Open Studio files: Ari Berne

Guest post by Spencer Peterson

This week’s Open Studio is a chat with Ari Berne, a local hip-hop artist who’s been rapping since age 10, and recording, releasing and performing locally under the stage name Ghetti for the better part of the last decade. Right now, Berne is working on The Waterbearer II, the followup to 2008’s The Waterbearer, which, when it’s eventually finished, will be released for free via his Facebook page.

Of course, putting tracks on the Internet is part of being small these days, but it fits snugly into the Ghetti production ethos. In 2006, Berne kicked off an underground hip-hop showcase on the erstwhile Star Hill stage declaring that "commercial rap sucks." And if you’ve been charting the increasingly stellar trajectories of indie rap acts like Kid Cudi and Tyler, The Creator over the last couple years, you’ll know that Berne was with—if not ahead—of his time in sounding the death knell for the genre stranglehold of commercial hip-hop. Berne is fan of both Cudi and Tyler, but if you really want to worship at the same altar, you’ll pick up MF DOOM’s Mm.. Food.

Ari Berne. Photo by John Robinson. More below.

For Berne, the magic happens at the Music Resource Center on Ridge Street, where he spends a lot of his time tutoring youngsters in the ways of recording and production, and stays around after hours to edit his own work with the help of local producing phenom Damani Harrison. To get a taste of what’s in store for The Waterbearer II, check out Berne’s last album Get City, or give these tracks-in-progress from the upcoming release a listen—which, by way of warning, are neither PG nor PC.