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Best of Boston 2009


060120_art_aceyaloneWhat happened to Aceyalone? After 2003’s Love and Hate, Philly producer and backpack blowhard RJD2 appeared and the two dropped some serious darkness. RJD2 had already demonstrated his morose streak on The Horror, but his previous collaboration with Ace, “Lose Your Mind,” had the playful stride of a City of Angels bike ride. If you’re looking for a repeat performance, look elsewhere. This time, RJ presses dystopia into the grooves. From Ace’s swaggering, cocky drugspeak on “High Lights” to his defiant oration at the Pearly Gates on “Heaven” (“Heaven ain’t got nothing to do with me cuz I’m a devil”), Magnificent City betrays its namesake and exposes the metropolis with seediness and back-alley performances. RJ’s soul samples are brooding; every siren moan and drum break pushes the album farther into gloom. In a scene seemingly pulled from a Frank Miller flashcard, Ace puffs on the aptly named “Supahero”: “I’m perfectly flawed.” Fortunately, this Ace & RJ creation is not.


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