Making his name with invigorating turn-up anthems before choosing a new path, Ace Hood is determined to use his insight and his influence to help people like him. In his new video “Free,” Ace examines some common hardships faced by Black men, and dreams of a way the world could be different. Using an addictive, conversationally melodic flow over a whirring synth beat and stadium-sized percussion, Ace astutely summarizes a litany of problems–from gun violence, to police brutality, to poverty and hunger–and empathizes with those less fortunate than he: “You can’t save me from my darkness/You can’t save me from myself/In this world one can become heartless/When your skin tone makes you a target/I just wanna be free.”
“Being free to me is living in an unconditional space rather than the conditional state,” says Ace Hood. “To me, freedom is the mastering and understanding of self. To not be bound by any label.”
Directed by Alex Heider of Good Boy Films, the video for “Free” positions Ace as a fly on the wall as three individuals experience situations that test their character: Police assault a young Black man–wielding nothing but a cell phone–as he takes a break from his shift at work, a Black man on a date with a white woman resists the impulse to commit violence when two suspicious bar patrons accost him, and a young child painfully witnesses his loving mother in an abusive relationship. Ace dons a white priestly raiment and welcomes the three characters to a world where they can finally be free.
“We all struggle with understanding ourselves and we all process things very differently, but it’s important to remember that we are not our experiences,” says Ace about his new video. “These things happen to us so we can learn to feel, adapt, and rise above. Hopefully, those lessons can help us create and model the change we would like to see in the world. In the ‘Free’ video, I lay down on the test table as the old me and rise as the new. This is me recharging and shifting into a higher form of myself, but as that happens, I start to experience traumatic memories that are subconsciously happening in my mind.”
“Free” is a highlight track from M.I.N.D. (Memories Inside Never Die), a new EP. Featuring recent singles like the boldly aspirational, “Glory,” and the glowingly self-assured, “Little Light,” M.I.N.D. marks a fresh, new start for Ace, with lyrics that reflect the mentality required to confront personal and generational trauma. A ten-track effort filled with the thought-provoking subject matter and inventive flows, M.I.N.D. serves as Ace’s testament to the universal truths found only by looking inward. As revealed in a trailer that Ace released last week, M.I.N.D. (Memories Inside Never Die) EP arrives this Friday, February 25th, via Hood Nation/EMPIRE.
Watch “Free”: https://youtu.be/Y_f39gA0paY
Pre-save M.I.N.D. (Memories Inside Never Die): https://music.empi.re/mind