Philly's Most Wanted Rapper ABH Exhibits How Cartoons Helped Him Escape From The Mean Streets

A new solo exhibition in Los Angeles recently launched, featuring the works of veteran rapper Al-Baseer Holly (ABH).
Born in Philadelphia, ABH’s art first found expression through his work as a member of the hip-hop duo Philly’s Most Wanted.
Taking his voice from the mic to the canvas, the self-taught artist now pays tribute to childhood memories through his vivid vignettes that colorfully blend pop culture figures with street art style.
Saturday Mornings at the Bruce Lurie Gallery is hosting Saturday Mornings, which features a series of paintings that incorporate nostalgic cartoon imagery from ABH’s childhood.
Cartoons were an important for ABH growing up on the Mean Streets of Philadelphia, where he could escape by watching them on Saturday mornings.
These works reveal the playful energy of these moments of freedom that existed in a blissful state of immediacy, lacking the constraints of rule and regimen.
The adventure and excitement of these cartoon worlds created for him a simple pleasure that acted as an engaging escape from quotidian concerns.
ABH revisits iconic characters such as Spongebob Squarepants, Beavis and Butthead, and G.I. Joe, among others, and juxtaposes their literal images with a variety of abstract representations.

He strives to expose the social commentary found in the cartoons’ multifaceted characters.
In each piece, the brightly hued compositions balance humor, narrative, and reflective discourse that capture the zeitgeist of the era in which the cartoons were viewed.

ABH’s work has been exhibited nationwide and has attracted the attention of Tommy Hilfiger, Beyonce, and Rita Ora.
Saturday Mornings will be on view beginning June 2 and will remain so until June 30 at the Bruce Lurie Gallertly in Los  Angeles, California.