“I Refuse” is a window into Masta Ace’s life, his mindset, as he continues to earn a living making music. The visuals show the veteran emcee breaking his motivation down, as he prepares to ply his trade overseas: “To be the best to ever do it, Is what I need and I pursue it, Like an architect I drew it, You can tell that I’ve been through it by the battle scars on my epidermis, See it’s me against the world, and I just left a skirmish.” I love this kind of cut. No pretension, nothing flashy, just quality rap. Marco Polo’s brand of knocking boom-bap provides the backdrop, creating that head-nodding appeal as Masta Ace spits honest, immediate verses. He’s been doing this for a long time, but there’s no quit here. Just another strong cut.
Sidebar: This was created to accompany the release of Russell Peters’ new DVD, The Green Card Tour: Live from the O2 Arena. That fact is totally unnecessary to enjoy this track, really, but that’s why there’s footage interspersed of a comedian throughout the video.