Mic Sol & Ace One
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Mic Sol & Ace One

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Band Hip Hop

Calendar

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Dec
11
Mic Sol & Ace One @ Locals Only

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Nov
16
Mic Sol & Ace One @ Melody Inn

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Nov
13
Mic Sol & Ace One @ Locals Only

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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Music

Press


Mic Sol and A.C.E. O.N.E. have performed as a hip-hop duo in Indy for years. This week will see the release of their first collaborative album, The Light. After hundreds of shows, the two MCs write with the audience in mind, and each song's energy easily translates to a live setting.

Mic produced the majority of the tracks. "The way I handpicked the beats for this album, I only went with stuff I know will pop live," Mic explains. "That's part of the whole light concept.Stepping on stage, reaching for the light and changing your attitude, being more positive."

That positive vibe doesn't necessarily come with a moral message, and lyrics can be simultaneously crass and uplifting. Songs have a celebratory, party vibe laced with beats and rhymes, with trunk rattling beats and thick, Seventies soul samples diced up to a fine mix. Mic Sol and A.C.E. O.N.E. know that if they're having fun, most likely the crowd will be too.

SP Star, who engineered the project and drops a few 16's, elaborates. "People who come out negative rapping, gangster rapping or whatever, they don't last. It's the people who've been positive who are still around. It gives us the legs, the longevity. It keeps people wanting to listen. We've got a positive outlook on life."

"When Mic first gave me the album music, I was just like, damn, we just did the live show," A.C.E. O.N.E. says. "I can definitely see it coming from the fact that we have done a ridiculous amount of shows. We try to spark some movement."

Beats were often tested live before they ever had solid lyrics in order to gauge crowd response.

In 2005, Mic was in the midst of recording his first solo album, Flowgun, a dense attack of multi-syllabic rhyme schemes. He hustled the album to anyone in the local rap scene who would give a listen. After the future collaborators shared a bill, Mic began inviting Ace on stage to spit verses during his songs, cutting out a verse or two to let Ace drop one of his own in its place.

A.C.E. on call

Perhaps A.C.E. developed his husky growl as a defensive mechanism. The kids on Dearborn Street were tough.

"I remember one time I had my arms held behind my back, and this dude was going to have his little sister mess me up with a roller skate," A.C.E. recalls. "Her and her three brothers, and they were all dwarfish. One time they chased me into my own house with a butcher knife. It was a wild childhood, but I loved every minute of it."

A.C.E. works with four other music groups, so time to finish the album was scarce.

"Honestly, I think it's so cool how A.C.E. does all this stuff because he's out there all the time, even when I can't be," Mic says. "He's on stage almost every night."

So when does A.C.E. have a chance to write lyrics?

"I'll be at work, and I have to just stop and find something to write on real quick," A.C.E. details. "Or I'll just keep going over lyrics in my head 'til I know it. "

Besides work and a bladder-happy puppy at home, A.C.E.'s life is music. When he's not in the studio or on the bill, he's out supporting other artists.

Stepping back

After fighting his way into Indy's rap scene, Mic became as busy as A.C.E., performing solo and in groups. But just as things became intense, Mic stepped out of the light.

The biggest change came in 2007, when Mic suffered the loss of his mother.

"It was real tough, I was real close with her," Mic explains. "It really made me go into a whole new perspective. At the time I was so focused on music, doing shows three or four nights a week. When she was in the hospital, I would go see her a lot, but I didn't think it was as serious as it was. Here I am all about my music, my music, and I wake up and I'm losing my mom. I had to step back and say, 'What's going on?' This is deeper than music."

When Mic returned to writing, he felt he "had to express everything I was going though in the songs. That's where the idea of The Light came from."

Following the grieving process, he married local singer MVL and bought a house."I wasn't used to mowing the lawn and shit!" Mic jokes of the transition to adulthood. "Back in the day I'd be able to go out every night...Now I actually like my job."

During his sabbatical from the scene, Mic worked on his beat-making chops. The production on the record is as essential as the raps.

Rhymes were wood-shopped during the recording process. Admitting his first album was dense, Mic would spend days writing one verse, cramming everything he was thinking into each song. In his new work, the pace is more comfortable, and the listener has time to think about the wordplay.

- Nuvo Newsweekly, T.J. Reynolds


In a nutshell: Hundreds of inventive rhymes matched to retro soul and funk samples.

Fan finder: The pop-culture riffing of Mic Sol and the rough-hewn charisma of Ace One should appeal to fans of progressive Indianapolis hip-hop as defined by the Mudkids, Twilight Sentinels and Twin Monster.

That's a keeper: "The Light" opens with "Royal Heist," in which the collaborators build upon one another's punch lines in an homage to Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction." Mic Sol serves up references to Vincent, Jules and Big Kahuna burgers, and Ace One answers with the appropriate "Allow me to retort" and an allusion to an R-rated message stitched on a wallet.

Didn't see it coming: As meticulous as the words and beats are crafted, the album suffers from slipshod transitions from track to track.

Selling points: This duo needs no help with promotion. As heard on "Royal Heist," "We're the Beatles on the rooftop, Hendrix at Monterey, Al Green at the Apollo or Cannonball Adderley." - Indianapolis Star, head music writer Dave Lindquist


Discography

Mic Sol "Flowgun" 2006

Mic Sol & Ace One "The Light" 2010
at
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-light/id385395154

Photos

Bio

Over 200 shows strong, Mic Sol & Ace One's stage personas and energy are sure to ignite any crowd. The two hardworking MCs are known for their work ethic. They are also frequent collaborators with Indianapolis legends, Mudkids. "Lotta Love", the song Sol recorded with Rusty Redenbacher of the Mudkids, and Ace One, has received rotation on local Indianapolis radio stations. They have also opened for Method Man & Redman, Black Sheep, Killah Priest, Canibus, Digable Planets, C-Rayz Walz, Matisyahu, and Cypress Hill.

Mic Sol and Ace One’s debut album "The Light". was released in summer 2010. The album received 3 1/2 stars and a glowing review from Dave Lindquist, the head writer for the largest local newspaper, The Indianapolis Star. The album is a high energy throwback to positive minded hiphop with a message, but can still get the crowd jumpin'. The album is highlighted by top notch lyrics & beats with a humorous party vibe accented by life lessons, introspection and social protest. They have been voted the # 1 & # 2 hiphop group by the readers of Nuvo, a highly-circulated Indianapolis underground music magazine, for 2 of the past 3 years.

Mic Sol & Ace One have performed at local venues including The Vogue, Murat Egyptian Room, The Jazz Kitchen, Ugly Monkey, Birdy's, Locals Only, Bleecker Street, The Casba, Melody Inn, Ice Ultra Lounge, Mousetrap, Slamology car show 2007, 2008 & 2009, the annual Muncie Music Festival, Barley Island Brewing Co., Club Therapy, United States of Mind, the now defunct Spin Nightclub, Club Insomnia and performed at Oranje 2008 & 2010, a local art and music event in downtown Indianapolis.. They also have performed outside of Indianapolis in such cities as Bloomington, IN, Columbus, OH, & Muncie, IN, Louisville, KY and Lexington, KY.