Florida rapper Ace Hood hosted a listening session for his third studio album, Blood, Sweat & Tears, in New York City’s Jungle Studio last night (July 27) and was joined by the likes of mentor DJ Khaled and labelmate Fabolous, among others.
The event kicked off shortly after 8 p.m. as Khaled and Ace walked in the small, humid, full-to-capacity venue with a camera crew capturing each moment as they greeted those in attendance and introduced the album, slated for an August 9 street date.
“Today, we’re here for Ace Hood,” Khaled, who was sporting an ocean-blue linen button up with matching Nikes, told the crowd. “When I signed Ace Hood a few years ago, he was a young brother. He gave me his demo and he was just real hungry. You can tell the pain and hunger is real, at the same time, he’s a good peson and he has a certian glow. Ace is showing me and a lot of people he’s really hustlin’ hard.”
Ace, rocking a black tank top, a slew of diamond necklaces around his neck and a hat over his dreads, took the mic right after to thank those that have supported his career three-albums in, including DJ S&S, who was in attendance.
“I just want to say I appreciate everybody coming out to my listening session and supporting me as an artist,” he said. “This album is very, very, very special to me because it’s my lifestyle, truly what I went through, my struggles, my grind and what it took for me to actually get here.”
“This album is not so much describing or glorifyng the beautiful women or fancy cars, the jewelry, but it’s really that blue-collar-type music,” he added. “I’m really speaking on what goes on in the streets.”
Ace introduced the 12-track album one song at a time, playing bangers like “Memory Lane,” featuring singer/songwriter Kevin Cossom, in which he shouts out those that are no longer with us; The T-Pain-assisted opener “King of the Streets;” the latest single “Body 2 Body,” featuring Chris Brown, for which he said he shot the video that very day; and “Go N’ Get It,” also produced by “Hustle Hard” hot-in-the-streets producer, Lex Luger. The remix to the latter, which features Beanie Sigel, Styles P, Pusha T, “and like five other verses that they haven’t put on it yet,” as Khaled said, was also played.
In the end, after thanking his Def Jam family, including SVP Shawn “Pecas” Costner and President of Island Def Jam, Steve Bartels, Ace took the opportunity to remind attendees that the album is as honest as they come.
“I’m a survivor of all times,” he said. This album is all from my heart, all from what I’ve been through, nothing fabricated. This is truly where I am as a man and as a person right now.”—Mariel Concepcion