Aceyalone performing in 2005
|Edwin M. Hayes, Jr.|
|Born||September 30, 1970|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
Alternative hip hop
Underground hip hop
Experimental hip hop
Capitol, EMI Records
Edwin M. Hayes, Jr. (born September 30, 1970), better known by his stage name Aceyalone, is an American rapper from Los Angeles, California, United States. He is a member of Freestyle Fellowship, Haiku D'Etat and The A-Team and a co-founder of Project Blowed. Aceyalone is best known for his role in evolving left-field hip-hop on the West Coast at a time when the West Coast was dominated by Gangsta Rap.
Aceyalone emerged from the legendary Project Blowed collective, considered to be the longest-running open mic hip-hop workshop. He began rapping as part of the group Freestyle Fellowship, which consisted of himself, Myka 9, and Self Jupiter and, later, P.E.A.C.E.. Freestyle Fellowship developed a reputation for influencing a style of fast double-time rap used by rappers like Busta Rhymes and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
Following the Freestyle Fellowship releases of To Whom It May Concern... and Innercity Griots as well as a Project Blowed compilation in 1994, Aceyalone signed as a solo artist to Capitol Records after Island failed to break the Freestyle Fellowship on mainstream radio.
Aceyalone released his breakthrough solo debut album, All Balls Don't Bounce, in 1995. He returned three years later with his second album A Book of Human Language, a collaboration with producer Mumbles, which was a dark concept album.
His third solo album, Accepted Eclectic, was released in 2001, featuring Abstract Rude and production from Evidence. He released Hip Hop and the World We Live In in 2002. Aceyalone's next offering came a year later, and was titled Love & Hate. The track "Find Out" was featured on the soundtrack to You Got Served. In 2006, Aceyalone released Magnificent City, a collaborative album with producer RJD2, followed by the Grand Imperial mixtape.
Aceyalone frequently collaborates with producer Bionik such as on the 2007 release Lightning Strikes and the 2009 release Aceyalone & the Lonely Ones. Both albums explored different genres - dancehall and doo-wop respectively - as part of Aceyalone's goal of "exploring the world of music through hip hop." The Phil Spector-inspired Aceyalone & the Lonely Ones followed. Inspired by Spector's Wall of Sound, Motown and Bo Diddley, Aceyalone said: "I'm not from that era, but this is my ode to it. I'm just putting myself into that character as a showman and bandleader."Leanin' on Slick, released in 2013 with Decon Records, continued the retro flow of the previous release, this time taking inspiration from 1960s style-R&B and hot buttered soul.
Aceyalone has been noted particularly for his innovative lyrical style and content. Some attribute the double-time rap styles that emerged in the mid-1990s to Aceyalone and Freestyle Fellowship, although this is disputed by others.
Aceyalone and Freestyle Fellowship were noted for their rejection of the West Coast trend in Gangsta Rap. Aceyalone developed strong critiques of rap music's commercialization and glorification of violence.