Brother Ali : The Troubadour : 3/13/08

     Midwest hip-hop dropped on West Hollywood Thursday night at the Troubadour. Brother Ali, representing Minneapolis, MN, showcased his brand of slick rhymes and deep beats.
     Apparently unlike the majority of fans in attendance, it was my first time seeing him live. Prior to this evening my impressions were founded on the sound of his voice and the flow of his lyrics. I have to admit, I wasn’t convinced Brother Ali was white until he walked out on stage in his custom Muhammad Ali jacket. It’s not every day that you see an albino white rapper who can spit fire like that. Don’t get me wrong; I think anyone is capable of mastering anything (including rap), no matter what your race, gender, eye color, height, weight, freckle count, toe count or background is. All are appreciated, accepted and are faced without prejudice in my eyes.
     The same open minded sentiment matched the vibe of good feelings filling the Troubadour’s atmosphere. At no point did I feel like people were posers, or accusing others of being a poser, or judging anyone on the depth of their hip-hop fidelity.
     Brother Ali floated around the stage effortlessly with a smooth flow, in sync with the crowd and perpetual turntables pacing the rhymes. Set list selections (at least the ones I recognized) spanned albums Shadows on the Sun and his most recent release, The Undisputed Truth. Brother Ali’s commentary on the current state of affairs in America are prevalent on tracks like Uncle Sam Goddamn and Freedom Ain’t Free. It’s critical, but not necessarily negative or hateful. He wants the people to listen and rise up to make a difference.
     Check him out live or on Rhymesayers Entertainment records.

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