Trainwreck’d Society’s Person of 2013: Alexander Hallett [Exclusive]
February 7, 2014 3 Comments
When it came to choosing this year’s Person of Year I have to admit, I think I chose them very early on in the year. Yes, there were a few contenders to pour in later, but I think I always had my heart set on this guy. Sir Alexander Hallett.
I first came to know Alex almost five years ago when I was writing primarily for Fensepost.com under the wing of the wise and talented Andrew Fenstermaker. Fensepost wasn’t known for its inclusion of hip hop music in its then twice daily music posts. But, Fense knew I was a fan of “alternative” hip hop, so he passed along a request from an artist named Alexipharmic. The name alone intrigued me, as I could hardly figure out how to say it. I remember listening to one of his many Good Side of Bad volumes at a little breakfast nook in a temporary home when I first moved to Spokane, WA. I was absolutely blown away. At this point in my life, my resignation of listening to the hip hop world was almost in full effect, but I was always holding on. In fact I am certain that Alex only found me because I had recently done my first ever hip hop album review for one of comrades, John Overlie a.k.a. Grynch. And thus the story of how I have come to know and become in awe of Alexander Hallett began.
Years later, Alex would change his staged name to Bodi. Which was a name that I would also butcher for a while before hearing it pronounced right (It’s Bo-Dee). And he continued to make beautiful songs and perform across the country. His strength in lyrics has always been a high selling point for his work for me, and he still manages to grow with every song he throws down. The point where Alex truly became a dear friend of mine (although, we have never actually met, but one day!) was in the earliest part of 2011 when I was working on a charity based
collective works book entitled Children of Mercy: Tales and Teachings From The World of Independent Music. It was a collection of essays by some of the fine folks I have managed to get to know in the independent music world. And Alex wrote one of the dearest, most heart-felt essays that paid tribute to the near recent passing of one of his friends/idols, Michael “Eyedea” Larsen, a man whose rise to fame was obvious with a bustling career and large fan base, but was sadly cut short at a young age. Alex’s brilliant words about Michael led me to decide that COM had to be dedicated in his honor. I am eternally grateful that Alex was so willing, and practically eager, to help out with this project.
So, that is how I know him. I know that is a long-winded explanation of two people meeting, without actually meeting, for an article that is supposed to be about the great things somebody did in a certain year, not about essays and music released 3-5 years ago. So here we go: Whenever I think of how to describe Alexander Hallet, there is always one simple word that comes to mind. Selfless.
As some of you may know, Bodi topped the end of year lists this year here at TWS. His single “Clotho” came in as our #2 favorite song of the year, and his album The Fall of Atlas came in as our #1 favorite album. Yes, it was that damn good, I will recommend it to everyone out there who says hip hop is dead (but that is a whole other can of worms to open). It was not only my favorite album of the year, it will certainly be a contender throughout the rest of my days as, “one of the greatest” I have ever heard. But, it isn’t just Alex’s talents as Bodi that make him so special. Let’s go on
The album was released last February, and two days later Alex hit the road. Only Alex wasn’t going on tour to promote his latest and greatest efforts. No, the artist known as Bodi was setting off on what he would call The Volunteer Adventure. I don’t know about you, but heading to an orphanage outside of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is about the strangest way to promote an album release I have ever heard of. Of course, this brings us back to the big word. Selfless. And Alex was not just headed to Vietnam for a week to help out, the man set out on an entire year of volunteering across the globe! This cat also spent a month to two months in Cambodia, Nepal, Kenya, South Africa, Romania, Colombia, and Peru. All the while, lending whatever services were needed from him. Even as I type these words, I find it completely astonishing and breathtaking just how much of himself Alex gave up for almost an entire year to help those less fortunate than himself. In fact, I am beginning to wonder if the world “Selfless” just isn’t enough.
What is most peculiar about Alex taking this adventure really is just how NOT surprised I, and certainly others, were to hear that Alex would do such a thing. He has always been a charitable lad. Since his inception as a hip hop artist, he has donated at least 50% of any proceeds he receives to one great cause or another. He has already been to Kenya in the years prior to this volunteer adventure, which was probably what sparked his interest in moving about the earth once again. Those who know and love Alex, surely understand all of these things, and have to be even more proud of him than I am. I’m just a blogger with a little website I like to use to talk about my friends. And when I know somebody like this, it is such a privilege to attempt to honor him in any way possible.
And like we always do, we felt it was necessary to invite some of Alex’s friends to join in on the fun and tell us why exactly Alex deserves this nomination, and probably even more recognition than he will ever deserve. I may have already stolen the thunder from some of the contributors in the previous text, but let it be known that these are HIS friends he has, in some form or another worked with or knows personally. And it truly solidifies the fact that Alex is just a great person, and a prime example of how more people should be. Just about everyone who knows Alex, even those not featured below, will surely tell you that he is without a doubt one of the kindest souls you may ever have the great fortune of knowing, hearing about, or simply passing by on the street.
Thank you Alex for your contributions in music that we so adore, and especially for contributions to the world. You are a beautiful man.
Alex is, without question, the most incredible, selfless, compassionate and inspiring man I have ever met. He is always working to make himself, others, and the world better, and does it with more grace and unwavering positivity than I could have imagined. I have spent a lot of time with Alex, and have seen first hand the impact he has on everyone and every thing he touches, always leaving things in a better place than how he found them. What he’s doing now is maybe his greatest feat yet, and it’s incredible for me to know and witness him changing lives across the globe. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to have been a part of it with him. He has become the change he wants to see in the world, and I am so proud of that. He deserves for every dream to come true, and I think being recognized for the amazing and hard work he is doing is a great start.
I know Alex through hiphop and music. About 6 years ago I left a message on Grieves’ Myspace page and got a message from Alex saying if I like what Grieves is doing it’s quite possible that I’d like his stuff. So I checked it out and I really liked what I heard. We’ve been friends ever since and I actually never met him in person till a few months ago but meeting him was as if we’d known each other for ages.
I think Alex deserves the award because he has an unsatisfying desire to help people, whether it’s through his music or his album sales(of which he has always given half to charity) or his volunteer work we’re he gives himself tirelessly. I don’t know of too many people, firstly with this type of commitment and then the actual desire and drive to actually get up and do something. What he’s done over the years and this year in specific deems him well-worthy of this award in my eyes. He is changing people’s lives for the better and I have nothing but the utmost respect for that. So, thanks Alex.
I met Alex in May 2011 through mutual music friend Nicholas “Ordeal” Oliver when I opened for the Neverending Gun Show Tour in Chicago. I ended up spending the next four days/nights around the guys on the tour in IL, IA and MN (the final day of which was Soundset) and on the third night, at the tour’s Twin Cities stop at Honey, I mentioned to Alex that I was interested in touring myself. Two months later, I was on the road doing shows throughout the US West with him, Engineers in Your Ear and Doctype for two incredible weeks. Since this time, Alex and I keep in regular contact, discussing matters of life, continuing to collaborate on shows and musical efforts, and seasonally duking it out in fantasy football & basketball. In such a short amount of time, he has quickly become one of my very good friends and someone who I consider as close as family.
Alex is one the most genuine and selfless people I’ve known in my life. He is the type of person to look out for the well-being of others over his own pleasure or satisfaction. Just look at what he’s been up to in 2013; living in and sharing his time, efforts and knowledge with young children in orphanages throughout the world for a full year. That alone makes Alex worthy of this nomination. I feel more than honored and privileged to be able to call him my friend and am always hoping for the best for him.
Alex and i have been friends since the 1st grade and haven’t looked back since. Through all the ups and downs, we have been best friends for over 20 years. Although we went to college in different states and subsequently lived in different areas for much of post college life, whenever we get a chance to hang out again, we slide back into the old routine, without ever skipping a beat. The mark of true friendship.
In my mind, there isn’t a more genuine or humble human being on the planet. while his trek around the globe helping those less fortunate is being seen by many people, away from that light, he is just as compassionate and helpful, if not more so. He has helped me through my greatest adversities and has been nothing but supportive in my dreams and abilities. He puts others needs above his and doesn’t hesitate to drop his own plans if someone is in trouble, whether that person is a stranger or someone close to him. I could spend a long time writing all the things that make the man special and deserving of this honor. When it comes down to it, there aren’t many people in the world as selfless and genuine as him. People are lucky to hear his passion and drive through his music. I am beyond lucky to call him my friend.
Alex may be the most genuine and kind-hearted soul I have ever met. This guy has inspired me in my life more than words can explain. He carries thoughtful heart into any project he does and strives to make the world a better place by helping others. He is an amazing humanitarian and a great friend. The first day I met Alex in person, he drove from Colorado to Arizona to kick off a Tour we planned through long-distance social media communications. We traveled to many cities as complete strangers and eventually grew to be great friends. During the trip Alex made it a point to take us to some of the most amazing places and even took us into his home where we met his Father and Step-mother. I can see where he gets his kindness from, as his parents are also wonderful people. Alex is always traveling the world offering a helping hand in less-fortunate communities. He has literally improved the quality of life for entire villages. Alex is proof that there are still amazing people in this world and I feel blessed to call him my friend.
I know Alex throughout the hip hop community and tour scene. He stayed at my house while passing through Denton Tx on tour with Kristoff Krane and Sadistik and Ordeal. Since then we have kept in touch via facebook and he has been an inspiration to my upcoming journey that I will be going on. He is worthy of the nomination because he does one thing that most people don’t do. He actually follows through with what he says. To much in life people say they are gonna do something, or dream about doing something and this dude actually did it. He changes peoples lives man in all his projects. There are not to many genuine people out there anymore and he is a great example of one that still shines.
I know Alex through music but I better know Alex by becoming his friend through music. We have toward several times together and I couldn’t ask for a more trust worthy and responsible person to spend time out in the wild with. Alex is selfless. Without a doubt the most compassionate and caring individual I have ever met. His empathy is without bound. He is the type of person you immediately know you can trust. He volunteers most of his years for the needy and when he is not volunteering he is working and saving so that he can go back out to volunteer all over again. Selfless. He wouldn’t only give you the shirt off of his back he would also give you his last meal. Alex isn’t worthy of this nomination. Alex is the reason this kind of award can exist.
I met Alex on the Never Ending Gun Show tour in 2011. He was performing as Bodi and I had the pleasure of getting an opening slot in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Alex and the crew stayed at my house for a couple of days before they had to leave for tier next show. I was impacted by how nice and approachable he is. Even now we keep in touch over the internet. Alex deserves this without a doubt. It’s hard enough maintaining a career in music without anything else; but then he takes 50% of the profit and donates it to charity?! That’s impressive. Most people keep all their money. And now he is sacrificing a year if his life to help others. Volunteering his time in orphanages all over the world. Honestly, Alex is one of the most compassionate and selfless people I know.
I met Alex through our mutual friend Cody Foster (Sadistik) a couple of years back. he asked me to sing on a song that was my favorite of his and i jumped at the chance. but it wasn’t until meeting him properly months later, and talking at length, sharing music back and forth, that i realized what a uniquely kind person he is, and then started to see how that had seeped into his rapping. i actually burst into tears once looking at the photos he had taken on some of his trips helping kids in third world countries. i hope that he has gained a lot from his recent travels and that many people have benefited from getting to meet him.
For those of you out there who just now discovering Alexander Hallett and his work, good for you. And check out his website to learn even more!