“That’s who I am, a queer boy from Baltimore City, from the hood. From the projects, yet sophisticated, wise, and has a lot of common sense,” the rapper Abdu Ali told Noisey in a 2014 interview. While disclaimers like those may seem outdated to some, many of us are still ages behind Ali, whose music emits signs of punk, Baltimore club, future jazz, noise rap, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard all at once. So, will you remain stunted under the DJ Haram-produced spell of chants like “I got rage of a black muva,” from Ali’s genre-perverting Mongo, or are you ready to get post-apocalyptic and put both “the lord and the devil” inside you for a crazy Hopscotch-sponsored trip to the world of Ali’s great track, “DaWon”?
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