Abdu Ali, “I, Exist”

Nina Mashurova

On the tip of celebrating the uplifting power of new age post-cyborg futurity, Baltimore noise/rap/soul performer Abdu Ali recently released a video for “I, Exist,” which is so cosmic it is actually in space. Abdu Ali is all about life – life-giving sweatsoaked live performance, aggressive self-assertion crashing in on waves of noise and Bmore club, the feral euphoria of his monthly Kahlon parties at The Crown which draw in crowds from across Baltimore’s disparate scenes and guest performances from artists such as Dan Deacon, Natural Velvet, Chiffon, and Junglepussy.

On “I Exist”, Abdu spits uncompromising cosmic affirmations over twinkling synth melodies by producer Schwarz: Abdu identifies as “openly black, and queer by birthright” but identity is expansive – he is also the sun, the pyramids, the clouds. The video, directed by Jedicom (“The New Jedi Order,” according to their Facebook), has a netart-meets-retro arcade vibe – clean geometric shapes, psychedelic bursts of CMYK in an otherwise monochromatic landscape, and flashes of all-caps text that drive home the point of the song and of Abdu Ali’s entire project: I EXIST! We could all use the reminder.

The “best of abdu ali via baltimore” cassette is out now on Deathbomb Arc. Already, the Schwarz collaboration, is streaming on soundcloud.

Abdu Ali tour dates:

February
27 Richmond/DC @ tba
28 NYC, NY @ “Papi Juice” via One Last Shag

March
6 Philadelphia, PA @ “Cut N Paste” via The Bike Shop
7 Baltimore, MD @ “Kahlon” via The Crown
12 Portland, OR @ Rose Bar
13 Portland, OR @ Reed College
15 Olympia, Wa @ Obsidian
19 Oakland, CA @ Qlimbo
20 San Francisco, CA – Swagger Like Us @ Oasis
21 LA, CA @ “Bath Salts X” via The Smell
25 NYC, NY @ “Ur Body Is Mind” via Stream Gallery

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