Driven by health, spirituality, self-sovereignty, and social consciousness, Ace Hood knows that true power comes from independence. Following the example of the historic Black trailblazers who preceded him, and looking to set an example of his own, Ace shares “Greatness,” the latest video from his recent M.I.N.D. (Memories Inside Never Die) EP, available everywhere via Hood Nation / EMPIRE.
Enlisting the help of Killer Mike, the track serves as a celebration of Black excellence which finds the two artists taking stock of the many hardships they faced along their journeys before laughing at the failures of those who aimed to derail their rises, as Killer Mike raps, “A greater man, I’m greater than any hater, man/I started off serving hand-to-hand in Decatur, man.”
Directed by Alex Heider, who recently connected with Ace for the powerful “At War” and “Free” videos, “Greatness” opens with the image of Ace sitting in a home office decorated with antique furnishings, before transitioning to the interspersed portraits of Black historical figures lining the home’s mahogany walls.
Those immortalized in the portraits include Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to go to space; Arthur Ashe, the first Black athlete to win many of tennis’ most prized tournaments; Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress and first Black person to run for US presidency; and Young Dolph and Nipsey Hussle, both revolutionaries of independence in hip-hop.
After paying homage to the leaders that paved the way for them to achieve their own “Greatness,” the last two portraits are revealed, capturing the heroic images of Ace Hood and Killer Mike.
Featuring recent singles like the boldly aspirational, “Glory,” and the glowingly self-assured, “Little Light,” M.I.N.D. marked a fresh, new start for Ace. Enlisting fellow independent veteran and outspoken activist Killer Mike for the project’s sole feature, the project is animated by a clear social message that dissects the mentality required to triumph over personal and generational trauma.
Whether he’s celebrating the spoils of his hard-earned self-sovereignty as an artist on tracks like “Living Legend,” or grappling with long-standing structures which serve to deny him that autonomy as a black man on songs like “Free,” M.I.N.D. serves as Ace’s testament to the universal truths found only by looking inward.
“Knowledge is power,” asserts Ace Hood. “The key is to work together to further each other. I speak on a human level because at some point I, or a loved one, have been affected by the issues I speak about in my rhymes. I believe people need a fearless representation of what these issues look like.”