Def Jam South President DJ Khaled recently talked about his belief in rapper Ace Hood and how the Florida-bred artist had to make a name for himself with his own grind.
Admitting he helped Hood at the start of his career, Khaled said he finally had to let him generate his own buzz this past year.
“Body 2 Body,” the third single from “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” has also connected. Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E League and featuring Chris Brown, the song is an ’80s synthesizer-driven slow jam that is No. 56 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. As “Blood, Sweat & Tears” rolls out, Ace Hood looks to be finally breaking out from under the wing of mentor and Def Jam South president Khaled. “The first two albums I brought him out and I stood beside him every day,” Khaled says. “[But] I had to let him do what he needed to do to get respect. So instead of me opening the door for him, I had him kick the door down. And now other artists want to work with him [and] people that doubted him are fans now.” (Billboard)
Despite the fame, Hood recently revealed his past money woes.
“The low point of my career was after my second album dropped,” Hood revealed in an interview. “My second project wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be. Nothing went wrong [with my situation]. But it was a little rushed and it just kinda happened. I was going through a lot of personal issues and financial issues. I was feeling fine, but being in that star light, people don’t like to admit to the struggle. It was definitely a huge struggle for me at that time. It was a struggle not having a record out, not being played on radio, and not doing as many shows as I’d like to. My family going through things, dealing with eviction notices. I got an eviction notice at my condo. My girl called me and she was upset telling me what happened. I was trying to work it out with the landlord to get an extension and pay everything off.” (Complex)
Recently, Hood talked to SOHH about his “Hustle Hard” remix.
“[Rick] Ross has always been supportive of my career. He had already heard the original and loved it. So with him, I went to his crib and asked him to be a part of [the remix as well]. He did his verse and shot that back to me ASAP. Alotta people tell me this is that record you play when you don’t wanna wake up because it makes you wanna get up and do something [and] be something. That’s a good feeling. To even be back with a record as big as “Hustle Hard” feels good.” (SOHH Singled Out)
A couple years ago, Khaled described his belief in Hood’s movement.
“A lot of people don’t know, Ace Hood is one of the most selling new rap artists,” Khaled explained in an interview. “It’s hard to sell a lot of records these days; that’s what they sayin’, right? But at the same time, if I look at other new rap artists that came out in the last two years, like new artists on his level, he sold more. It’s not even like that with me [with sales.] It’s about making Ace into a superstar, which he is gonna be, one of the big superstars in the game.” (XXL Mag)
Check out some recent Ace Hood footage below: