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About Abdu

Baltimore City - Station North A&E District

Abdu Ali's picture
Abdu Ali is a Baltimore based music artist, producer, poet, and multidisciplinary artist who works in sound, video, social practice and performance. Their work often interrogates ideas of race, gender, and sexuality that manifests as poetic inquiries of identity, promoting liberation from oppressive ideologies and encouraging self-determination. Their work also centers promoting authentic Black queer legacies and narratives as our histories are often subjected to distortion and erasure.... more

Abdu Ali

Making Home: Artist Residency at Brown Arts Institute, Brown University 2022

A series of events at Brown Arts Institute, featuring  Baltimore-based, queer, experimental electronic musician and multidisciplinary artist Abdu Ali. 

“For when a people no longer have the space to construct a homeplace, we cannot build a meaningful community of resistance” - bell hooks, “Homeplace (a site of resistance)”, 1990.  Abdu Ali is a Baltimore-based electronic musician, writer, cultural worker and multidisciplinary artist who works in sound, collaboration, video and performance. Their work interrogates race, gender, and sexuality through poetic inquiries of identity - promoting self-determination and liberation from oppressive ideologies.  “Making Home” celebrates the ways in which artists develop their day-to-day lives and creative practices as experiments in creating homeplaces as art and art as home. What do we associate with home? What are the emotional, physical, political parameters of home?  What is in between our understanding of home and what we experience, and what others experience as home? When we travel, we go away from “home” but why? How do we care for, or neglect each other in our homes?  Reimagining our understanding of “local” Abdu Ali creates work that is universally abundant while also specifically “regional,” a hybrid realignment of place and space. An embodied and visceral manifestation of home and community.   Ali will collaborated with local arts organization AS200, the Brown Department of Music and the Brown Arts Institute to present concerts, workshops, and conversations with the Brown and Providence art and music community.  The event and programs were co-curated and organized by Bonnie Jones, PhD student in the MMC Program and Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, Assistant Professor of Music in collaboration with the Brown Arts Institute. 

Score Composition for weighted sky at The Andy Warhold Museum

I recently composed a score for a collaborative performance piece titled 'weighted sky' that was presented by the Andy Warhold Museum.

About weighted sky
weighted sky is a work collaboratively built and performed by slowdanger, MICHIYAYA Dance Directors Anya and Mitsuko Clarke-Verdery, and sound artist Abdu Ali, with original sonic design by Abdu Ali, set pieces by sculptor Rob Hackett and costumes by MAD RECITAL. The work explores the collapse of capitalism and white supremacist structures on the bodies of people, nationally and globally. It deconstructs hustle culture and seeks to create a process of active imagining for a queer future where we can thrive. The work premiered on November 11, 2021 at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. 

The weighted sky project was made possible by Unique Projects, Pentacle Administrative Support Program, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Opportunity Fund, the Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative, the PNC Charitable Trusts and the Pittsburgh Foundation A W Mellon Grant. With advisory committee support from Sidra Bell and Billy Dean Thomas.

7th Athens Biennial 2021; Soft & Solid: Fugitive Harmonies in Pursuit of Home

Soft & Solid: Fugitive Harmonies in Pursuit of Home will be a performance and installation series that considers how clubs, churches, and other cultural centers serve as sanctuary spaces to form collective visions of joy, spirituality, and liberation. We consider these spaces to be homes for collective spirit and creativity and as sites where we form ideological frameworks for movement building, liberation, empathy and safety. As working class African Americans we are often subjected to have a constant relationship with displacement yet we find ways to be in dialogue and in harmony with each other through music, culture, food, and spiritual practices, thus creating a metaphysical home that is beyond borders, oceans, and the universe. Soft & Solid: Fugitive Harmonies in Pursuit of Home explores the dichotomy of what it means to be in a constant cycle of oppression while remaining tender, loving, and intimate beings.

To reimagine the stage as a pulpit, the installation will incorporate video, sounds, textiles, and personal artifacts. The visual art installation incorporates black layered textiles, mixed media collages printed on sateen fabrics, and archival images of ancestors, family and loved ones encased in Black and Gold frames. The artists include intimate personal artifacts along with a symbolic circle of Black sand to create a spiritual barrier and protective circle energized by the essence of our transatlantic bodies. Multiple videos will be projected onto the fabric of the installation and there will be a short two minute looping video of imagery of black sanctuary spaces and as they lay archives. The Installation mirrors and pulls inspiration from an altar space, filled with intimate objects, natural materials and personal scriptures. Soft & Solid: Fugitive Harmonies in Pursuit of Home will include a series of screenings and collaborative performances from Abdu Ali and Markele Cullins. Our programming will include viewings of as they lay films Close to Home (2021) and Imagining as Praxis (2020). Abdu and Markele will also do a two part performance piece titled ‘The Feminine, The Feminine, The Feminine Ha!’ in which we inspire to reproduce the illustrious shows that happen in these sanctuary spaces. Through this performance we are unapologetically taking up space,  conjuring spirit and feeling, and engulfing our environment with essences of softness, tenderness, power, sensuality and vulnerability. This performance will be a celebration of the radical effort of the Black feminine imagination as a weaponized tool for resistance and survival against sociocultural oppressive ideologies rooted in white supremacist heteronormative patriarchy and also how the creative work that emerges from the Black feminine imagination encases liberation for all Black people.

FIYAH!!! Self Released Album 2019

about FIYAH!!!

this album is everything that i am and everything that i am not. i wanted to embrace all of the facets of my identity but not let those paradigms build chains around my artistic vision. this album is a queer’d journey of interrogation in order to discover the seed of my fire. realizing i didn’t need to go anywhere else but my past for inspiration, i shoveled into my upbringing of living in Baltimore, where as a youth, during humid summer days i often would here in the distance, the go ghetters having marching band practice, or how i would sneak into 17 and over nights at the paradox to be engulfed by the vibrations of the powerful subwoofers the played bmore club or vogue music all night long, or how i would love post church sunday drives with grandad, as he play the stylings of motown in his dodge caravan (sometimes he would play a mix of pfunk or mystikal tool) after witnessing the visceral beauty of gospel performances at bethal ame.

so i wondered how can i take my baltimore experiences and my hometown sound into the future where my influences of free jazz, soul, punk, and rap could be fused into one movement? i wondered how could i unleash social political critiques, emotions, and personal traumas into a musical abyss of revolution? FIYAH!!! is me wondering, questioning, climbing up a mountain into the burning bush of endless musical possibilities in a post afro futurist realm. i feel as though, this is the first established musical chapter of Abdu Ali and im excited to invite you into this journey.

  • FIYAH!!! by Abdu Ali

    this album is everything that i am and everything that i am not. i wanted to embrace all of the facets of my identity but not let those paradigms build chains around my artistic vision. this album is a queer’d journey of interrogation in order to discover the seed of my fire.
  • Chastity, Cinematic Audio Visual

    This is a cinematic audio visual for Abdu Ali's song Chastity. The principal location is a Sci-Fi church designed by Modern architecture icon Eero Saarinen. Futurist themes and radical world-building resonate in both Saarinen’s designs as well as Ali’s song “Chastity.” The church’s 1960s design is also reminiscent the era’s parliament buildings. This setting positions Ali as both a socially radical and spiritual leader. A dance sequence featuring Ali and another performer underscores themes of empathy and interpersonal relationality.

Press and Video Features

Press clips and video features. 

Tours and Live Performance

I pride myself in the performance aspect of my music. My performances have been a huge foundation in the success of my work. I perform all time and have done many many tours. I also try to make sure to tour with local underrepresented artists from Baltimore to help, empower, and give exposure to us and the music scene in the city. This is an archive of all my tour posters.

Mongo (Self Released) 2016

This is my most recent project, a full length mixtape, MONGO that was released in April 2016.


All album art by Elliott Brown Jr.

Please credit photographer if using imagery

Mixing & Mastering by JPEGMAFIA, MIGHTY MARK, & MR. 14TH

Lyrics are available in each song's description box. All lyrics by me, except the vocal features, who made their own lyrics.

Production credits on track listing.

Artist Statement in a short essay

i wanted to give up. ovah and ovah again. why? look at me, then look at the world i live. you see what im saying? life for me, aint been no crystal stair. do i even have a life? do i own one? i got a lot of debt. broke af, cant really obtain the wealth america promised me. am i here? is my life alive? 

i believe i do have a life because…i cant give up.  esp after witnessing the shade of it all in my city, post freddie gray's death. vividly i saw through that moment and still what i see today, are the attacks from media, all the systems, and the white hooded neighbors…is something that can really bring a bitch down. so im surprised by the fact that i am still here. after the shade of it all, i still rise. Maya Angelou, is that you?

something in me. the fire inside that makes me feel like no road cant be unconquered. what is that? i say its my mother’s hand, my lineage, my ancestors. the voodoo. the music. the music keeps me alive. the drums, the beat, and voices, (that cant ever be mimicked). my genetically passed down unbothered mien to be so me. to be black. even after being bleached a thousand times. my blood aint sterile. that pain i felt last april provoked the energy, the fire, to rage a bit more. my vision became a bit more focused. so my music became more and my performances became more. this mixtape, MONGO is who i am and what i am for what i be. its only for us. Mongo, I consider to be the blk self care mixtape consists of: Anthems Mantras & Narratives. Fela, Marvin, Nina, Lauryn, Tupac, Octavia E. Butler, and Miss Tony, I see what y'all was saying now. I know what I gotta do. I just gotta do me through us. The revolution is not just communal, it can also be an individual protest through thy work, sweat, or screams. Energy is infectious like the many systematic diseases that plagued our people. Teach one, teach all. also our other experiences are worthy to be art, our love trials, being queer and black, missing our deceased loved ones, or consuming the fruits of the green, because the self care is important. all of that deserves a song too. but I still don't know what it is that keeps my fist up, my hair nappy, and my skin so gold. but what i do kno is that me and u gonna get thru this. for some reason we have to. Is it just justice? is it the return of the black gods? deep down we know they will be back. cause one thing is for sure, the sun don't hurt me none. RIP PRINCE (CONTROVERSY IS THE REASON WHY I THOUGHT I COULD MAKE MUSIC). - ABDU ALI

Track List:

  6. DID DAT
  7. BOY BYE
  • Mongo Mixtape Cover

    abdu ali, mongo
    Mixtape cover photographed by Elliott Brown Jr.
  • MONGO by Abdu Ali

    Artist Statement in a short essay i wanted to give up. ovah and ovah again. why? look at me, then look at the world i live. you see what im saying? life for me, aint been no crystal stair. do i even have a life? do i own one? i got a lot of debt. broke af, cant really obtain the wealth america promised me. am i here? is my life alive? i believe i do have a life because…i cant give up. esp after witnessing the shade of it all in my city, post freddie gray's death.

    All the lyrics to my songs.

    PDF icon MONGOLYRICS.pdf
  • Album Art III

    This is apart of the album art shot by Elliott Brown Jr.
  • Album Art V

    This is apart of the album art shot by Elliott Brown Jr.

ALREADY (Self Released) 2014


ALREADY is "used to describe a situation that exists now and that will continue to exist"and in Baltimore when we say "ALREADY" to a person we are validating that a something between each other, like a love or loyalty, exists and will continue to exist 4EVA.


Push + Slay (Self Released) 2013

Artsist Statment

"it's almost been a year since i dropped invictos. i wilted. i grew. and now i got this: PUSH + SLAY. it’s an epic with micro-nonfiction and monologue like songs, exported epiphanies for your gut that entails the come up by voguing against the petty shit of the world (like pigs), and questing for the covered beauty that's very rough to discover. it reveals my urges, frustrations, and pleasures i have in life. very personal, very intimate.

peaches smell like honey, a scent has pushed me to slay, even if it was miles away from the hood where i grew up at. thank god for my crystal eyes to see that octarine. you know, if the world is in somebody else’s hands, take that shit with no mercy. don’t give a three fucks and be buck. be polite though, kind, and try to have a transparent attitude. conquer buddha style. PUSH + SLAY , is conjured up sounds for the future, with a bass that’s like 1000 hearts coming up from the darkness pumping in your face all to get the body/spirit/mind motivated. experimental? naw my niggas this is real life. this is for my classic trill mothafuckers who like to break their backs and rock their heads against the skyline. so PUSH + SLAY, be hardcore, be ready to die, be a warrior, get gen and get in." - #BMOREF4EVA -Abdu Ali PUSH + SLAY Cover Art: Xavier Schipani Mastered By: Adam Straney TRACKLIST: HUSTLE DA APPLE (MATIC808) NIGGA BELIEVE (SCHWARZ) CRYE (LORD BABY) TORNADOES IN THE ALLEY (LORD BABY) MAD AMBROSIA (LORD BABY) BLEED (JAMES NASTY) FUCK WIT DIS (JAMES NASTY) TOLD EM’ [PIG WIGZ] ( SXYLK REMIX X MAGARHOUR)  MACHETE WARZ (SCHWARZ) THORNZ (SCHWARZ)

Kahlon, The Creative Agency - Founder

I am founder and the creative director of Kahon, The Agency, an organization based in Baltimore that's invested in changing the artistic climate of the city. 

Kahlon was inspired by the lack of creative platforms, especially in the music scene, for underrepresented people like black and brown folk, womyn, and the LGBTQI community.  In the Summer of 2014 Abdu Ali, the founder of Kahlon, The Agency, teamed up with Lawrence Burney, Chanel Cruz, and DJ Genie to start Kahlon to create a more inclusive music event that represented the diversity of the creative world within Baltimore City and putting black and brown artists to forefront of these events. For the visual component of Kahlon, digital illustrator and multi disciplinary artist, Theresa Chromati was appointed as the flyer designer for all Kahlon events and Jedicom, a projection artist help establish the physical ambience for Kahlon events.  For the past two years Kahlon has hosted performances by Princess Nokia, Juliana Huxtable and Dan Deacon, as well as beautiful art installations from Jedicom. 

Now Kahlon is a creative agency that is working on changing the artistic climate of Baltimore and making it a more productive space for underrepresented creatives.

Kahlon focuses on uplifting and exhibiting various modes of production by people who are often oppressed and misrepresented. In addition to furthering Kahlon’s impact through a robust curation of musical acts, Kahlon has expanded to include “The Cut Up Series,” a diverse platform for exhibitions and arts/music programming set in Baltimore. As a creative agency we utilize the strengths of the artistic and cultural communities within Baltimore to bridge the gap between multiple levels of class, race, and gender, thus strengthening the community through events that are geared toward accessibility.

Connect with Abdu


Abdu's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.