The Lonely Ones

Title: The Lonely Ones

Artist: Aceyalone

Label: Decon

Catalog No: DCN69

Release Date: March 31, 2009

Aceyalone is one of the godfathers of West Coast underground hip hop. As a member of Freestyle Fellowship and the larger Project Blowed collective, he helped establish a musical movement that countered the force of the popular California gangsta rap scene in the early 1990s. His first two solo releases, 1995’s All Balls Don’t Bounce and 1998’s A Book of Human Language, are considered classics and influenced a whole generation of underground lyricists. Aside from his solo work, Aceyalone has been a member of two notable groups, The A-Team (with Abstract Rude) and Haiku D’Etat (with Abstract Rude and Micah 9). The Lonely Ones is a Decon Records release and finds Acey somehow treading even newer waters.

This concept album finds Ace One rapping over 1950s-60s R & B/doo wop breakbeats. To further set the atmosphere, Acey includes skits set in an intimate night club, where he introduces songs in front of a live audience. All production is handled by frequent collaborator Bionik and manages to achieve stylistic diversity while maintaining the theme. There are many standout tracks on the CD including “Lonely Ones,” “Can’t Hold Back,” the masterful “The Way it Was,” and the fiery “Power to the People.” As usual, Aceyalone shines as he incorporates these older styles without ever sounding unconfident or corny. The album is appropriately ten tracks deep and thirty minutes long, ending before the theme wears thin.

Following is the official music video for “The Way It Was” featuring Bionik, courtesy of Decon Records, directed by Jason Goldwatch:

With The Lonely Ones, Aceyalone secures his status as the king of concepts. Only a select few could pull off an album like this and Aceyalone manages to sound completely fresh while pulling from elder styles. Becomes he has spent his entire career in the underground, Acey’s contribution to hip hop music and culture has been grossly overlooked. It is unfortunate that artists who consistently push the limits of hip hop have failed to get their deserved respect. Thankfully, Aceyalone and the like continue to produce creative music for those audiences willing to listen. The Lonley Ones by Aceyalone is a must have for Ace One fans and hip hop fans looking for a different sound.

Posted by Langston Collin Wilkins