Ali, of the platinum selling group St. Lunatics, and "Dirty South" impresario Goodie Mob alum Big Gipp will be releasing their collaborative debut album, Kinfolk, this Summer. Kinfolk comes following up their appearance on the #1 hit track ‘Grillz’ with Nelly and will be on his record label, Derrty Ent., an imprint of Universal Motown Records.
The first single off the album, “Go ‘Head,” is an anthemic summer song that combines "midwest swing" with southern crunk and is produced by up and coming St. Louis native Trife. "Gipp and I started hanging out a while back and found that we had a lot in common," says Ali. "We're both considered leaders in our crews, we're fathers and even though we have different styles, we respect each other's skills." Gipp describes their collaborative effort as “the best of both worlds-- the St. Lunatics kicked off the midwest movement and Goodie Mob helped establish southern rap, that’s why I say it’s the best of both worlds. Plain and simple."
In that spirit, Kinfolk has a mix of songs featuring "St. Louis" kin: Nelly, Murphy Lee and Derrty Ent newcomers, Chocolate Tai and Avery Storm; "Atlanta" kin Cee-lo and other southern all-stars include Juvenile, David Banner, Three 6 Mafia and Bun B. The album collab also contains a mix of mid-west and southern producers including the St. Louis hit-makers Jason "Jay E" Epperson and The Track Starz, Atlanta's uber-producer Dallas Austin and other talented newcomers.
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Ali made his debut on Nelly's 9X platinum groundbreaking debut, Country Grammar (2000). The St. Lunatics member was also featured on the groups' platinum certified album, Free City (2001). In 2002, he released his own noted solo album, Heavy Starch. Ali guested on various albums including the Longest Yard soundtrack as well as the Coach Carter soundtrack. Gipp has been one of the main cogs in the "Dirty South" movement since the mid-'90's as a leader of the groundbreaking, platinum-plus group Goodie Mob. The thought- provoking, Atlanta based foursome broke down the wall of East Coast/West Coast dominance in 1995 with their debut album Soul Food. The pioneering group's subsequent albums, including 1998's Still Standing, and their steadfast alliance with fellow "Dirty South" phenoms Outkast, forever cemented their reputation as one of hip-hop's most innovative groups. The original members began embarking on their own journeys in 2002, with Gipp releasing his first solo album, Mutant Mindframe, in 2003.