Late last year, Below System re-issued Disposable Arts, the 2001 masterpiece that cemented Masta Ace's place among New York rap royalty. When 2dopeboyz caught up with the Brooklynite, he recalled the European tour in support of the album's release. It was a trying time, coming in the immediate wake of the September 11th attacks. The excursion was to be the first excursion for the crew of Ace, Stricklin, Punchline, and Wordsworth, but it didn't come together so seamlessly. There was some handwringing, as could be expected. Ace recalled reaching out to Wordsworth:
"His wife was pregnant with their first child. She was feeling like it was dangerous and she didn't want him to go. I was actually on the phone trying to convince them to make this trip. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I had this conversation with them; I got gas and then went into this diner. I sat at the counter and ordered some food and basically talked to them. I had both of them on the phone, trying to convince both of them to make this trip. I think they're happy that I convinced them."
On September 22nd, 2001, the quartet boarded a plane and never looked back. Seven years later, a group album (The Show, 2008, M3) was released.
Now, the crew is being round up once again. The Turning Point, a six-song, twelve-track EP is set to be released on May 20th via M3's Penalty Entertainment. Woven together with a series of skits that follow Ace getting the band back together on Super Bowl Sunday, The Turning Point is a crisp update on the group's reverent formalism. Punch, Strick, Words, and Ace successfully dial back the clock while avoiding most of the pitfalls that come with rap revivalism.
A week before it's release date, the DopeHouse is offering you a free stream. Enjoy it below and pre-order The Turning Point on iTunes.
Words by Paul Thompson.