Thursday, May 28, 2009

Brother Ali

It's no secret that I pretend to know Rap music because I listen to Wale and The Cool Kids. So maybe I'm not the hippest cat from the suburbs of Cedar Rapids but I have found a new Pitchfork endorsed rapper that I think other cats might be into (and not the cute ones in my last post).

His name is Brother Ali and if you choose not to give him a listen at least read through his back story (via Wikipedia).

Brother Ali was born with a rare genetic condition called Albinism. This means he lacks the pigment that would normally give the skin, hair and eyes their color. The condition exists in all ethnic groups throughout the world. Cosmetic evidence of the condition is usually accompanied by visual difficulties (Ali is legally blind).

While Brother Ali’s family is african american, he has often described a childhood marked by cruelty and exclusion by his white classmates as a result of his obvious physical abnormality. He’s often explained that, from an early age, he felt most at home among African Americans.

When Ali’s career began to blossom, he began to field questions about his race. Due to his stage name (a common reference among religious communities, particularly Muslims i.e. “Brother Jabbar”, “Sister Ayesha”), many writers assumed Ali was black. When questioned on the subject, Ali declined to comment. In hindsight Ali regards this early decision as a mistake. It was wrongly reported that Ali was African American.

“Hip Hop and MCing was my life growing up. I always had dreams of making music and performing for a living. When Slug (of Atmosphere) gave me an opportunity to tour with him, I was introduced to the underground, independent Hip Hop scene. I was really surprised to find a scene where many of the artists and fans were white. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it at first. I eventually decided to just make music that was real to me and let the chips fall where they may.

His newest EP "The Truth is Here" is the album that really turned me onto him and I can't stop listening. Here's one of my favorite songs titled "Good Lord".

Brother Ali - Good Lord

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