A former rapper in the group Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone has long been a part of the west-coast school of hip-hop eclecticism that includes The Pharcyde, Dilated Peoples and Jurassic 5. ‘Accepted Eclectic’ exhibits flashes of inspiration and abstract expressionism that could really cross him over.
The title track, for instance, combines classical music horns that sound like it came from a Last Of The Summer Wine church fete with what sounds like music from a Disney cartoon, a sprinting beat, a bit of a recorder and some bongo drums all providing a beautifully congested sound. Aceyalone’s voice does not get lost however, as he rides the rhythm with equal pace, a flexible flow and some innovating lyrics.
Indeed, he flashes numerous styles throughout, like on ‘Golden Mic’ when he rhymes off beat while on a couple of other tracks he uses repetitious poetry as a form of communication. He also, following in the footsteps of the likes of Snoop Dogg, Nas, Jay-Z and Lil Kim adapts an old hip-hop song. In Aceyalone’s case, he brilliantly interprets Ed O.G.’s ‘I Gotta Have It Too’.
Unfortunately, these moments are all too rare to make this a great album. Indeed, the majority of ‘Accepted Eclectic’ is made up of tracks that feature a beat, a piano riff and little else. Too many of the tracks sound the same. Still, there’s enough on here to suggest that Aceyalone is a real creative hip-hop force to be reckoned with.
Derek A Bardowell