Masta Ace & Marco Polo Explore The “Jordan Theory”

Masta Ace & Marco Polo Explore The "Jordan Theory"

Masta Ace and Marco Polo explore the ins and outs of luxury culture in “Jordan Theory”.

A respected rapper for over 35 years, few artists are better equipped to analyze how materialism intersects with hip-hop culture than Masta Ace.

Armed with a head-nodding instrumental from his running mate Marco Polo, Ace examines the allure of unattainable luxury items in “Jordan Theory”, his new music video from Ace & Polo’s new album ‘Richmond Hill’.

Over Marco’s speaker-knocking bounce, defined by a circular keyboard riff and gently swinging drums, Ace explains how childhood poverty, and the material limitations placed by mom and dad, can influence imprudent financial decisions.

Nimbly navigating the beat, Ace discusses how luxury-living rappers set an aspirational ideal that is impossible for regular folks to live up to: “Now everybody like ‘wow, look what he got’ / Brand new colorway, them ain’t Reebok / Them shits cost like three months rent / And his ex-girl knows what he once spent.”

Directed by J Anders Urmacher, the video dramatizes Ace’s lyrics with aplomb, depositing items like Jordan sneakers, Rolex watches, and more into display cases in a sterile museum room–in cases marked with the warning, “please do not touch.”

Masta Ace & Marco Polo Explore The "Jordan Theory"
Photo Credit: Mr. Wattson

As he explores the wares, Ace reminisces about his childhood, with Marco Polo portraying the aggressive salesman at Foot Locker, coveting expensive shoes (which Ace notes have risen in price many times over in the ensuing decades), and contemplates his mistakes in his (literal) shoebox apartment.

The video ends with a reminder of the fragile class politics that prop up the entire capitalistic enterprise: the Jordans are bathed in a heavenly light, while the fluorescents in the exhibit flicker and die.

“Jordan Theory” is a highlight from Masta Ace & Marco Polo’s brand new album ‘Richmond Hill’, a full-length collaboration about how hip-hop can change a life.

Following up their acclaimed 2018 album ‘A Bruekelen Story’, the 18-track (including skits) ‘Richmond Hill’ is a cinematic journey that explores how the past echoes through the present.

Welcoming guest appearances from notable names from all eras of rap history, including Inspectah Deck, Coast Contra, Blu, Che Noir, Speech of Arrested Development, Masta Ace’s longtime collaborators Stricklin and Wordsworth, and many more, ‘Richmond Hill’ is available now to stream on all digital platforms and to purchase on vinyl via Fat Beats.

Home to the single, “Life Music” featuring Speech (of Arrested Development), Stricklin, and E Smitty, which dropped late in 2023 and arrived with a music video directed by Parris Stewart, ‘Richmond Hill’ is another essential chapter in the career of the decorated rapper and Juno Award nominated producer.