Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kilo Ali: An Atlanta wild card with no regrets

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 2:42 PM

For much of the early to mid-’90s, Atlanta bass and booty music legend Kilo Ali was the most notable rapper to represent the city. He released his debut album, America Has a Problem Cocaine in 1990, when he was just 17 years old, instantly becoming known as the first wild card of the Atlanta hip-hop scene. He was also one of the first rappers to come from Bankhead, long before “the Bankhead Bounce” ruled the radio. Following the highs of such songs as “Baby Baby,” “Love In Ya Mouth,” and “Lost Y’all Mind” — and his most acclaimed album, 1997’s Organized Bass — Kilo was convicted of burning down his own house. In October 2005 he was given a stiff 15-year prison term, but in Jan. 2011 he was released after serving six years. Still, it was an awfully long time to be away, especially in the fast-paced music world.

Since he’s been out, Kilo has worked a construction job on the side while playing one-off shows here and there and sharpening his skills in the studio — all while readjusting himself to the free world and the new music landscape. His first post-prison release, Hieroglyphics, dropped in Feb. 2011 to very little fanfare, but he remains undeterred. With a headlining slot at the 808 Fest., taking place Aug. 8 at Connect Lounge on Auburn Ave., Kilo is primed start a new chapter in his career. As it all gets underway, he took a few minutes to talk about some of the funny moments of his career (like the time he almost kicked George Clinton out of the studio), his Southern rap legacy, and the drug addiction that prematurely derailed his career.

Video shot/edited by Adrian Sosebee/the Freak Beat.

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