You might know Ace Hood as one of DJ Khaled's protégés, a Broward County original with plenty of rhymes and talent. Signed to the We the Best Music Group, Ace Hood is a new breed of hip-hop artist: a down-to-earth rapper who has produced three studio albums and a barrage of mixtapes, and he's only 23 years old.
Born Antoine McColister, Hood grew up in Deerfield Beach. He and his four siblings were raised by his hard-working mother. He says it was "not a bad life. Life for me was just kind of regular. I grew up in the hood. My mother did what she needed to do in order to make sure we had and make sure we were straight at all times."
He started rapping at an early age. "I would actually go to Pompano, on Sample Road," he says of his old musical haunt. His rise to recognition began when he was 17 and confronted Khaled outside of the offices WEDR-FM Jamz (99.1), armed with a demo and hope. How he came about that sort of confidence "I don't even know, to be honest," he says, "I went out on faith... Soon as I seen him, I ran up to him and did a rap for him. He was actually on his way to a meeting. Didn't expect to get a deal or even get a chance to actually run into him. But God willed it, made it work."
A young Antoine always had the desire to rhyme. "I started around when I was in middle school. I would always play around with words that rhyme, whether it was Skittle, riddle, little, whatever the case may be. That's what I took music for, was people rhyming and putting words together. So when I got older, I started making sense."
Early on in high school, besides playing football, he wrote poetry. And he found his voice as a rapper.
"I learned over time that with music, you've got to be Picasso with the music, you've got to paint a picture with the things that you're saying, to have people actually relate to you," he says. "So after time, I learnt that, and it started being relatable."
After a football injury, he turned to what he loved next: music. "Why don't I just put all my chips in one basket and go for it?" he thought at the time. "It's just what I'm good at. I'm not so much of a college student. That ain't what I do, so let's make it work."
Ace Hood. Revolution Live. 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 7 p.m. Friday, March 30. Visit jointherevolution.net.
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