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ACE HOOD TALKS NEWFOUND INDEPENDENCE, FITNESS BRAND #SHREDDED & ‘MR. HOOD’

July 1, 2020

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

Ace Hood is a legend in the rap game, arguably one of the most underrated artists to date. While we revisit his timeless hits from “Bugatti” to “Hustle Hard” to “Ride” to “We Outchea,” it’s important to remember his stature in consistently releasing meaningful records full of substance — which has been more or less rare in the current state of hip-hop.

After a much-need hiatus from music, which includes his departure from DJ Khaled’s We the Best label, the newfound independent artist returns with the same relentless bars, clever wordplay, profound lyricism, and even an unwavering love and passion for health and fitness. Most recently, he released his fifth studio album and 20th project overall titled Mr. Hood, 14 tracks that depict where he stands now in this chapter of his life.

Most recently, the Broward County, Florida native was out protesting with his wife — putting on for the #BlackLivesMatter movement which he’s been doing since he started. His own logo for Hood Nation is a closed fist, standing for social justice and equality.

Flaunt caught up with Ace to discuss his favorite songs off Mr. Hood, his new health and fitness regimen, his honeymoon in Bali, artists he’d love to work with, and more!

How are you holding up in Broward County?

It’s peaceful, quiet for the most part. I live out west on the outskirts. Where I grew up and where I’m from, it’s energy. A little chaotic in the city, things are starting to open back up. Particularly where I am isn’t opened back up, but some of the surrounding areas are opening back up. Interesting times right now, but I love it.

What was your decision to put “We Ball” as the intro track to your new project, Mr. Hood?

I wanted to start it off with a bang. I wanted to house that song around other content that’s as powerful, as dope. “We Ball” is my transitional point for people to see me as who I am now, as opposed to who I used to be as an artist. This is different from “Bugatti” and all that, which is cool. I love it, “Bugatti” is an amazing record. So is “Hustle Hard,” “We Outchea,” all these other phenomenal records I did. But this is me, a more in-depth Ace Hood. This is more of a person, this isn’t just an artist you’re receiving. You get my ideas, you get my experiences in life. “We Ball” was me saying this is who I am now.

Photo Credit: Demetrius Benoist

Photo Credit: Demetrius Benoist

Ace Hood is a legend in the rap game, arguably one of the most underrated artists to date. While we revisit his timeless hits from “Bugatti” to “Hustle Hard” to “Ride” to “We Outchea,” it’s important to remember his stature in consistently releasing meaningful records full of substance — which has been more or less rare in the current state of hip-hop.

After a much-need hiatus from music, which includes his departure from DJ Khaled’s We the Best label, the newfound independent artist returns with the same relentless bars, clever wordplay, profound lyricism, and even an unwavering love and passion for health and fitness. Most recently, he released his fifth studio album and 20th project overall titled Mr. Hood, 14 tracks that depict where he stands now in this chapter of his life.

Most recently, the Broward County, Florida native was out protesting with his wife — putting on for the #BlackLivesMatter movement which he’s been doing since he started. His own logo for Hood Nation is a closed fist, standing for social justice and equality.

Flaunt caught up with Ace to discuss his favorite songs off Mr. Hood, his new health and fitness regimen, his honeymoon in Bali, artists he’d love to work with, and more!

How are you holding up in Broward County?

It’s peaceful, quiet for the most part. I live out west on the outskirts. Where I grew up and where I’m from, it’s energy. A little chaotic in the city, things are starting to open back up. Particularly where I am isn’t opened back up, but some of the surrounding areas are opening back up. Interesting times right now, but I love it.

What was your decision to put “We Ball” as the intro track to your new project, Mr. Hood?

I wanted to start it off with a bang. I wanted to house that song around other content that’s as powerful, as dope. “We Ball” is my transitional point for people to see me as who I am now, as opposed to who I used to be as an artist. This is different from “Bugatti” and all that, which is cool. I love it, “Bugatti” is an amazing record. So is “Hustle Hard,” “We Outchea,” all these other phenomenal records I did. But this is me, a more in-depth Ace Hood. This is more of a person, this isn’t just an artist you’re receiving. You get my ideas, you get my experiences in life. “We Ball” was me saying this is who I am now.

“Bugatti” was a moment in time. What were your fondest memories from that record?

It was beautiful honestly, God is good. Travelled all over the world. I knew it was going to be massive immediately when I dropped it. I knew it was a hit record, I had fun creating the record. I’m grateful, it’s great for what it was.

What are the lessons you learned from becoming independent?

I feel free. For me, the lessons I learned helped me say “okay cool, I am built for it.” Without that system, we have nothing to really hold on to. We can only depend on ourselves and things can’t happen until we take that first step forward. That‘s the largest lesson above all. Once you do actually get that cycle, you regain the power back like “I can do this.” You’re out here doing your own. When you do decide to put something out or put your energy into it, you get more profit out of it. Okay, I can market my shit. I can do this and do that, the same way labels would do it.

What’s one thing you want your fans to get from Mr. Hood?

Above all, for them to recognize the power. Really placing the trust into yourself and really placing that belief back into you, as opposed to the external. External would be labels, your friends, other people you believe and value their opinion. To see who I am in Mr. Hood, see how far I have came. Allow that journey to inspire. Mr. Hood is about evolving. It’s showing people you can come from one place to another place, you can go from doing one thing a certain way to a new way. The beauty in life is to have ebbs and flows.

When you were creating all those club hits and bangers, did you have the desire to create more substantial music?

I always did. If you look back from my first project Gutta until Trials & Tribulations which was my fourth album, Blood, Sweat & Tears, all those other projects, the core body work was substance. Really me telling you about my experience, where I was at a particular point in my life. Stories you can always relate to. Even now you go back to “Fuck Da World,” you can listen to “Mr. Black Man.” You can listen to so many records that speak on now, that talk about our pain now. This isn’t new, this is me. End of the day, it’s still business. I had to make the records money and all that but normally, those records on the radio are usually vague, surface level records. Records to have fun to. Me, I wanted to reverse that cycle because I had everything else, but I didn’t necessarily have the people or support I wanted.

I saw how it is when people did have it. I saw their approach to the game and I wanted the fanbase. I wanted the trueness of that, something everlasting. Something I can build on top of and have people grow with me, as opposed to you knowing me for those specific hits and that’s it. I wanted the reversal of that. I want more to be more of a person, more of a being. Speak about things that’s going to help move people up forward in a different way, and still give it to you in a way in which you love it. Be hard, still going to vibe. Still giving you that higher level being, but still grounded in the same token. Showing you the flexibilities of a person, we’re not one thing. We’re not just gangsta gangsta gangsta, F this. We got love. It’s allowing all of that to live.

What songs mean the most to you on a project and why?

“We Ball” for sure, because that’s the introduction to this new person. “Facts” is one of my favorites. “Facts” is some real shit, shit we all deal with everyday. We find ourselves in situations where people aren’t being 100% themselves, it’s not a fact what they’re standing on. You’re not really moving like that. The space I was in creating these records, “Remember Nights” is one of my joints. Me reminiscing on the night, thinking of all that transpired in my life. Me highlighting some of my hardships, but those same hardships became strengths of mine now.

All of it, the whole project to be honest. “Say Less” is another one, I’m a man with less words to a certain degree. I feel, I listen, I think a lot before I actually speak. “Say Less” is a record which really shows who I am as a person. “Big Fish” is another identity record of who I am now, my transition point. I’ve arrived at a level where I feel I’m a big fish” much stronger, much wiser. A better artist, better being. “Confident” man, bringing that energy. “Confidence” is one of my favorites because I feel like it, I look like it. I’m in the best shape in my life. I’m eating healthy. Every piece of every single track represents exactly where I stand right now.


Talk about your love for health and wellness, I know you said you feel great. What advice do you have for people?

Juice, I’ve been juicing a lot really. I’ve been eating a lot of beet juice, beets with energy. Really good celery. Carrot juice, carrot ginger, it’s really good. Salmon, always a lot of greens. Lots of things with colors is what I’ve been on lately. Obviously my protein is chicken, my main source. Beef every so often here and there. For protein, we do a lot of beans. A lot of potatoes. We did bean, corn, potato tacos last night.


Are you cheffing up or is your wifey?

Both. I took a culinary class back in high school, so I’m lit. It’s coming out of me now. Most recent thing I made was Asian-infused salmon, really good. Asparagus with parmesan, add parmesan and bake them up for a while. We did wild rice on the side.

Are your kids eating healthy too?

Well [laughs], when they’re with pops they are. Right now, they’re at their mom’s house. When they’re with daddy and my wife, we’re eating pretty good. My kids don’t live with me, they stay with their mother. We have a timeshare agreement settled.

Photo Credit: Demetrius Benoist

How was the honeymoon in Bali with your wife?

Honeymoon was lit! That’s what I want my people to hear because it’s the truth. What I love about Bali mainly was the fact that I was able to step outside of who I think I am and who people think I am. That’s always beautiful. Stepping outside of yourself means being out in nature, doing things you normally wouldn’t be doing. It’s opening up a level of vulnerability with me. I’m meeting different people, we’re going to visit the children and seeing their way of life. Understanding the culture and people, that right there brings a certain level of human to you regardless of who you think you are. That’s the real beauty because when the stones are uncovered and you’re able to see each other in that environment, it’s nothing but love, fly shit, and good energy. You can really flourish in that space. The most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life, it was amazing.

I’m jealous!

Don’t be jealous, because you deserve the same thing and you will have it.

It seems like a lost cause in Los Angeles though.

Well, LA tricky yes. I feel you. It all depends on what you want. I always knew I couldn’t date nobody in the music industry because I wanted something more normal, with the morals and integrity. I needed something out of my work.

What are some goals for yourself at this point?

To keep growing, build my brand Hood Nation. To build my fitness brand, to build my life brand. So many things I want to do. As an actor, tapping into modeling and leaning into more fitness related things. Right now, we’re building the infrastructure of Hood Nation. When I decide I want to take this Hood Nation brand to the next level, I do have the infrastructure and personal team I can cycle through. Sign new artists, give other people opportunities. It’s building on top of that brand, taking it as high as I possibly can.

Take about your fitness brand, #Shredded.

Hashtagshredded.com is a holistic fitness program. You have your fitness workout incorporated in there, you got nutritional plans incorporated, you got mindful gyms incorporated. It’s an entire lifestyle program. It teaches and gives you a soundtrack of me. You have a playlist of all my music so while you’re working out, you got the playlist to tap in with. I got products to help you recover. It all ties in with music and my agenda largely of what I’m pushing as a person, as a being. People can live happy and healthy lives whether it’s becoming your best self, getting shredded up, ooking in the mirror and feeling proud. Internally feeling proud. Walking out in the world with music that’s reminding you of how great you are, how undefeated spiritually and mentally you are. That’s what I’m on. It’s all to service the people. In times like this, we all need to be reminded that we’re worthy. We’re all great, we all have the power to level ourselves and our being.

Top 5 artists in rotation? Besides yourself.

I’m a sensei with my shit. I’m on “Eye Of The Tiger” by Eminem. I go crazy and I put on Rocky theme music. I throw in that Lil Baby. I like Lil Baby, he’s going hard. That NBA Youngboy. I might throw in that Kendrick, “FEAR.” from that new project. I like the new cats. Polo G, that’s the type of language I like. I listen to a lot of reggae music, like spiritual. I’m heavy influenced on that.

Is there someone you want to work with that you haven’t yet? 

I was going through my list of people I want to work with on the new project. I want to work with Burna Boy. I want to work with SiR and his brother, they’re dope. I like his direction and where he’s going. In terms of conversations, it’d be dope to work with people like that. Jhene Aiko has a dope ass feel with the sound bowls, I want to jam that in with some fly shit, some hard drums and do something out of pocket. Some next level shit. I’m looking forward to putting that tougher for when the next project comes about.

Are you always in the studio, given how much music you put out?

I’m always in the studio. Technically, my studio is my office. It’s in my crib, living room across the way. When we got the space, we wanted to make sure it’s a space we can thrive in. A place that’s going to make us feel alive. Me having a studio in the crib was the grace of God, it came through with this pandemic. I was able to create music at the time, finish things up. I’m jamming in here. This is where I play the new artists, vibing. Listening to music, seeing what artists I want to work with. Thinking about the new project I’ve been working on, visuals and aesthetics I want to create for the Mr. Hood project. I’m excited.

Are you already onto the next project?

Not yet, I’ve been telling my people I want them to live with this. I want the project to be appreciated. I know who I have to get, I know my worth and I know who I am. I’m not going to be one of those cats who’s going to deliver tons and tons of music, it needs to be appreciated. I want it to be hard. I want fans to rock with it, I want them to live with it. I want to create visuals around it. We got so much to extract from the Mr. Hood project but to be honest, I’m already forward thinking on the next project.

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