Brother Ali

The Truth Is Here

My “greatest rapper” list reads differently from most. Ghostface
Killah resides at the zenith, beside Rakim’s throne, and Minneapolis
truth agent Brother Ali — who recently toured with those two
gods, and whose The Truth Is Here is his second perfect disc in
as many years — just earned a spot in my Top Five Alive column.
Ali’s 2007 divine rap masterpiece, The Undisputed Truth, was a
theme album of sorts, taking us through the honest but bittersweet
tribulations of an adopted albino MC whose positivity and talent
carried him from poverty to proud working-class bliss.This nine-track
EP picks right up, with the MC who would rather die on his feet than
live on his knees, standing tall in the wake of his ascent to the
pinnacle of underground hip-hop. Once again, Atmosphere’s producer
half, Ant, delivers beats that are decisively contemporary but at the
same time traditional enough for Ali to knock ’em down wild-style.And
why shouldn’t he break out his tightest throwback bass jumps (“Talkin’
My Shit”), his orchestral gracelands (“Palm the Joker”), and the
sweetest piano loop since “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” (“Good Lord”)? In rap
music right now there’s nobody worthier of the opportunity to bless
them. (Rhymesayers)

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