A Few Minutes With Ace Hood

Florida native Ace Hood didn’t start rapping until halfway through high school when an injury curtailed his football dreams. But that injury turned out to be a blessing when DJ Khaled signed him to his We The Best label in 2007 after hearing a demo Hood gave him outside the offices of a local radio station.

Since then Hood has worked with several rap heavyweights, including , , and . This year, Hood is touring in support of his third major release, Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Hood recently spoke with Pollstar in a conversation in which the rapper covered subjects ranging from his music and maturity to football and his No. 1 hero as well as what it’s like to be living the dream.

What’s different on Blood, Sweat & Tears compared to your previous albums?

It’s a more personal album for me. The first two albums were learning experiences. Blood, Sweat & Tears is a real-world project. It’s kind of like “Behind The Music,” the things I’ve been doing and my experiences within my 23 years of living. That’s what Blood, Sweat & Tears represents. It’s a success story. It’s what I’ve been through, what it took for me to be where I am today. It’s my most real material I ever wrote in my life and it’s very different from my first two albums.

My first was just me, young and fresh off the block. The second one, Ruthless, was just more of me, still feeling myself out as an artist.

Do you think that comes with maturity and having the point of view of an older man?

Definitely. Me being a young man, I actually went through the type of circumstances that comes with age. It comes with maturity, growing and seeing different things, going through life on a daily basis. I took a year off previously to doing the Blood, Sweat & Tears album. It was important to me to let the people know what I’ve been and where I’ve been, why I took a year off, what’s been going on with Ace Hood. So Blood, Sweat & Tears was the perfect followup.

Will future releases be just as personal?

I’m always going to make music that’s more personal to me. I love it and it helps me with whatever I’m going through. I’m always going to put personal issues in my music.

What were the first signs of success indicating you could make it in this business?

Jumping from where I came from to being on tours and rocking the stage with some of the best. I was 17, 18 years old. That was the point where I knew I was actually going to do it. I had records out and stuff like that. I was doing extremely well, working with Trey Songz. I was actually able to be successful.

Did you ever feel it was a dream and you’d eventually wake up and find yourself back in high school?

Anytime you live a life where you get paid for the things you love to do always feels like a dream, all the times in hotels I would wake up and wonder if it was a dream.

But football was a dream before your injury. If you had to choose between the two worlds, which would it be?

If I had to choose right now, I would choose music. I’d rather live [life] as opposed to putting on pads and getting beaten up, tackled and knee injuries, back and neck injuries. I’d rather wake up in a very comfortable bed after a long show that night. I’d rather hold a mic than hold a ball and having 11 people running at me.

Are you deeply involved with all aspects of your business, or do you farm that out to managers and agents?

I’m definitely involved with my business. It comes with maturity. In the beginning I was a little shaky and not into the business. But anything that goes down now has to go through me.

Who are your heroes?

My mother is definitely one of my heroes. God. I’m Christian. I highly believe in God. My mother is a beautiful woman as well. The things she went through to provide for us really took a toll on me to see that. It helped me grow into the man I am today. Being a go-getter and having that mentality of finishing of what you’ve started, so to speak.

If asked, what would your mother say about you?

She would say I’m a go-getter. She would say I’m very humble. I was definitely hardheaded when I was younger, but definitely good-hearted.

Photo: AP Photo
BET Awards, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, Calif.

Ace Hood’s next scheduled date is in Fort Wayne, Ind., at Piere’s Entertianment Center. For more information on this rising rap star, visit AceHood-Online.com.