MGF Reviews Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth


Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth
Rhymesayers (4/10/07)
Rap / Hip-hop

Brother Ali is an Islamic albino from Minnesota.

An unusual rap artist? Well, of course, but the last thing hip-hop needs is something typical, right?

The Undisputed Truth is one of the best hip-hop albums to be released in recent years, and is, quite possibly, the top hip-hop release of 2007. (Rolling Stone‘s review of this album was nothing more than a thoughtless blurb. It gave the album three stars and was no more than three sentences long.)

After unveiling his Shadows on the Sun disc back in 2003, hip-hop heads overlooked this pink-eyed pale wonder, and today, he still remains one of the most underappreciated underground artists around.

For the most part The Undisputed Truth spends time mixing heartfelt introspective lyrics with traditional battle raps. His unmatched delivery helps each word hit as hard as it possibly can. It must be said, however, the production quality helps equally in catapulting this album to such a high level. As the second-half of duo Atmosphere, Ant (who produced the entire album) almost seems to provide better backdrops here for Brother Ali than has for his partner Slug in recent past.

The album includes a gang of soulful, organic soundscapes that sound as close to live music as any synthetic hip-hop album has gotten in recent years.

“Truth Is” serves as the album’s self-righteous, fist-pumping single. “Original King” takes things back, with a late-’80s style fused with a more modern cadence. The result is representative of the album itself; a mind-blowingly conscious battle-rap.

“Faheem” is a beautifully smooth letter to his son, explaining his recent divorce, and his decision to continuing touring away from him.

“I say I do this for you, but I know that’s not entirely true”

And lastly, “Walking Away” is an effective explanation to his ex-wife. The song is every bit as personal as any “Kim track” Eminem ever recorded.

“I don’t love you and I don’t think I ever did / And if you hadn’t tried to kill me, I’d have stayed for the kid”

Somewhere amidst this soulful masterpiece, Ali states “I rhyme better outside of the booth,” and that is pretty much all you need to know about him. Both he and this album are The Truth.

Ali truly feels like the last of a dying breed, and as such, deserves a spotlight (or any other artificial light source) placed on his Islamic Minnesotan albino ass for all to see.

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