Music and Art In Your Backyard

King Ali Takes Us Back HIS ROOTS With NEW Album, Still Saturn

King Ali is not new to hip hop and emceeing but you wouldn't know from listening to Still Saturn, that this is his first solo record. King Ali teams up with Jazz Infinite to honor the boom bap era. The lyrics are slick and powerful, his voice unique, and the beat is on point. King Ali tells us more...

Image by The Dreaded Photo

Image by The Dreaded Photo

Welcome King Ali, pleasure to meet you! Tell us a little about who King Ali is and how you got into music?

I’m originally from San Antonio, or Saturn as we call it.  I moved to Austin about 9 years ago to obtain a Certification in Audio Engineering.  At the time I was actually the manager of Assassyn Dynasty and one of two heads running Culture Sound Records (Tasz One, Buddy Leroy, Pax, Assassyn Dynasty, Ibrahim, Jaz Infinite).  I’ve had my hands on numerous albums and projects over the years.  I was known as smaals culture up until about a year ago.  Same man. New movement. 

My pops is a hip hop head from Brooklyn. Although I was raised in San Antonio, my early childhood consisted backyard BBQ’s with PE, BDK, BDP, etc.  Boom Bap is all I know. My earliest memories are riding in the back seat while he bumps what we now call early Golden Era Hip Hop.

and now you are returning to that golden era with your new record. What is the inspiration behind still saturn?

The project is a collaboration with myself and Jaz Infinite.  The album was put together with the classic formula of one emcee and one producer.  I feel this is important to truly capture a consistent sonic quality we don't have the opportunity to hear anymore.  The inspiration behind Still Saturn was really spontaneous.  I was just lounging in the studio with Jaz Infinite when all these random beats he made and I've never heard, started banging.  Right there we decided to make it happen.  

I hope this is a testament to the fact that Texas Hip Hop is more than the stereotypical b.s. you hear being pumped by these corporations.
Image by The Dreaded Photo

Image by The Dreaded Photo

In coming to this point in your life, what musical endeavor are you most proud of? for example, gigs, musical track, etc.

I will always be proud of the time I spent in my early years working with Assassyn Dynasty.  It is because of that crew that I know what it takes to rock a show with 1,000 people in attendance, or how important it is to value music and yourself as an artist. Don't get it twisted, we had several wins and several failures, but it is that experience that guides me the most.  Musically, I am most proud of this current project, Still Saturn.  I’ve always been the guy to drop a verse here or there, staying in the lab behind the scenes to ensure a project gets done right.  I’ve always wanted to complete a solo project and I’ve actually exceeded my own expectations with Still Saturn.  

we definitely think you have created an amazing record! sO, What are some of the challenges YOU'VE faced coming up as an artist?

As a youngin my biggest challenge was lack of knowledge and a solid plan.  I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Austin/San Antonio Hip Hop “scene” so we didn't face too many hurdles.  I would say the biggest thing that has continued to be a challenge is representing San Antonio and Austin while both scenes aren't necessarily aligned. It’s also tough to truly represent San Antonio the way I want to because I am not home.  

But, no matter where I am on this planet, it’s still Saturn to me.

Where do you see your music taking you?

I'm at a point in my life where all I need out of my music is to hopefully remind others that this thing we call real Hip Hop still exists, can be done NOW, and can still bang! I’m older than the average cat rapping right now - I have a wife, kids, and a career. All I want to do is leave an imprint on the Culture and show my children what it is to take part in a movement.