By Stephen Weir
Acie Earl, also known as Big Ace, has just delivered his latest literary slam dunk in Toronto, perfectly timed for the 50th anniversary celebration of the art of Hip Hop. Co-authored with his good friend Hans Haks, “135 Of The Most Influential Hip Hop & Rap Songs Of All Time And Why” is trending well on many sites
A former professional basketball player with an impressive career of eight years overseas and four years in the NBA, including stints with the Celtics, the Toronto Raptors, and the Bucks, Acie Earl played in 12 countries, earning three MVP awards in places such as Turkey, China, and Kosovo. While this marks his eighth book, this particular one has been co-written by Hans Schmitter, also known as Hans Solo and Haks 180.
The Caribbean Camera obtained an advanced copy of the book late last week, revealing a captivating journey into Acie’s personal connection with Hip Hop. Beyond exploring the music, the former NBA Raptor player, author, and coach invites readers to delve into the culture surrounding it.
Acie’s passion for the genre and its empowering essence began at the age of ten, a sentiment deeply ingrained in his core. The e-book features a collection of songs, not presented as a ranking but as a blend of new school, old school, and artists from various regions worldwide. Readers are encouraged to be the judge of this eclectic mix.
The book highlights iconic songs, starting with “Planet Rock” by Africa Bambaataa and culminating at #135 with “End to End Burners” by Company Flow. Acie’s engaging commentary adds a humorous and intriguing touch to each song, providing readers with a deeper understanding.
In talking about Number 29, “Can’t Touch This, by M.C Hammer, Acie reveals that M.C. Hammer wanted to be his agent. “It was easy to dance to, and probably still today, and the song had a fun video to boot,” wrote the author. “I think it sold like over 30 million copies or something, like how crazy. The crazy thing is he used to call my apartment after my senior season in Iowa to try to be my sports agent for the NBA. He delved into pro player management as an agent for a bit. I almost signed with him (but his dad talked him out of it).
The book also pays homage to Tag Team’s version of “Who Let The Dogs Out,” emphasizing its infectious appeal that gets women dancing every time it plays at events and weddings. Acie’s love for Toronto is evident, especially when discussing Drake. Acknowledging the challenge of picking the best Drake song, he highlights “Started From The Bottom” at #80, commending Drake’s journey from a young artist in Toronto to a box office hit and a fixture at Toronto Raptors games.
Acie Earl’s dedication to his craft on the basketball court seamlessly transitions into his passion for promoting basketball and its significance in the community. As an ambassador for ’13 Rules Inc.,’ founded by Raptor Co-Founder David Strickland, Acie contributes to bridging the gap between music, basketball, and cultures. The organization aims to spotlight the people and moments that have shaped basketball, exemplified by their recent release, “13 Rules,” featuring Acie Earl alongside former Raptors Tracy Murray and Jimmy King, David Strickland, and other notable Canadian artists.
In summary, Acie Earl’s latest literary endeavor is not just a celebration of influential Hip Hop and Rap songs but a testament to his enduring passion for both basketball and cultural collaboration. Through insightful anecdotes and a diverse song selection, Acie invites readers on a compelling journey through the vibrant world of Hip Hop.