Sad news has been revealed to the world and the music community, Brendon Whitney better known as Alias, has passed away at the age of 41. Whitney’s label Anticon has confirmed that Whitney suffered a heart attack on March 30 and expired soon after.
Whitney formed popular underground hip hop label Anticon with fellow rapper Sole. The two collaborated when Whitney joined Sole’s band Live Poet’s, which would later become a flagship of the Anticon label better known as Deep Puddle Dynamics. Alias and Sole would later be joined by Doseone, Jel, Odd Nosdam, Pedestrian and Yoni Wolf in 1998 to form Anticon.
Along with nine highly regarded solo albums, most recently Pitch Black Prism in 2014, Whitney produced albums for other respected hip hop artists such as Sole, Sage Francis, B. Dolan and Pedestrian. The Portland, Maine native also released six EPs, four compilation albums and made appearances with other artists such as DJ Krush and Themselves.
When Whitney switched from rapping to producing, he became known for ditching samples and involving real instruments in his production. He released his first instrumental album Muted in 2003 and released a remix compilation in 2007 called Collected Remixes.
Whitney was highly regarded not only by the close community in Maine, but by various artists across the music community as well. “They taught young people you don’t have to have a major record deal, you can do this on your own,” said Lauren Wayne, a longtime friend of Whitney and general manager of the State Theatre in Portland. “He showed people you didn’t have to be a slave to the record labels, you could make music and be happy. That was probably the biggest thing about him, he encouraged everyone to make music.”
Friend and collaborator Sage Francis took to twitter to let fans, friends and family know how they can contribute to Whitney’s memorial.
A GoFundMe has been put together for Bren’s memorial: https://t.co/5z4tlu3efO
This will help alleviate some of the financial stress amidst all the other horrors his family has to deal with. If you’ve got any money to spare, please know that it’s going to a great cause. #RIPalias
— Sage Francis (@SageFrancis) April 2, 2018