Ace Miyamoto on Saturday's Everfresh 101: 1995-'96 Edition and substance-lacking hip-hop

Ace Miyamoto's his given name, but he's known by a few other handles: Acezi, Ronin or just plain Ace, as we know him. Part producer, part MC, part promoter, Ace is involved in many diverse projects that require him to utilize all of the skills listed on his resume. Whether he's performing with one of his bands, promoting a show or streaming his online show, Grits!, he's always grinding for the good of hip-hop.

In advance of Everfresh 101: 1995-'96 Edition, the show he helped organize taking place tomorrow night at Casselman's, in which a cast of local luminaries will re-create classic cuts from hip-hop's golden era, we stole a moment of the renaissance man's valuable time to get the details on this and his many other projects.

Westword (Nicole Cormier): Okay, so you're an extremely busy man. By my count, you are involved with at least two separate groups, the Paradox and LAMP, and you have your solo projects. Tell us about each and how they are different.

Ace Miyamoto: The Paradox is my first musical endeavor. It started out as a hip-hop duo in 1999 and blossomed into a full live band playing an eclectic mix of styles over the years. At the moment, the Paradox is in the middle of yet another metamorphosis. So who knows how we will look or sound the next time you see us? I kind of like the idea of that. And the people keep coming so...something's going right.

LAMP! I love Lamp! Pun intended. This is my favorite of all the projects that I'm working on currently. It is an alt-post hip-hop band featuring Daren Hahn on drums, QKnox on keys, Casey Sidwell on bass, GypDaHip as DJ, and BigHouse, plus myself, as the MCs. If you dig the local live-music scene, you would know that this is an excellent combination of musicians/writers for a hip-hop ensemble -- and the reason I'm so excited about this project. We are currently working on our first LP, and we play every second and fourth Wednesday at Appaloosa Bar & Grill [16th and Welton streets].

Ronin001: White Lotus is my first solo joint, which features music by the GirlGrabbers, Justin Kephart and Greg Savage. It is written and produced by me, except where specified. Sometimes you gotta go for what you know, and that is what this project means for me.

Viewing myself as a non-conformist, I feel like I have been professionally hampered by the last few years of substance-lacking hip-hop music. So this project is a swift and blatant attack against that system for a number of reasons, the simplest being I'm too old to be running around acting foolish and talking about nothing. After a certain age, that looks tacky.

In addition, I feel there are a lot of folks out there, especially in this city, who still support good music, who grew up listening to the same version of hip-hop I did and are waiting for something to fill the void.

The Ronin series is an attempt at that, and I hope everybody likes it. There is also of a series of updates and sequels to Ronin to be released, all with an underlining and evolving fictional subplot to be distributed via some crazy attributed media scheme I have yet to figure out -- but look out for that as well, please.

Ww: Beyond all that, you also run Grits!. What's the story on that, and where can we tune in?

AM: Grits! is a show found at, YouTube and Ustream that is produced by Tid Wid and TVMA. The show is broadcast via the Internet bi-weekly and features a mixture of artist-friendly content ranging from original material to coverage of community and cultural news, arts and events. We are currently at the halfway point of our first season and very thankful for the support everybody has given us thus far.

Ww: The latest project you're working on is Everfresh 101: 1995 - '96 Edition at Casselman's on August 28. Tell us about the project and what we can expect at the show.

AM: This was an idea loosely born from a reoccurring conspiracy-theory conversation about the "dumbing down" of entertainment to control the masses, and how hip-hop was the tool of choice. The fuel for that argument was how intelligent hip-hop was in the '80s and '90s in contrast to the present.

So fast forward to Grits! needing a season-one halfway mark and live event/party. Some of the best in local hip-hop talent is coming on board to help re-create classic songs from hip-hop's golden era for the first installment of Everfresh 101: 1995-'96 Edition at Casselman's, brought to you by Grits!.

Ww: So you are an MC, producer, promoter and DJ. What else do you have on your heaping plate?

AM: Ha! That's all for now. Maybe after one or two of the current projects start flying right, I will move to Haiti for five years and run for president.

MP3: Ronin 001: White Lotus

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Nicole Cormier