The Kennedy Center

Abdu Ali


Abdu Ali is an independent music artist, writer, and multimedia arts curator based in Baltimore and Brooklyn. Ali has released five musical projects, all notable for his idiosyncratic blend of punk, futurism, Baltimore Club Music, and rap music, with lyrics yielding poetic uprise. Through his work as a rapper, curator, writer, and outspokenness via social media/interviews Ali, has been elected as a radical underground Baltimore music and cultural figure. Unapologetically black and queer, Abdu Ali’s work is bold, raw, and most importantly life-affirming. Abdu has done several tours across the U.S. and Europe, and through his energetic visceral performances, spiritualizing audiences, he has been anointed as a cosmic, punk, and soulful tempest on stage. He has shared stages with notable music acts like the Sun Ra Arkestra, Mykki Blanco, Busdriver, Dan Deacon, Lower Dens, Blaqstarr, FKA TWIGS, and has been covered internationally by Complex, AfroPunk, Saint Heron, Noisey, The Fader, Mask Magazine, Subbacultcha, Les InRocks, Tracks Arte TV, and many more. Abdu Ali is working on his debut album, developing his new media brand drumBOOTY, and now his performances are accompanied by drummer and musician Josh Stokes.

Watch Past Performances

Video 3/7/2018: DIRECT CURRENT: DCDIT presents Abdu Ali

Abdu Ali is known for his idosyncratic blend of punk, futurism, Baltimore club-style, and rap music. Accompanied by a live band, the performance is about using music as a teleportation device into a metaphysical abyss, where othered people can access every entity that they need to fully live in fullness as themselves.

Presented as part of the Kennedy Center's DIRECT CURRENT inaugural season. For more information on the season, please click HERE.

Abdu Ali