Brother Ali is a local hip-hop icon who's been in the game for over a decade. He began his career with the small-circulation tape Rites of Passage, but it was his second studio album Shadows on the Sun that first earned him widespread acclaim. He solidified his reputation as a smart, vital voice in hip-hop with The Undisputed Truth in 2007 and Us in 2009.
Now, he's returned with Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, released today on (of course) Ali's longtime label Rhymesayers Entertainment. The album features soulful production from one of Rhymesayers' in-house producers, Jake One, and offers an especially incendiary take on Ali's trademark blend of the fiercely political and the deeply personal.
Brother Ali stopped by The Current studio to chat with Barb Abney about the new album and play a few songs.
Songs played: "Only Life I Know," "Fajr" and "Mourning in America."
- Brother Ali
- Album Review: Brother Ali - Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color Politically charged albums can sound preachy if handled clumsily, but Brother Ali's relaxed and conversational cadence showcases his personal approach to sociopolitics and his skill for presenting intellectual ideas in a universal language.
- Brother Ali performs at the Minnesota State Fair Brother Ali visited the MPR booth to chat with Mary Lucia and perform for the crowd.
- Brother Ali talks about his newest work Brother Ali's new album, called "Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color," will be released Sept. 18. It comes after a difficult time in his life that led to a rejuvenating pilgrimage to Mecca.
- Theft of the Dial: Brother Ali Got to sit down with a dude who I will forever be connected to. When I hosted the Fakebook series Chuck D was my very special guest, Brother Ali and Slug were my musical guests, We were all nervous and in complete awe of Chuck and here we're doing our thing in front of someone we all were so honored to meet who had been so inspiring to us all.
- Brother Ali arrested in Occupy protest Protesters say Brother Ali was among 13 people arrested in South Minneapolis Thursday night during an act of civil disobedience that was part of an ongoing occupation of a foreclosed home.
- Brother Ali performs live in The Current studios With lyrics that showcase his lyrical prowess and a personal story that's as interesting to hear as to read, local hip-hop virtuoso Brother Ali has made an unparalleled mark on the world of independent hip hop.
- Brother Ali performs in the Current studio Looking at a list of some of Brother Ali's influences lets you know right off how versatile this brother can be. With artists like KRS One, Spoonie Gee, Muddy Waters, Forest Whitaker, Public Enemy, Rakim, Huey Newton, Robert DeNiro, and Slug mentioned, you can see that he gets his inspiration from more than music.
- Brother Ali: Live from SXSW Brother Ali's second full album The Undisputed Truth will be released in April, 2007. The Minneapolis rapper has been through some hard times in the past few years. He and his wife split. They fought over their son. Ali was homeless for a spell.
- Brother Ali performs in studio Brother Ali performs "Lookin' At Me Sideways," "Forest Whitaker," and "Rain Water"