Going back to the basics is often a must for most, yet for Ace Hood, it was a choice. After showing admirable growth in his last mixtape, Starvation, Ace reverts to his hustling ways on Body Bag Volume 2, supplying a blitz of street bangers while tackling minimal personal experiences in his lyrics, which he did on the last release. Now under the YMCMB conglomerate along with the rest of DJ Khaled’s We The Best Music Group, Mr. Hood zeroes in on becoming the “big superstar” Birdman thinks he can on his new his tape.

The tape’s opener, “Gutta Back,” precisely preludes the remaining tracks while alluding to his fan base’s call for him to recapture the zone he was in when he churned out “Hustle Hard” rather than sustaining the direction he was headed towards with Starvation. Ace answers the call with the hard-hitting, Jahlil Beats-produced “B.L.A.B,” the mixtape’s standout that picks up where he left off on his 2011 mixtape Body Bag Vol. 1 with “Go n Get It.” Still, Khaled’s protégé also provides “Rosaries,” a song that will captivate the new fans he made with Starvation. “Lost my dawg when I was 17/Knucklehead, he sold dope to fiends/Swear to God, the shit hurt me, dawg/Swear to God, I went AWOL/And, you wonder why I keep my fire tucked/Believe in God, but don’t pray enough,” Ace professes on the cut.

On “Wanna Beez” and “Leggo,” the former XXL Freshman beguilingly boasts about his enticing lifestyle and possessions on wax over A1 beats by Jahlil, Mike WiLL Made It and Sonny Digital. He attempts to do the same on “Lottery,” yet Kevin Cossom’s subpar rap skills weaken the track’s appeal and the clichéd chorus similarly takes away—a fact also true on “Flex.” Where Cossom failed, respected veterans Bun B (“Double Cup”) and Juicy J (“Geek’n”) excelled, as expected.

The second installment of his Body Bag series features an assortment of producers and less production from labelmates The Renegades. Still, there must be something in the Florida waters because when it comes to picking beats, Ace Hood and fellow FL native Rick Ross have peerless ears for dope sound waves. Body Bag Volume 2 takes a page out of one of Ace’s old books to write his new chapter as one of YMCMB’s reliable talents. —Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)