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Ace Cosgrove isn’t your typical rapper. He speaks quietly and you can tell that he chooses his words carefully, but he’s not a passive artist. He’s not following trends and hopping on bandwagons, and he’s not just trying to mimic his idols. Ace is part of a new wave of hip-hop artists who draw inspiration from all genres and all styles, and don’t let his laid back demeanor fool you—he and his Hostile Youth crew are fed up. They’re sick of that same old commercial radio shit, and they’re looking to make some changes.

While Ace was in New York, we spent some time with him and had him explain his point of view on the state of music, the scene in Maryland, and what’s next.

UPDATE: Ace Cosgrove’s “USVSROBOTS” project is out now. Check it here.