“Music is such a sacred thing. It’s the only pure thing that I really have and I want to be the best at it and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it that way.”
Those honest words come from Minnesota’s newest sensation, Brother Ali, whose “Shadows of The Sun” LP has underground heads buzzing and hiphop journalists throwing out phrases like “best album of 2003.” Ali ain’t buying into the hype though and although he has moved up on the performance list of the latest Rhymesayer’s tour he’s far from even hitting his stride.
With Shadows Ali took his first step toward compiling a lasting body of work. The album is simply good music birthed in the midst of the worst year of his life. It’s depth and variety separate it from your average album and connects with the listener to the point where you can almost feel what he was going through at the time. Up to that point Ali’s world had been filled with bouts of unemployment, sub standard living, family drama and just about every other problem you can think of. Those struggles ended up making him stronger and set the tone and overall theme of the project.
“The idea of the album is that humans are at their best when they’re in the most strenuous situations,” begins Ali. “When human beings are under great pressure everything is stripped down and you really see the core of the person and a lot of times that’s when real beauty is seen.”
Ali and his partner, Atmosphere producer Ant, have already completed the Champion EP, a follow up that should hit later this spring. “It’s not put together like an album but its ten new songs,” explains Ali describing the upcoming release. “We didn’t do everything we’re gonna do with the second album but I felt like I made progress. I was more comfortable in the studio and I could see myself growing a little bit.”
Although Champion is waiting in the wings and a joint project with Slug is almost certain Ali plans to move beyond the traditional circle and work with the Molemen and Kool Akeem of the Micranots in the near future.