Rapper Abdu Ali is challenging the stereotypes in the rap community.
“People can’t imagine a gay rapper rapping because it’s such a hyper-masculine genre, they have to put it in a box for them to understand it. And I just think that’s not fair.” Ali explained. “Right now, I’m in this mood where I’m figuring out what exactly it means to be queer. What is queerness? What is that, not just in my sexuality, but in my spirit, in my emotions, and how I navigate this world politically.”
Abdu frequently calls out systemic racism in the music industry. And his newest sounds are a mark of resilience in a post-apocalyptic era. He also draws inspiration for his verses from unexpected places.
“When I was little, I was very much inspired by the music that I heard in church. I loved to see how people reacted. It allowed people to heal for a second and get over the trauma of the negative things that were going on in their life. I definitely wanted to take that energy and that mechanism within the Black church music and inject that into me performance. I want people when they come to my shows not to just be entertained, but to be reborn and rebirthed.”