Brooklyn Museum

Avant MC Abdu Ali blurs borders

In the summer of 2012, Baltimore poet, vocalist, and rapper Abdu Ali stared down a Dante's Inferno-inspired sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum called "The Descent," by Rachel Kneebone. It's a massive, table-like block of porcelain that gets gnarlier the further away from the ground it gets-starting out iPod-smooth and ending up as a ragged clump of lost souls all gazing into a sinewy pit. "I like that it's white," Abdu explains in the bedroom of his Eutaw Street house. "It makes it more eerie." Precisely how it inspired 2012's INVICTOS EP, largely produced by experimental clubber Schwarz, is appropriately beyond words. Try this, though: Like...