Ace Amin Is Ready For The Spotlight

Artwork: Battle Rap Bum

When us at LTBR released our mid-year power rankings for battlers, to say we caught a little bit of flack would be putting it mildly. But for all the dialogue surrounding our list, one thing we didn’t see anyone disputing was the inclusion of Ace Amin. If anything, people may have made the argument he should be higher. Ace Amin is in the middle of his career year, something 4 and a half years in the making. And with Summer Madness on the horizon, that work and growth should be paid off with a slot on Summer Madness with the extremely well promoted battle between Ace and reigning Champion of the Year, Rum Nitty.

Rum Nitty/Ace Amin Is Summer Madness Worthy

We all love Rum Nitty. Here at LTBR we even wrote a celebratory piece on him winning COTY and what it meant to his career. He deserves to get any name he wants, we all know that. But if those names we want to see are all still falling through for whatever the various reasons may be, Nitty still has the desire to battle and not just wait around for whatever legendary name to finally sign a contract. If those names aren’t willing to battle, it sucks but we all know Nitty has never had a problem giving shots. With that being the case, Ace has done more than enough to deserve the opportunity to battle Nitty and based on the level of their promo, have done more than enough to be on Summer Madness. 

They took a battle that people were skeptical about and turned it into a legitimately in-demand battle with a wave of momentum behind it. On top of that, this battle may be between two guys who may very well possibly be the best two writers in battle rap currently. 

The quality of the battle shouldn’t even be a question, Nitty is an all-time great and has proven himself to be a big stage monster and the reality is, Ace has done nothing but impressive every time he’s been on a stage. As a culture, we can’t complain about when battlers don’t promo enough and then proceed to not reward the battlers who go that extra mile to sell the fight and the event. The time is now for Ace Amin that the years spent honing his skills have paid off and for URL to see if the star potential they saw in Ace back in 2019, is still there 4 and a half years later.


Like a few other people, my first time hearing the name Ace Amin was due to the fact that Nu Jerzey Twork praised him so highly on Twitter. I searched for battles of his and the ones against TD Berry and Jon Doe were the major standouts for me. He was still extremely new to battle rap and raw as a talent, only having competed in one-rounders, but the potential was clear. 

Fast forward to Banned Legacy 1, where the battle rap streets started to talk more and more about Ace and how he was a standout of the weekend from his battle with Fuse Da General. The momentum continued to roll for Ace following Banned Legacy 2 and a dominant performance vs Burke Bucs, which really got the ball rolling for the Goonies vs Cave Gang rivalry that sadly never got paid off. After 2 great PG performances, Ace was poised to be the face of his class and possibly the next era-defining star. What all transpired afterward is a combination of his own fault, but mostly how perception becomes reality in battle rap.

"Too Many Interviews"

As Ace’s name started to bubble more, people started to recognize him from the now infamous interview he did with DJ Smallz Eyez following his return home after 10 years in prison. It was a small glimpse at the articulate, analytical side of Ace and it serves as to why it shouldn’t have been so surprising that Ace became such a great guest whenever he appeared on Champion. Beyond that though, Ace became a student of the game when he decided to pursue battle rap. And part of that learning was understanding the value of promotion. 

Ace’s talent in the ring spoke for itself and already commanded attention, but his meteoric rise in 2019 can’t be separated from his promotional work. Ace went from being one of battle rap’s most mysterious people to someone extremely accessible. As much insight as he did offer, at the end of the day, he is still a battle rapper so it wasn’t surprising to see Ace start to troll and make incendiary comments toward other battle rappers (the infamous “Fuck The Vets” campaign) or talk highly of himself. 

The level of promotion Ace offered was a double-edged sword. On one hand, this is what fans and media always tell battlers to do: promote. To keep yourselves visible and create a demand for people to want to see you. And doing that can garner your fan’s attention, but it also creates people who want to see you fail. And when you add on the affiliation with the Goonies and a lot of the negative stigmas surrounding the group (choking, too much talking, unprofessionalism), there was a subset of consumers who wanted nothing to do with Ace because of all these factors.

Ace Amin vs Snake Eyez was scheduled to go down at Banned Legacy 3, but didn’t go down due to Ace losing his voice. Kudos to both men here though for going on one of the more impressive promo runs of the last decade, because that work got them added to the Summer Madness: Reloaded card. Now, we can debate the merits of this event counting as a “real” Summer Madness appearance for either man, but I feel like that conversation is dismissive of what these guys accomplished and unnecessary. Bottom line, Ace Amin in his 3rd battle on URL (and 7th battle overall), a rookie in the purest sense of the word, was on a card headlined by Murda Mook. And it wasn’t because he was a “plant” or “Beasley’s cousin”, it was the remarkable groundwork that he did in the ring and out of it that made it a decision URL was comfortable with. And the bet on them did pay off, Ace looked extremely comfortable on the stage.

There is something to be said about how the battle might not have the highest replay value because of some of the nonsense and arguing that takes place (Snake also had a 10-minute round), but despite that, both guys were impressed and Ace didn’t look out of place at all on the card. Ace followed that up with a dominant victory over Jey The Nitewing, who was also one of the faces of this new class, at Survivor Series. Ace’s stock was soaring and after passing every test thrown at him, URL took a chance and gave him and another member of his class a spot on Volume 5. And well…we know how this part goes.

Perception Is Everything

As usual with Ace, the promo leading into the Swamp battle was excellent with diss tracks being exchanged and a very fun faceoff. When the battle was announced, there was a tangible excitement in the air. One of these guys was going to take the baton and solidify themselves as the face of the new class. What transpires is a thing that would stick with Ace to this day. In the biggest spotlight of his career to that point, Ace chokes and stumbles in all 3 rounds, barely even putting up a fight other than the 2nd round where you see the flashes of greatness. It was disappointing and ugly.

This goes back to the topic of promo being a double-edged sword. The same strategy that fueled Ace getting these looks in 2019 is what people began to hold against him at his lowest point. That’s the nature of the beast when it comes to self-promotion in any medium, but in battle rap where people clamored for years for the likes of JC, Rum Nitty, Ave, and Ill Will to get certain looks, the pushback from the other side always came down to the “lack of promo”. A battler came through, understood the value of promotion, and used it to his advantage, but got penalized by some people for it. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t the situation for battlers because no promo can be used to justify not getting opportunities. 

But if you do promo and don’t have a unanimously positive outcome, it’s used as a reason as to why you shouldn’t get a shot again. Once the stigma of choking got attached to Ace, people could barely have a dialogue about him without it being mentioned. And Ace has to wear that Swamp battle on his jacket and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the occasional stumbling from Ace in prior battles didn’t help matters, but this label of Ace always choking or having a track record of that isn’t accurate at all and circles back to how once you’re perceived a certain way, it’s hard to shake.

Are We Battling?

Following the Swamp battle, Ace returned with dominance beating Holmzie The God. After that, the first iteration of Ultimate Madness was on the horizon, in which Ace would be a participant. Ace’s performances in the first two rounds weren’t his best work, but it was enough to get him past Bad Newz and Brooklyn Hanz, and have a battle set against Fonz in the semi-finals. Before the battle can happen, an unfortunate altercation between Ace and John John Da Don takes place outside. There’s a legitimate argument that Ace missed out on being on NOME, winning the tournament and 25k because of this. 


This would mark nearly a year-long absence from URL following this battle. Ace Amin and John John Da Don were supposed to be locked in to battle for the UM1 class’ Rookies vs Vets series, as a way to rectify and move past the prior incident. That battle never took place in 2020 and it left Ace on ice while the rest of his peers got looks and took full advantage. Kid Chaos had 3 more battles in 2020 on URL after UM1, Real Sikh had 2, Eazy The Block Captain had 2, Jey The Nitewing had 2. All 4 of those guys would go on to make the Champion of the Year list in 2020, and this isn’t even including the winner of UM1 Fonz who also did. 

In a year, Ace went from being the leading face and voice of his class to not even being in the starting 5. And it’s for reasons that weren’t even entirely his fault. The Swamp battle was a stain, but in UM1 he was beating his competition and got derailed by a situation that went far beyond battle rap and the business never came together for him to get his promised plate. Who knows how we’d be viewing Ace right now if he got to have a 2nd half of 2020 as strong as his peers.

The Almost Year. 2021-22

Ace Amin and John John Da Don communicated and took business into their own hands. They cut out URL and did their own venture, booking their battle on Bullpen. Immediately, this battle was the talk of the culture and is a significant point in the COVID era of battle rap because this was the first big stage, ticket-selling event since URL’s Genesis card in 2020. This battle was hotly anticipated and a true test for Ace. Facing someone of John John’s stature, on a stage, in a city where JJDD resides and does business, it had all the makings of an uphill battle for Ace.

 He passed the test with flying colors, having a debatable battle with a legend in hostile territory and looking very comfortable on a big stage, something that up to that point, he was the only member of his class to do. With that looming cloud of the way, it was time for Ace to return to URL. After having a debatable with one of the best battlers of all time, it was time for Ace to battle…Jimz apparently. 


Straight up, this matchup booking is completely inexplicable. In an interview we did with Ace from May, he said he harbors no animosity towards URL but feels like they didn’t want to reward him for a major battle off of the league. It’s old news and water under the bridge, but it still doesn’t make any sense how they could see the level Ace can perform at with one of the greats and feel like this was a fitting battle for his return. 

NOME 11 comes around and Ace misses out on being part of the event despite the fact the card is filled with guys from his class like Lu Castro, Jey, Eazy, and Fonz. Nonetheless, Ace continues to push forward. He has a judged L to Cortez following this, but the reality is Ace won the battle when it got released on every poll and on the app. His 2nd and 3rd rounds in this battle are particularly great. He closes out his year with another strong performance in a great battle with Danny Myers and makes his way to iBattle to see Homeskool in another dope clash.

In 2021, Ace battled JJDD, Cortez, and Danny Myers and at worst you can say they’re debatables, but there are strong cases that Ace won all 3 of these battles and stepped up to the plate big time against some elite competition. He missed out on making the top 20 COTY list that year and I personally feel like he was snubbed. He would follow this up with total domination over Big T on the Banned one-rounder event streamed on Caffeine at the beginning of 2022, but more bad luck and bumps in the road would follow.

Becoming Undeniable

Ace suddenly disappeared for a bit in 2022 and to the dismay of the culture, we learned that Ace had found himself in a legal situation. Obviously derailing his momentum and throwing it off track, but his personal life and freedom were jeopardy. Thankfully Ace was able to come back home, but work needed to be done to build himself back up and get acclimated back to battling again. He returned to battle Footz on OSBL, and while he had his moments, clearly he was still adjusting. The 2on2 with Sheed Happens against Yunus and Oppa was dope and Ace had a pair of extremely impressive performances in one rounders against Elijah Strait and Murda. 

The Litework rematch with Danny was dope but ultimately went Danny’s way. Ace was on his way back to being in top form. The Qleen Paper battle from Outside in January of this year became more about the controversy and drama, but there is some great material from Ace in that battle if you’re able to look past the nonsense. The King Bau “Owneurship” card was a total failure and embarrassment, but the sole bright spot of that event was Ace Amin vs Craig Lamar being the only battle to air on the stream and Ace took full advantage of the opportunity and eyes on the event. 

The time finally came for Ace to get another name of value, this time it being Arsonal. We can be real, Ars isn’t the most difficult name for someone to add to their resume, but it was a moment for Ace to really cement himself nonetheless and once again he stepped up to the plate and delivered big. We sadly didn’t get to see Ace vs Piranha happen but Ace did follow that with a body of the year contender against Tru Foe and now we’re suddenly in the midst of Ace’s career year. A long time coming with plenty of hurdles to get here, but Ace has finally put it all together and become undeniable. 

Over the years, Ace has remained accessible for interviews but learned from 2019 and understood to now pick his spots when it came to his promo game. He let his work speak for itself and there are no more excuses or stigmas for people to use. Ace is ready and undeniable. The star qualities I saw in him back in 2019 are still there and have only been refined with time. His pure rapping ability is among the best we’ve ever seen in battle rap. 

The intricacy of his rhyme patterns and flows mixed with a unique penchant for alliteration and a versatile pen that can deliver triple entendre, build-ups to room-shaking haymakers or stuff of more substance like angling or some storytelling rounds. But he’s not just a pen. The believability, aggression and delivery from him actually take precedence over his writing to some people and he’s got some skills in the performance department as well. In my opinion, there’s never been anyone with Ace’s skillset ever in battle rap. No one blends all of these attributes the way Ace does. At his peak, Ace is one of the best battle rappers in the world.

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