“The man behind jams like ‘Bugatti’ and ‘Hustle Hard’—both of which are guaranteed to get you ridiculously amped at the gym, even when you didn’t realize you needed it” – GQ
“While some of us probably commemorate those occasions in more casual, passive ways, Hood’s album work alone will tell you a lot about the man—he’s a hard worker, and celebrates by doing.” – Complex
“[‘Little Light’s’] catchy chorus sees the 33-year-old rap about making it through the roughest seasons of his life, but still coming out “divine,” words that are sure to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.” – HotNewHipHop
“At 32, the father of two and newlywed has come a long way as the kid who seemed to come out of nowhere with no holds barred. Twenty-one mixtapes and four albums later, he’s arrived at his fifth full-length, Mr. Hood, all grown up.” – Miami New Times
“If music hits the heart, it will live with you forever,” proclaims Ace Hood. Amid a career that includes platinum singles, Top 10 albums, and all-star collaborations, Antoine McColister pivoted during the mid-2010s to focus on longevity. “My independent process and music have made for a much more fulfilling journey than being with a major label,” he admits. Ace bought out his contract to take control of his art. Now he is the one who curates his messaging and direction. “I am in a space where I’m creating the best music of my life.” A series of mixtapes and 2020’s Mr. Hood affirmed that statement, with “We Ball” going gold with over 75 million streams. Like another recent hit, “Finding My Way,” suggested, Ace Hood has accessed his power and is helping others to do the same—spiritually, mentally, and physically.
“My upbringing was beautiful, but it was also traumatic,” Ace recalls. Broward County, Florida’s first national music star grew up in Deerfield Beach. Raised by his mother, grandma, and stepfather, McColister describes a high-stakes environment with plenty of temptations. “I was motivated by wanting better for my family for the lineage—breaking a generational curse.” The star football athlete discovered off-the-field talent as a rapper. Nicknamed Ace in childhood, he later added Hood to reflect a knack for navigating the streets. Music proved to be the greatest calling. At 17, he waited outside DJ Khaled’s radio station to present a demo tape. Eventually, that will and self-esteem positioned Ace Hood as the breakout star on Khaled’s We The Best label.
Between 2008 and 2013, Ace Hood released four hit albums and pioneered trends. “I created a flow that a lot of people took heed of, and I brought a certain energy,” he asserts. Songs like “Out Here Grindin’,” “Body 2 Body,” and “Hustle Hard” soared on the Top 100. Later moving distribution from Def Jam to Cash Money, Ace commanded a platinum anthem with the Mike WiLL-produced “Bugatti.” However, as luxury doors continued to open for Ace, he felt locked out of crucial decision-making. “When it came down to creating singles, I didn’t feel like I had full control of my ideas,” the artist explains. “As I got older, I started to challenge those things. I’m saying one thing in my commercial records, but I’m saying something totally different throughout my album. I felt that it was out of alignment.” Wishing to be inspirational as well as aspirational, Ace Hood made immense family sacrifices to invest in himself and take control of his brand. After paying six figures to buy out his We The Best deal, he went from a staff of 30 to DIY.
As Ace Hood reconfigured his sound and message, he also worked on himself. “I began with the physical and the mental,” says the artist, who now boasts 6% body fat. Along with rigorous training, he meditated, focused on family, and read voraciously—especially Joe Dispenza. Acts of self-love strengthened Ace for a difficult road in a fickle industry. 2017’s Trust The Process album found the rapper speaking transparently in a new way. “To Whom It May Concern” made a courageous pact to be bold and authentic. “I’d rather teach you about reaching a place without fear than tell you about my watch or my diamond chain,” he shares. The self-released Hood Nation album earned over 30 million streams; Ace Hood knew that he was on the right path.
That journey is still unfolding. After 2021’s “Little Light” glowed with self-assurance, Ace is preparing an album that showcases his totality. It coincides with acting, the No Introduction clothing line, and his Hashtagshredded.com fitness campaign. Ace Hood made an introduction with catchy hits, but his depth, vulnerability, and will to inspire are what will endure his legacy.
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