologizes for being so damn drunk that night at the bar. She's cool with it, so Acey asks for her number. And then comes the crusher. "She said, 'first of all I got a boyfriend/And a girlfriend/And a couple of rugrats and a cat.'" No! Love slips through his hands! Acey takes off, and into his next adventure.

And that's what Aceyalone is: adventure. Stories told with the realness of your best friend leaning across a plate of fries and giving you the scoop. Acey feels like a friend because he raps from a sympathetic P.O.V.: Aceyalone is you. The Everyman. Tom Joad. Rakim. He's out there doing what you do and going through those same tribulations. A song like "Annalillia," just re-issued on All Balls Don't Bounce, is just as relatable as any good short story or that track you loved so much before The O.C. --or You Got Served--bought it and ate away the magic.

All Balls Don't Bounce was ignored when it dropped in 1995 but almost 10 years later, I think it's gonna do better, especially with albums like College Dropout and magazine spreads on "emo-rap" changing the mainstream game for the kinder, gentler rapper. Either way, though, Acey'll do fine like he always has, writing adventures and probably influencing a whole new worldwide underground of young emcees.