Life is a journey. It’s a an ever changing and expansive trek, personalized with its own obstacles to clear the trail and guide others along their own way. Through it’s winding paths that we each must walk, we find refuge in the moments of joy in the face of uncertainty, hostility and doubt. Such is the path of Eli The Profit.
Known from his work in the celebrated groups Kids Like Us and Future Fossils, Eli The Profit has become an enlightened upstart of the budding wave within the Twin Cities. From selling out multiple shows at First Avenue’s 7th St Entry, his shows have brought a vibrant and rebellious energy that has captured the attention of a new generation of fans. As the scene continues to evolve past it’s backpack stigma that has pigeonholed it’s advancements, it has ushered in series of popular dance nights curated by the likes of Get Cryphy, My Parent’s Bassment and Turnt Up Crew. With this in mind, Eli decided to continue in this suit by throwing his own party simply called The Shimmy.
“The point of The Shimmy is to bring in an eclectic bill,” said Eli The Profit. “It’s not about bringing all the homies that rap just to rap, it’s about bringing in some different stuff.”
Although this may not be the first Shimmy, the evening is billed with anticipation as it’s brimming with many debuts. Aside from the help of the electronic based group TRNSTYL and sensational selektahs DJ Savy and DJ BVCKWOODS, it marks the performing debut of Milwaukee neo-soul singer Lex Allen after finding notoriety with his single “Puppy Love.” The night also heralds the First Avenue debut of the lowkey R&B lord, Saint LaRon as he will be offering his brand of alternative pop for the evening. On top of it all, The Shimmy will be hosted by the provocative Destiny Spike and the Spike Girls as they bring their bold brand of burlesque to the small venue.
While the evening is expected to be an extravagant night of twists and turns, The Shimmy also stands as the proper send off to Eli who is preparing to embark on a five month venture to Tel Aviv. Holding true to his Jewish heritage and his home of many of his relatives, he is planning his “ramas” to the holy land as an act of Zionism to help support the creation of a Jewish state within Palestine by taking part in basic training in the Israeli army. Although he is not expecting to take part in any combat, he has concerns of facing the hostility within a war torn country as he expresses that the main culprits of this conflict was spurn from the United Nation’s abrupt migration of over a million Holocaust survivors escaping the atrocities of WWII Europe. With all of the cultural shifts including learning the language and the city, Eli knows how hard it will be to leave the Twin Cities alone.
“Everywhere I go, I’m going to bring my city there. It’s not about me. The Twin Cities is unreal and now for me to be leaving it, it really makes my heart throb. Every time I think about it, it really makes me sad, it makes me nervous, makes me anxious, but then I think that all these feelings are what makes me, me. Makes my life feel alive. We all have to break out of our comfort zone, so I’m breaking out of mine.”
A part of breaking out of his comfort zone, he has already begun filling his time with many ambitions including taking a few culinary classes a few nights per week. With Tel Aviv remaining the westernized hub within the region, Eli is determined to bring Hip Hop to Israel’s thriving electronic scene as a source of unification. One way of proving this point will be in an upcoming lecture through the Schusterman Foundation as he will relay his experience in Hip Hop to help nurture a form of healing through the teaching of the four elements.
“I believe that Hip Hop is a religion in itself. I believe that anybody who knows about this culture knows that there is no dominate religion, there is no color even though it was a black culture. Even though we know that, it’s still something that we are still going to speak on to help exemplify so that we can bring Arabs and Israelis together through these freestyle sessions, writing workshops. It will a four hour lecture that will have a freestyle lecture, then a writing session, breakdancing, graffiti and finally close with the four pillars of Hip Hop. I’m also going to show Minneapolis Hip Hop too. My homeboy Danny is coming with to do the breakdancing.”
In addition to his prestigious lecture, he has already begun securing dates to perform at various parties and shows, linking up with multilingual MCs from all walks of life. And even though he has worked as part of groups, Eli vowed to continue to find his singular voice and continue working on more solo material when inspiration strikes before his October return home.
“I’m hoping everything will be the same, but I know the homies will have made some more ground work. Everything is the same, but it’s only going up from here.”
Photos by Fourth Aspect.