Working for Facebook, Google, or YouTube may be a dream come true for most, but try balancing that while working on your hip hop career as well. That’s exactly what Anthony “Ace” Patterson does. In this article, we take a deep dive into the life, education, and multiple careers of Ace Patterson AKA Call Me Ace. From a kid with a dream from Bridgeport, Connecticut to YouTube employee working on a hip hop career, you’ll learn everything you want to know about the Haas alum.
Childhood, Education, and Early Business Acumen
After his parents left Jamaica and came to the United States in the late 1980s, Anthony “Ace” Patterson was born in August of 1989 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ace was the first member of his dad’s side of the family to be born in the United States. He grew up with an artist’s mentality. Ace showed interest in drawing, acting, and more, which helped to eventually lead to his rap career later in life.
As he got older, Ace attended Columbia University in New York, where he studied Anthropology. He had originally planned on studying economics, but his grades prevented him from doing so. While sitting in an introductory Anthropology class, Ace was intrigued by how engaging it was. He was excited to find an area of study that would allow him to write about almost anything — it was a field that piqued his interest immediately.
Over the next four years, Ace worked towards and achieved, an Anthropology degree. Not only did he graduate from school, but he also co-founded the Columbia University Society of Hip Hop while there. Ace and the Columbia University Society of Hip Hop even opened for Snoop Dogg at an event while Ace was in school. This group amassed more than 50 members in his time there and offered Ace some of his earliest exposure to business and marketing. It also helped serve as the early foundations of his hip hop career.
A few years after obtaining his Anthropology degree, Ace enrolled at the Haas School of Business and started the next chapter of his amazing life.
Ace Patterson enrolled at Haas in 2014 to attend graduate school and pursue his MBA. Ace decided to go into business so that he could find other ways to continue to give back and help others.
Before going to Haas, Ace worked in operations at Success Academics, where his two immediate supervisors — who had both gone to business school — taught him everything he knew at the time about business and operations. He learned from his bosses that one of the best ways to give back to the community was to be a businessman. As a businessman, Ace hoped he could one day use those skills to provide opportunities to underserved youth.
Ace spent two years at the Haas School of Business working towards his MBA. While there, he and a classmate made a spoof of Drake’s popular song “The Motto”. Instead of “You Only Live Once (YOLO)”, Ace and his classmate rapped about “You Only Haas Once (YOHO)”. This song became wildly popular on campus and was used for recruiting by the school; the music video has amassed over 10,600 views to date.
After a couple of years at Haas, Ace graduated in 2016 and started his corporate career at Deloitte Consulting.
Once he obtained his MBA in 2016, Ace wanted to enter the industry and put his degree to use. He felt that going to business school was one thing, but applying those skills was what really mattered. That is what drove him to join the team at Deloitte Consulting. While there, he hoped that consulting would lay solid foundations for what he would end up doing after that.
After only about two years working as a consultant, Ace was approached by Facebook about a new job. Facebook saw that value in Ace’s abilities in marketing strategies for media and entertainment. Ace saw a great opportunity to join the team at Facebook and accepted it, where he spent the next few years expanding his corporate career. While working at Facebook, Ace met some people — friends of friends and friends of his mentors — that knew people at Google and started throwing some new ideas and opportunities his way.
One of the opportunities that came up was because of his unique combination of SNO skills, marketing skills, and experience in the music industry. With a resume like that, Ace was approached by Google with an opportunity to work with YouTube. The job was an opportunity to work within the creator and artist development field. After spending some time working with the people there, Ace knew he would be a great fit and accepted the job in early 2020. He works there full-time to this day.
Outside of his very successful corporate career, Ace has also started finding success in the music industry as the rapper Call Me Ace.
The Childhood Dream of Being a Rapper
Ace had always wanted to be a rapper, once he got to middle school and realized “it wasn’t cool to win poetry awards”. That was when he decided to get into rapping. Earlier in his life and up until he finished up his undergraduate studies at Columbia, Ace had been rapping and growing his music craft from the perspective of being an artist.
He concentrated on stage presence, learning to perform for the fans. But that all came to a halt when he stopped rapping after graduating from Columbia to start working and then attend business school. After studying abroad in Barcelona, he was having a conversation with one of his old friends who started getting on his back about getting back into rapping. His friend kept arguing against any excuse that was thrown his way, including where Ace would find a good rap name. He suggested that Ace just look at his own Instagram handle for a suggestion. After a quick glance at Instagram, Ace remembered he had made his name on the platform Call Me Ace, and that was it. The perfect rap name.
Ace doesn’t just rap about anything that pops into his mind, he likes to focus on certain themes and motifs. Ace raps about perseverance, encouragement, and motivation. He hopes to share this message with the world and make it a better place.
Light Armor Music
While finishing up business school, Ace got back into rapping. But this time he was getting into rapping with a different mindset. Instead of seeing rapping from the perspective of an artist, Ace was now trying to figure out how he could get his music to the world.
This is where his record labor, Light Armor Music, came to be. He took all of the skills and knowledge he got from Haas and applied them to this new dream of creating a record label to share his music with the world.
Not only can Light armor music be used to share his music with the world, it might also give Ace the ability to share his personal thoughts and feelings about racial injustice with the world as well.
Racial Injustice and Equality
Ace has personal experience with racial injustice through an incident that occurred during his first semester at Haas.
After spending a late evening studying in the Cheit building, Ace left Haas in a business suit and went home to change and throw on a hoodie because it was cold and he was riding his bike over to his friend’s house to play some Spades. Along the way, he was stopped for fitting the description of a robber just because of his appearance and wearing a dark blue Berkeley hoodie while in Berkeley. While being wrongfully detained, Ace feared that he was going to go to jail, all the lady that was talking to the cops had to do was say that he was the robber.
With his experience regarding social injustice and living life seeing it unfold in the world, Ace has some powerful ideas on how we can all go about improving this situation and making the world as great as it can be for everyone. Ace boils it down to being a matter of it you care enough to go out there and make a difference. Caring about each other is the most important thing everyone can do to make the world a better place.
Saying that you want to be an ally and you want to be there for each other is one thing, but caring enough to go out and try to make a change is another. Ace feels that it’s important that people realize it’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to be humbled, to not be afraid of your own ignorance, or your own prejudices being wrong. The important thing is to learn, to grow, and to truly care.
From a young age, Anthony “Ace” Patterson wanted to make music, be part of the creative aspects of the industry, and give back to the world as much as he could. Ace understands the importance of giving back and helping those that don’t have some of the same opportunities as others.
He understands the importance of justice and equality for all and hopes that one day the world will come together and be a better place. A place where people of all races and ethnicities can live together, as allies and have each other’s backs.
Through his work in education, his work in nonprofits, the time he’s spent at YouTube helping develop other artists, and to his work as a hip hop artist, Ace Patterson does everything he can to give back to the community and make the world a better place.
Share Your Thoughts!
We want to hear what you think about Ace’s incredible journey through life, education, and career. If you’ve learned anything about what you hope to achieve and get out of life by hearing about Ace’s exciting life, leave a comment below.
If you have any relatable experiences to anything that Ace went through in his life, let us know down below. The best way to improve this world is to get everyone talking to one another so that everyone understands and can truly care, just like Ace said.
Listen to the full podcast with Ace Patterson and OneHaas by clicking on this link.