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You guys decided to come back after dropping your first critically acclaimed album The Show six years ago with your new EP, The Turning Point. Why now?
Masta Ace: The timing was right. Right after The Show, we went on the road for about a year and a half, almost two years. And then I went into the studio and did an album with Eric G. Wordsmith did a solo album. Punch came out with a solo album. And then, I put out Son Of Yvonne [with MF DOOM] in 2012. Then, finally everybody had calmed down at the same time from doing other things. The moons aligned properly. We knew we were gonna do it. It was just a matter of everybody having the free time of just putting our all into it. I had said when we were talking about doing it, I said, “I’m not doing this through the mail stuff.” The first album we were all in the studio together. We vibed together. We recorded the album together. I said, “Until we’re all standing still and ready to do it, then we’ll just wait until that time.” And now is the time.

Punchline: I guess it was the perfect time because we all did what we had to do solo wise. You know, I never released a solo project before. So I was able to do that during our time off. Words went and did his second one. Ace did the joint with Edo and solo. Strick ventured off and is doing the fireman thing. So everybody was kind of testing the waters doing all kind of things. And Strick got the single, "I Be Damn.” It’s just that time to come back together. It’s better now than ever because the music has changed from the last project. We all kind of grew and matured.

Chemistry is very important in a group, especially when you’re trying to develop your album and your sound. Knowing that you guys haven’t dropped an album in six years, were you guys concerned with the chemistry being the same entering this project?
Wordsworth: We’re not concerned about chemistry because we actually toured together. Within that time span of not doing an album, we were going on the road. If Ace tours, he’ll have Strick with him or he might have me with him, or he’ll have Punch with him. So on that note, we were still able to collaborate, be together, and keep the chemistry. So being together at shows here and there, it keeps us still well in tune.

What’s intriguing about the project is that you guys opted to have six skits and six tracks. What made you guys go in that direction for the EP?
Masta Ace: Well I love doing skits. I love telling stories on an album. I’m probably one of the overdo it guys when it comes to skits. But I like being able to tell a story. On the first album, The Show, we told the story of us robbing a town, and the promoter being late to pick us up. This kind of tells the tale of us going to a particular city to do a particular show. So, I felt like I wanted to continue in that tradition of telling a story. I figured the best way to set the album up on this EP was to tell the story of us trying to get back together. It was just me calling the fellas asking them what was going on. I wanted it to kind of revolve around them doing other stuff away from music. And I thought about the Blues Brothers. With that particular movie when John Belushi’s character was trying to get his band back together. He was going to see the guys. One guy was a chef. Another guy was doing some other stuff. Another guy had his wife with like 15 kids. So that was kind of the concept behind that. I felt like even though it was only six songs, we could really still entertain people in a short period of time. A 30 minute album could still entertain them and get them ready for the album that will be coming later.

What I found interesting was some of the names you guys had for your songs and skits. One was “Sweet Potato Fries”. I know that’s something the food lovers are going to enjoy. How did that title come about?
Masta Ace: [Laughs] Well that title just kind of popped into my head. I was listening to the beat and was just kind of vibing on what the hook might say. And then, for no reason, I just said, “Sweet potato fries.” I don’t know why. [Laughs] It felt good.

I thought you must have had some good sweet potato fries at Applebee’s or something. [Laughs]
Masta Ace: I’m sure I probably had right before. [Laughs] But it just kind of felt right. It felt right over that beat. It made no sense. You know, I like sometimes just doing that; just coming up with a title or hook that doesn’t make a lot of sense but it sounds cool and that was one of those.

Masta Ace’s eMC Group Breaks Down Their New “Charly Murphie” Record


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