Jimi Hendrix equated the instant categorization of artists into genres to “shooting at a flying saucer as it tries to land without giving its occupants a chance to identify themselves.”
Baltimore MC Abdu Ali defies easy classification, but the thread of sensibility that ties Ali to Hendrix weaves through Erykah Badu, Bad Brains, and DMX. True to the Baltimore Club aesthetic, Ali and his crew built early tunes from 808 beats and loops and a dose of Banjee. The current sound? “It’s Afro Rave,” Ali notes. For his high-energy live performances, Ali imagines himself “like Joan Of Arc, delivering a message so people can feel motivated, feel alive and awake.”
Oberlin College ID required for admission.