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Esquire Ali to raise vibes at 1078 Gallery, Downlo

Trevor Whitney

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Chico State junior anthropology major Haronamus Maximus, better known as Esquire Ali, has two upcoming shows: Friday, Jan. 30 at Downlo and Saturday, Feb. 7 at 1078 Gallery.

The free Downlo show will feature Ali in support of “Günesh,” the audiovisual representation of the local art collective Vibe Tribe. The collective is made up of local graphic designers, screen printers, glass blowers and members of local bands alongside Ali and his cohorts.

Senior music industry and technology major Alec Beretz of Burning Loud will be performing with the politically themed hip-hop and funk group, Flag Ashes.

“The Downlo is going to be more of a classic show than 1078,” Beretz said. “You know, it’s a bar show. At 1078 though, things are going to get a little bit weirder — a little more avant-garde. We’re going to try some things we haven’t tried before.”

Burning Loud will make an appearance, but between the acoustic songs, genre crossovers, and rappers and DJ’s, even he doesn’t know what to expect, Beretz said.

Ali urges people to come out to his shows because of the diversity and versatility the Tribe brings that touring acts like RL Grime don’t.

He also said that he’s at the top of his game thus far.

“I’m growing into myself and that’s what the name ‘Esquire Ali’ represents,” Ali said.

The former “Ghost of Gucci Mane” likened his growth to that of Goku and Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z.

“I used to be ‘The Old Ali,’ because people were ‘Lil’ this, ‘Big’ that, ‘Young’ whatever,” Ali said. “But ‘Esquire Ali’ is my Super Saiyan 3. We’ll see if I can jump another level from here.”

However, his persona isn’t the only thing Ali has evolved, he said.

“We’re about to bring the theatrics on the seventh,” Ali said. “We’re coming at you like a psychedelic kaleidoscope inside your ears. You’re going to walk out of the show with no clothes on because you’re going to feel that comfortable.”

The show will be the first taste of what’s to come this year for Ali, who said he’s already working on five different projects.

“People need the Vibe Tribe,” he said, “and I’m willing to take the risk of not seeing a single dollar of profit to bring it to them.”

For the upcoming show, Ali had the 1078 Gallery ticket price brought down from $5 to $3.

“I know I can rock any crowd,” he said. “Anyone that’s into music, aficionado or not, can get down.”

Trevor Whitney can be reached at [email protected] or @nicegrandmas on Twitter.

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Esquire Ali to raise vibes at 1078 Gallery, Downlo