The Living Legends, a loose collective of MCs and DJs from Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Japan, and Europe. They are unique for both their down-to-earth songs and approach to the music business. One of the leaders of the DIY movement during the late 90’s, the Legends also chose to stay independent from record labels, joining the likes of Rhymesayers and Def Jux. After a four year hiatus since they last co-headlined Paid Dues in 2012, w/ Wu-Tang and Odd Future, the Living Legends are making their comeback to the stage starting in November 2015 at the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival.
The founding nucleus of the Living Legends, The Grouch, Sunspot Jonz, and Luckyiam, met in 1995 and soon after embarked on the first of a long series of self-funded tours abroad to Europe and Japan. Upon their return, they met up with a trio called 3MG or Three Melancholy Gypsies (MURS, Eligh, and Scarub) who had broken off from their Los Angeles-based group Log Cabin of the Good Life Cafe and reunited in Oakland. The sextet officially formed Living Legends in 1996 (along with Aesop and Bicasso) and gained national recognition for their self made and distributed releases, totaling over 20 in 97-99 alone.
As their fame grew, the Legends tirelessly visited the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Over the next 8 years the group would go on to release seven albums as Living Legends and over 100 titles as either individuals or sub-groups, selling well over a million units and maintaining the independent business model. One of the groups leaders, Murs would eventually found the world renowned Paid Dues Festival which was a festival celebrating independent artists and grew to 30k attendees in 2012. The festival hosted performers such as Kendrick Lamar, Odd Future, De La Soul, Rakim, Black Hippy, Atmosphere, Wu-Tang, Heiroglyphics, Ice Cube, Dilated Peoples, DJ Quick, Macklemore, and many many more.
Brother Ali is a respected Hip Hop artist, speaker, and community leader. His two-decade resume includes eight critically-acclaimed albums, mentorships with iconic Hip Hop legends Chuck D and Rakim, and performances on late night shows with Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien.
His provocative and uplifting brand of Hip Hop has earned him coveted press features like Rolling Stone’s 40th anniversary edition and Source Magazine’s “Hip Hop Quotables”, while his outspoken social justice message has landed him on government watch lists. He’s also lectured at universities from Princeton to Stanford and delivered the keynote address at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.
When he’s not rocking the mic at Coachella or being arrested for civil disobedience in support of marginalized communities, Brother Ali travels the world learning and teaching Islamic Spirituality under some of today’s most renowned teachers. In addition to leading worship services and classes, he co-founded The Gemali Project, an organization that helps Muslim converts and spiritual seekers access the beauty of the Islamic tradition. Brother Ali recently launched The Travelers Podcast from his new home in Istanbul, exploring life’s journey with cultural, spiritual, and thought leaders from across the globe.