lovers, chums mourn influential hip-hop artist from Maine after his death at age 41 Skip to main content

lovers, chums mourn influential hip-hop artist from Maine after his death at age 41

Brendon Whitney helped found Anticon, a collective of hip-hop artists that succeeded as a small independent record label.
Brendon Whitney helped found Anticon, a collective of hip-hop artists that succeeded as a small impartial listing label. "He showed americans you did not need to be a slave to the (huge) listing labels, you might make tune and be happy," spoke of Lauren Wayne of the State Theatre in Portland. image courtesy of Lauren Wayne
The tune of hip-hop artist Alias, who died unexpectedly Friday, blew the mind of Yarmouth chef and musician Christian Hayes – twice.
the first time become almost two decades ago, when a teen-aged Hayes grew to become transfixed by means of the clever, layered raps of Alias and his fellow artists at the influential California list label they started, Anticon. The 2nd time become when Hayes found out that Alias, whose actual identify became Brendon Whitney, turned into a Mainer identical to him and that their mothers had once worked together.
"For me, that song they made simply broke down the entire barriers of hip-hop. It turned into deep, introspective and simply brilliant storytelling. It wasn't flashy, it changed into all about poetry," talked about Hayes, 38. "Then to find out he turned into from Maine turned into just fabulous."
Whitney, of South Portland, was forty one. His demise devastated chums in Maine who recalled his continuously upbeat demeanor, and his musical legacy turned into celebrated in Rolling Stone, Spin and other track business publications. different hip-hop performers, including Sage Francis and Sole, lauded his ability and mourned his passing online.
Maine friends deploy a $50,000 GoFundMe crusade to support Whitney's spouse and two daughters. Hours after of its advent Monday, more than $eleven,200 had been donated.
Spin suggested that Whitney died of a heart assault, however didn't cite a source for the advice. A explanation for demise became no longer listed in his obituary or on the GoFundMe web page, which known as Whitney "a person who adored deeply, who turned into kind and ferociously compassionate, who was humorous in each the darkness and the easy."
Whitney grew up in Hollis and turned into performing hip-hop and writing raps as a young person at Bonny Eagle high faculty. He left Maine for Oakland, California, and helped discovered Anticon, a collective of hip-hop artists, around 1998, when he become in his early 20s. The collective automatically won attention for the songs' intelligent approach to hip-hop and rap. The small impartial label grew to be successful, besides the fact that the songs didn't get performed on mainstream radio.
one of Whitney's songs beneath the name Alias, "Divine Disappointment," is about God stepping back and searching at what his world and its americans have turn into.
"My quote-unquote followers nonetheless perpetually fill the stands on the so-referred to as seventh day/For years it's been this way/however these americans can't work out whether it's the primary or closing day to wish/They appear to consider that I'm forgiving of all/Which potential they've a scapegoat, if they happen to drop the ball."
Anticon's output helped prove to young musicians that they could make music on their own, the manner they wanted, devoid of being beholden to a major list label.
"They taught younger americans you don't must have an enormous record deal, which you can do this for your own," referred to Lauren Wayne, a longtime buddy of Whitney and generic manager of the State Theatre in Portland. "He confirmed individuals you didn't need to be a slave to the checklist labels, you might make track and be happy. That was doubtless the greatest thing about him, he inspired all and sundry to make music."
Anticon is based in l. a., but Whitney had moved back to Maine a couple of decade in the past and was making song from his domestic studio in South Portland, chums pointed out. He created beats for other musicians and put out an Alias album on Anticon in 2014 called "Pitch Black Prism."
A consultant for Anticon would not comment on Whitney's death Monday, announcing in an e mail, "we are organizing ourselves in the mean time."
Mo Nunez, a Maine-based mostly digital musician who performs beneath the identify Mosart212, become working with Whitney on a recording at Whitney's domestic remaining week.
Nunez changed into just getting all started as a performer in Maine a decade ago when he discovered that Whitney had moved returned to stronger Portland. He talked about that after he met Whitney, he may rarely trust he become Alias, the artist and producer he had listened to for therefore lengthy.
"i used to be really apprehensive to fulfill him. I didn't need to sound like a fan boy," said Nunez. "but from the style he become, how approachable he become, you'd have no conception that he was as a hit as he become."
Wayne referred to Whitney's more suitable Portland chums will possible arrange a advantage live performance in the near future in his reminiscence.
to hear track made via Whitney through the years go to: Anticon.com/artist/alias.
Ray Routhier will also be contacted at 210-1183 or at:
[email protected]
Twitter: RayRouthier
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