“As a Black man who [has] struggled with feelings of unworthiness and lack in the past, my message has always been to push myself and the people forward, from fear to love…from self to selflessness…from nothing to something,” Ace Hood wrote in this Instagram post commemorating the life of George Floyd, the African-American man who was murdered by four Minneapolis Police Officers. Everyone approaches revolution differently, and for the Haitian-American rapper, the first step to starting a revolution is to look the man in the mirror squarely in the eye and remind him that he has more control than he thinks.
His latest project “Mr. Hood” carries a unique sound. If you listen closely, you can hear that the ambitious hustler that DJ Khaled introduced us to 12 years ago has now become a man, well aware of his influence.
“‘Mr. Hood’ is a project based on me recognizing my power and taking that power back. Internally it was me finding my truth and not living by a narrative someone else created,”Ace Hood shared in a phone interview. “It’s a more fun and elevated version of myself, and I’m hoping this helps others find the light in themselves.”
But before we find the light, there are some harsh truths we must accept. For one: “People oppressed, they depressed out they mind”, Ace tells us on his first track “We Ball”. In so many words, he tells us how he pulled himself out of depression, overriding his own low frequency to rise to newer heights. And like many of us, Mary Jane was Ace’s friend during times of trouble.
Music and Mary Jane
Beyond being a muse in the studio, marijuana has helped Ace work through the many trials and tribulations that come with being a Black human living in America while navigating the music industry.
“In the past, subconsciously anytime I became overwhelmed or a fear arrived, I would smoke. I’ll say about 5 years ago, around the time I gained my independence as an artist, was the time I smoked more because I was dealing with a lot more mentally,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll take a hit of sativa to uplift my spirits. As an ‘upper’ type of guy, I’m a fan of anything euphoric,” he shared.
Ace also noted the importance of giving African-Americans access to the cannabis plant. “It’s important for African-Americans to have access to cannabis because it helps to relax and ease up tensions,” he said. “Most Black Americans are raised in traumatic and stressful situations, so cannabis can help to bring balance and healing to a certain degree.”
According to Mental Health America, African-Americans are 20% more likely to have mental health problems than the general population due to the trauma of being born and growing up Black in America. On top of that, 59% of African-American believe that the legacy of slavery still influences their lives today.
Can you imagine being reminded, for 400+ years, that your life doesn’t matter? Can you imagine screaming and crying for your oppressors to hear you out and understand that their privilege has made your life a living hell and they refuse to listen? Can you imagine seeing another Black human killed — the life being forced from your body— and finally, after 400 years, your oppressors open their ears and hear your pain?
A walking manifestation of the chaotic energies that make up the African Diaspora, Ace Hood is our reminder that through control, mindfulness, and self-revelation, we all have the power to transform. Every Black Body that has been a victim of America’s systematic oppression deserves a joint. If you listen to “Mr. Hood” you’ll see that Ace Hood is a valued guide as we pursue peace, prosperity, positivity, opportunity, progress, self-elevation, and new highs. His message is a reminder that we can overcome our pasts, elevate our lives, seek justice, and find peace all within ourselves despite all the negativity that comes our way.