On The Record: Sa’D ‘The Hourchild’ Ali
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
From P-Funk to G-Funk and beyond, funk is not only a state of mind for Sa’D “The Hourchild” Ali — it’s a way of life, and its smooth grooves have been ingrained in his soul.
A second-generation member of Parliament Funkadelic (there are a total of five generations) and nephew of funk soul icon George Clinton, he’s a 31-year member in the Universal Zulu Nation and has been deeply rooted in music long enough to have been involved in the birth of house and hip-hop music.
SA’D “THE HOURCHILD” ALI
With local opening DJs G-Spot, Vince and Willis Haltom
» Where: Nextdoor, 43 N. Hotel St.
Along with touring regularly, Ali is also one-fifth of a DJ-production-remix squad FSQ. He took a brief hiatus from the road recently to focus on DJing and finishing up a new album.
“I consider my productions to be like paintings with a vast cornucopia of sounds for colors,” he said. “Sounds are colors to me and all sounds are can be turned into musical notes.
“Sly Stone once said, ‘All music is the same song just played a different way.’”
The gifted Ali brings his family legacy and sonic sensibilities to NextDoor on Thursday. The vibes he absorbs behind the decks allow him to express his feelings and emotions, he said. Ali called DJing a blessing and a gift that will always be rooted in old school beliefs and organic intentions.
“I am not of that era of planning sets,” he said. “I play exclusives as well as music from the past that I know has been overlooked. Honolulu will experience funk from since the day I was born, to the songs that we made last week. I go off the energy of the people.”
Ali, who was given the nickname Hourchild twenty years ago because of his precise timing and drum programming prowess, was absent from the first leg of P-Funk’s highly acclaimed Shake The Gate Tour due to his own musical responsibilities. He promised to be back on board when the tour reboots later this year.
“The legacy of P-Funk means everything to me. It is constantly evolving. We follow no one. So it is a necessity to leave the secret of the ancient gods of funk to the babies,” he said. “Funk and soul music is the equivalent to pure cocaine and uncut heroin. The purer the funk, the more it can be stepped on and reissued. It only takes a little bit of funk or soul to get you high.”
Growing up in an era where inspiration and influence was all around him, DJs who specialized in a certain genre just didn’t exist. Sticking with the mantras of his youth and providing a vibe to dance and party to has made keeping the funk alive easy, yet he does find himself schooling today’s generation.
He said P-Funk’s “timeless impact” becomes common conversation with new artists. Sharing the history, lineage and wisdom of the lifestyle and sound is a responsibility he relishes.
“They have no way of grasping the depths of what P-Funk has done to the minds of the masses, which is understandable because they simply weren’t born yet,” he said. “It is still influencing the music of today. They have no real true way of understanding what P-Funk has done to change the way people feel about life and how George’s ideologies freed the minds and ushered in a new era of thinking and way of life.”
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.