Few rappers have the work ethic and stamina of Florida’s Ace Hood. With over a decade in the rap game, Ace has continually released anthemic and inspiring music, paired with club bangers and technically sharp raps. His latest single, “Untouchable State of Mind,” a stormy collaboration with GRAMMY-winning super producer !llmind presented by 1800 Tequila, in celebration of National Tequila Day, harnesses his kind and forward-thinking spirit.
“I’m just conscientious of giving people content that I feel will help move them forward in some way, you know, inspire people,” Ace Hood tells me over the phone. “I want them to be strong. I want them to be powerful.” Clocking in as a three-minute long bar-fest, “Untouchable State of Mind” feels just as the title implied, with Ace himself feeling more confident than ever when he stepped into the booth.
“I felt confident, excited, and I felt strong,” he says, in no small part thanks to !llmind’s fantastic production, made on the spot at Audiomack Studios in New York. “As soon as I walked in, [!llmind and I] clicked. I liked his mindset and what he stood for as a person: a man of integrity. I think it’s good that we crossed paths.”
“Ace is one of the most skilled and most professional artists I’ve ever worked with,” !llmind told us via email. “He’s super open-minded to concepts and really locked into his craft. He made my job as a producer really easy.”
Over the phone and in the music, it sounds as if Ace Hood is in the best place of his life thus far, and as he tells me, the only place to go from here is up.
DJBooth’s full interview with Ace Hood, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.
DJBooth: "Untouchable State of Mind" is airtight, from the beat to the bars to the delivery. What was your process as you were writing?
Ace Hood: The process is always just to give people a piece of my mind and [show] the current state that I’m in. I’m conscientious of giving people content that I feel will help move them forward in some way, you know, inspire people. That’s what my thought process was: deliver something to people that they could be inspired by, that could move them forward, and in a very different way. I want them to be strong. I want them to be powerful.
What’s the headspace you try to get into when you step into the booth?
A place of truth and honesty. I’m always trying to make sure I’m as present as possible, so for me, it’s always [about] being able to listen to what music is asking me. What the beat, or the instrumental, or the moment is asking me, and what I feel like I need to address and what people need to hear from my perspective. That’s my thought process overall, and to have fun and make sure I can give people something they could rock to but still be informed.
What was the beat asking of you on “Untouchable State of Mind”?
I was feeling confident, honestly. I was feeling really confident. I was excited to work with !llmind for the first time. He’s doing a lot of great things. For me, mainly, I felt confident, excited, and I felt strong. I really did feel untouchable. Feeling proud of where I am, feeling proud of being able to connect with a brand like 1800 and do something special… That’s really the headspace that I was in mainly. I had a good time recording.
What energy did you have with !llmind? Did he have the beat ready?
He made it on the spot! I’m in a place now in my career where I’m creating—especially working towards my album—and I’m very excited about making things from scratch. Before, it was very different. Producers sent things through email and had beats pre-prepared, which is fine, but really stepping into it and creating something from scratch was very inspiring and dope in all aspects. As soon as I walked in, we clicked. I liked his mindset and what he stood for as a person: a man of integrity. I think it’s good that we crossed paths.
With over a decade in the game, how do you still have the energy to churn out tracks like “Untouchable State of Mind”?
I live that. I live this constantly. I’m constantly training, constantly working. I’ve always been full of energy because I was active in sports growing up. At this point in my life, it’s about me becoming better: more healthy, mind clear, raising my frequency, becoming the best person that I could possibly be. That’s how I’ve been able to do it: sharpening myself on a personal level. And by me sharpening on a personal level, it’s really transferred musically. It’s exciting, man. I’m in a place where music is very exciting for me. I love music; I love creating. I’m very, very excited for people to see what I’m capable of on a large level. That’s also another thing, too, knowing that I have something special in that people are only getting the very, very beginning.
It sounds like you’re in a great place. What’s next for you?
Continue elevating myself more and more, because that’s only going to make me better. For me, I just believe in becoming the best version of myself possible. That’s what I’m preaching to people. It’s about setting goals and knowing that you could put the time and energy in, and you could create your life in whatever way you want to create it… I don’t wanna give unrealistic expectations, but I will grow, I will get better, I will continue to elevate as a creative mind. People could definitely expect that. I’m just looking to expand and as long as I have that mindset, everything else will continue to evolve and grow at a great pace.