We are rolling into 2016 with a new single from Abdu Ali, 'I'm Alive (Humanized),' produced by rapper, producer, and recent CP Top Ten list-er JPEGMAFIA.
In an artist statement, Ali touches on the "fuckery in 2015," including the death of Freddie Gray, and says this song "is about finding liberation through self humanization, a theory inspired by Paulo Freire, while also proudly proclaiming the power and beauty of blackness. The sound is my effort in fusing my influences of very black sounds like punk, afrofuturism, and rap, trying to connect the lineage of the african musical diaspora."
Fittingly, the beat weaves in all these sounds, ending with a jazzy horn outro as Ali repeats "I'm alive" over and over. It feels pretty cathartic and dovetails beautifully with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ali touches on his embrace of his own humanity in earlier verses, rapping, "baby just look at me/ don't you fucking see?/ look into my eyes/ don't you see the sunrise" and "imma real strong mother fucka/ comin thru u like no other/ i woke up/ and realized i have a face."
The rapper—who also landed on several of our Top Ten lists and, full disclosure, has contributed writing to this paper—will be on tour from late February to early April, with his recurring dance night Kahlon set for March 26.Copyright © 2019, Baltimore City Paper