Richie “Ace High” Acevedo
HipHopTown USA / Symphonic Distribution (release date: August 30, 2022)

By Robert M. Marovich

On Parable, hip hop artist Richie “Ace High” Acevedo chronicles his faith walk by leaning on his secular rap experience, with its emphasis on clever similes and incisive beats.

When they are not rapid, Acevedo’s rhymes are severe, thick, and measured. He’s a far better rapper than a singer. Most significantly, he captures the attention of listeners by diving into the pop music playbook, incorporating repetitive hooks, often repeating the same word or line in lock-step fashion. It’s what makes his work distinctive.

A few tracks find Acevedo reflecting on his former life. For example, on “March,” featuring The Artist Muneer, he views his former desire for worldly gain—“I used to want the gold and the chains”—as a salve for inner pain. He even produces added tension at one point in the track by rapping ahead of the beat. On “Get Out,” featuring Benzarelli, Acevedo acknowledges that he “thought it was the money, but the money brought the problems.” Love, rather than money, is the way to solve problems.

“Crucified” is the most interesting track on the album. Featuring a socially-relevant interstitial from poet and recording artist J. Ivy, the song declares that “If God ain’t in the midst, than what you’re digging is a hole.” Acevedo ties things together at the end with a mantra on “Fly Away:” “We don’t need that money ‘cause the blessing is the sky.” And with 25% of the song remaining, Acevedo is gone and all that’s left is the beat. He’s flown away.

Acevedo and a studio band called The Little Green Men made the album at the ARC Exhibit facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Like many holy hip hop albums and mixtapes, Parable requires repeated listening to fully understand the nuances.

Four of Five Stars

Pick: “Crucified”

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.