Given a second chance on life, Hip-Hop artist Mace is taking advantage of every opportunity given him to share his music and experiences. There’s much to learn about this young Polynesian and his drive to make a name for himself in the music industry:
1) Born and bred in the Bay
“I was born and raised in the south side of San Jose,” explains Mace a.k.a. Uce Hefner. Born Mace Taele, who is of the Tuiolosega Samoan blood line takes pride in his culture and being raised in the Bay Area. Some of his favorite music artists growing up include E-40 and Mac Dre.
2) Music wasn’t even in his original plans
Mace credits being introduced to the music business first by friend, Enormus Tha OX. “The whole reason why I even started doing music was because of [Enormous Tha Ox]. He just happened to own a studio and I used to just hang out there. I wasn’t really into the Rap and Hip-Hop thing but I was just around it all the time. It was just convenient for me to become an artist.”
I wanted to really get out there and be a role model for the youth. I really wanted to give them something to learn from my struggle and my past mistakes. Some of the mistakes I’ve done almost cost me my life…
3) A few wrong choices almost left him for dead
Early on in his life, Mace chose to live the gang life and was involved in various criminal activities. On Dec. 2008, Mace was shot and immediately rushed to the hospital. “Everything from there changed. When I was released from the hospital, I wanted to focus more on my music. I wanted to really get out there and be a role model for the youth. I really wanted to give them something to learn from my struggle and my past mistakes. Some of the mistakes I’ve done almost cost me my life. “Hit by a 22” is a track that I did with my cousin, Dayvid Thomas. He came out [to the Bay Area] for a family reunion and we recorded it.” The specific track recounts that dark period of time in Mace’s life.
4) He currently has an album out
Entitled Purple Heart: Life is Priceless, Mace’s first album draws from the concept of the Purple Heart, a military decoration awarded to those in the armed forces who are wounded in battle. He, therefore, adapted the idea to being wounded in a more familiar turf – the streets. Tracks from this album sample soulful songs from artists such as Marvin Gaye and Tony! Toni! Toné! and can be heard here.
A real artist takes it that serious to where they have to do something for their music everyday…
When asked whether or not he had last words of advice for Polynesians or anyone trying to make it into the Hip-Hop business, Mace simply said, “Study your craft. If you can do something positive to forward your music daily – at least one thing a day – for your music to make it that much better, then you’re considered a real artist. A real artist takes it that serious to where they have to do something for their music everyday.”
Article Written By: Pesi Kava
*YouTube videos “Hit by a 22” and “Not On My Team” by toprankmace
*Photos Courtesy of Mace Tuiolosega Taele