As his certified street banger Hustle Hard continues to go viral on the Internet and in the streets, Ace Hood talks with HHW on how hustlin’ hard in the mixtape game has helped him hustle up a major buzz.
Lil Wayne’s hopped on it. Rick Ross hopped on it. T-Pain hopped on it. Jeezy remixed it. Ace Hood’s Lex Luger produced “Hustle Hard” has quickly become the hood favorite and pushed the Miami-bred MC back in the spotlight. Here’s a couple of excerpts from our recent interview with Ace explaining how he turned “Hustle Hard” into one of the top anthems for 2011.
What’s goin’ on Ace?
Ace Hood: I just dropped a new single, “Hustle Hard,” which is catchin’ fire. I just dropped a few mixtapes as well; I got The Statement out in the streets – definitely one of my biggest mixtapes thus far. I just dropped another mixtape New Year’s Eve entitled, I Do It For The Sport, which is also catchin’ buzz. But “Hustle Hard” is the single I’m leading with, and it’s definitely one of the top anthems of 2011.
How did you get “Hustle Hard” to pop for you?
I put The Statement out, and when people heard it, the mixtape ended up gettin’ big. The public ended up choosin’ the record, and organically, people started lovin’ it and radio started playin’ it. They’re pickin’ up on it more each and every day.
Do you encourage newcomers to put out mixtapes?
I definitely do, ‘cause for any artists coming into the game, it’s a vehicle for getting’ hot – it allows the people to choose. It allows your fans to decide on the type of music they’d like to hear from you. So it’s good to put out a lotta different music, put it on tape, see what the public decides, what gets the most plays and what they like the most. I continue takin’ that approach ‘cause it builds anticipation. Drake came in and did it, and Wayne and Gucci Mane did it, so I definitely think it’s a good approach to the game.
You apparently prefer mixtapes over albums. Why’s that?
You get to genuinely be yourself, as opposed to makin’ an album where you’re under the pressure of makin’ records that are gonna “fit” the album. Droppin’ a mixtape, I don’t have to find a record that’s gonna fit it, it’s just givin’ people raw music, givin’em that extra hunger that they love hearin’ from me, as opposed to gettin’ an album that feels more scripted, and may be a little more commercial than normal. You get raw music from a mixtape, so I just approach that with just tryin’ different things, and that helps me show my versatility. That’s why I love mixtapes more than albums; I can jump on any record and give‘em a various amount of freestyles. It’s just me doin’ my thing and givin’em records that I probably wouldn’t normally put on an album, but that would actually get good responses from my fans.
How important is it to have a DJ host your mixtape?
It’s not important at all, to me. I Do It For The Sport and The Statement have no DJ hosting. Havin’ the DJs on a mixtape is cool, but I like to have it without that. That way all the DJs can take it automatically and start spinnin’ it. You have to be careful about the DJs that you do put on your mixtapes, ‘cause nowadays people aren’t really enjoyin’ the mixtape with the DJ screamin’ all over it. I put a buncha good music on the tape and build it around album format; a hot intro, a hot outro, and a lotta good music in between. Besides, if you distribute your mixtape with a DJ hosting it, you’d still have to send out another version of it without the DJ on it because they can’t play a record in the club with a DJ talkin’ over it.
What should we be looking for from Ace Hood in the immediate future?
Stay tuned; I’m droppin’ another mixtape called Sex Chronicles on Valentine’s Day, hosted by Rosa Acosta music. I got the “Hustle Hard” single out right now, and by the print of this article we’ll have shot the video. I got The Statement Pt. 2 coming soon, and I Do It For The Sport Vol. 2.
Bonus: Behind the Scenes of the Hustle Hard Remix featuring Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and T-Pain.
On Twitter: @TheRealAcehood