Meet Ace Clark, the Brooklyn upstart motivated by family, legacy, and the world around him.
How’d you get the name Ace Clark?
Well I went by AceDaGod when I first started out and I didn’t like how people looked at me when they heard the God part so I knew I had to change it. I was like why don’t I just be me. Imma be Ace Clark.
A lot of your songs touch on Brooklyn. Do you feel a duty to represent where you’re from?
Most definitely. I feel like being from a place that people are so proud of gives you a confidence boost. My first project “The Good Fight” was an ode to Brooklyn. Also I think Brooklyn really speaks to who I’ve become because I went to the same school as Fabolous, lived across the street from Mos Def, and was raised by my grandmother in the projects there. I got to see what Spike Lee was depicting with my own two eyes. Brooklyn is forever a part of my fabric.
You mention your grandmother Alice. What role did she play in your life ?
My grandmother is my hero. Saved my life. She adopted me and my 6 siblings at birth. She was a singer who gave up traveling and chasing her dream to raise us. She taught me how to cook. She taught me what unconditional love was. She wrote my first rap in 5th grade. I even sport her last name because she’s the only parent on my birth certificate. There’s no Alice Clark without Ace Clark.
What’s one thing you had to learn after losing your grandmother?
I wouldn’t say there’s one single thing I had to learn. I’d say I was forced to grow up fast. I was a 12 year old who had to find ways to make money because we barely had enough. I sold mixtapes in my project building. I learned how to supply my siblings with the basics so they wouldn’t look wild at school. It was like a parenting fast track so by the time I had my daughter I kinda felt like I’d manage well.
Do you have a relationship with your birth parents ?
My mom has a great relationships with my daughter Emerson and that has led to us having more time to get to know each other. My Dad showed up a lot more so we actually had a great bond throughout the years and he actually just passed away in October. So I’ve felt a huge hole in my heart. Growing up they were just Kimberly and George and over time we’ve been able to mend some of that hurt.
Do you think your upbringing is evident in your music ?
I think I’m hyper aware of what I didn’t have so that forces me to speak on a lot of the topics you hear in songs. I speak on having to grow up fast , I speak on being motivated despite my circumstances. I feel that the cards you have you gotta play them like a hand full of Aces.
How did you cope with your childhood?
Church. I had a place where I could sing. Believe in something. A symbol of hope. I got into church purely for music and found myself understanding that my life had a bigger purpose.
What’s one message you’d give to anyone who comes from a similar family situation ?
Don’t hold on to what others have done to you. Many people have made decisions on your life before you could even get in a word. Use your life to inspire those around you because your actions after the adversity define who you are. Also love your family but create boundaries that are non-negotiable to protect your peace.
Proudest moment of your career up to this point?
Hearing my daughter sing my song “Trouble” around the house. Nothing is better than that.
Thanks for taking the time to let us in! Sheds a lot of light into who you are outside of the music.