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Atlanta Rapper Ace Apollo Makes Maximum Impact With “Minimum Wage”

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Ace Apollo, 20-year-old DeKalb County native and member of #T8W (The 808’s Way) rap collective, fuses the “Atlanta Trap” rap style and sound of his music with extremely clever wordplay, a message sure to to impact and elevate the hearts and spirits of those living barely above the poverty line.

In his single, “Minimum Wage,” Ace Apollo challenges the status quo and discusses employee wages in a manner in which I’ve yet to see from mainstream artists today.

The chorus and first line of the first verse help set the tone for what’s to come: “I need way more than minimum wage. I need way more than minimum wage. I just put in that work like a boss. They like somebody give ‘em a raise. Thumb through that paper, I’m flipping a page. Twelve wanna see me sit in a cage. Used to get $7.25 an hour, now I need way more than minimum wage.”

Followed by the first line of the first verse, “I know my worth so why would I settle?” This sums up a lot of the points made throughout the song.

When speaking to Ace, I asked him what inspired him to write the song. He said that during the summer of 2014, he was hired at Sonic and was making less than $200 a paycheck due to the minimal wages he was offered and minimal hours he was given. He even references this in some of the lyrics in the song.

I then asked about his writing process. He spoke about how the stress he acquired from the job was starting to negatively translate into his art, in the form of writer’s block. Ace told VOX, “I was too focused on being lyrical. I realized I had to start telling my own story.” Thus, “Minimum Wage” was born.

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A fun fact about Ace Apollo is that he can not swim.

Other “quotables” from “Minimum Wage” include “Knock me down like a bowling pin, I get back up and roll again” and the ever- inspiring “Never settle for less.”

Look out for Ace Apollo’s highly anticipated debut mixtape dropping soon entitled, S.A.F.E. (School Ain’t For Everybody). You can find a link to his single, “Minimum Wage” online here.


Cole, 20, is a mentor for Atlanta Word Works and an intern at VOX this summer, helping guide the Atlanta team to Brave New Voices international poetry slam next month. 

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