Masta Ace A Long Hot Summer

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Perhaps the only artist to have collaborated with both Eminem and Paul Barman, Brooklyn's Masta Ace belongs to that class of good-but-not-great New York MCs forced underground by major label shenanigans. A loosely conceptual account of an indie rapper on the come-up, Ace's fifth album plays like a prequel to 2001's Disposable Arts, showcasing his tirelessly modifiable delivery and beats from DJ Spinna and Dug Infinite, among others. Heads will skip straight to "Good Ol Love," a poignant 9th Wonder-produced joint made for moonlit smoke sessions. Indeed, few LPs this year will deliver more soul per square inch than this album, which proceeds leisurely enough for even the wooziest of weed heads. If you've got 'em, smoke 'em.