Last Tuesday Rhymesayers mainstay Brother Ali released his studio album "Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color". In the weeks leading into the release of his latest chapter of work I had the opportunity to speak with Ali on a few topics & be graced with his perspectives on what's going on in the world & more. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Brother Ali - his music has been a coping mechanism to me at rough spots or confusing times in my own life as I imagine it has been for many other listeners. Being tasked with interviewing someone who has truly influenced my life largely on a musical level was to say the least was nerve-racking.
For the last couple days I've been giving back to back spins to "Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color" without growing the least bit tired of doing so. In an album that feels necessary given the current state of things in this country listening to Ali mesh life driven stories & commentary upon some of the raw issues Americans are facing everyday at the very least is discussion provoking. You can tell that Ali isn't just rapping to rap ( not that he ever was ) - he wants you to take in his message. From the opening song "Letter To My Countrymen (Feat. Dr. Cornel West)" Ali states "I think the struggle to be free is our inheritance.." a feeling that resonates throughout an album filled with unfortunate realities our middle class & poor are left to face in a what has been a turbulent time for many Americans.
Interview with Brother Ali:
Aided by an array of instrumentals from platinum-selling producer Jake One strong moments are far from few on MIAADIC from Stop The Press, Work Everyday, & Need A Knot to latter songs such as All You Need & My Beloved feat. Choklate & Tone Trezure Ali balances topics ranging from his hustle cutting lawns & sweeping hair up to questions like "how are so many poor people conservative? in one of the albums stand-out verses at the end of Work Everyday.
Ali separates himself from the majority of emcees out there once again with this album - not only showing a progression of his own musical abilities but just also that he is an all around good guy who you really get the feeling is in it to help people see/learn/or overall just understand & become better through a sense of community & connectedness amongst one another. With our countries election less than two months away some of the underlying themes of this album really touch on everything real that is going on right now & provides you with a bleek reality but leaves you optimistic & uplifted when taken in properly.
A lot of tracks on this album stood out to me - & some hit me hard such as "Stop The Press"..where Ali explains the gap between this record & his previous "Us" showing us through tragedy & life changes what his journey to this record entailed. I found some humor in "Need A Knot" where Ali makes you think he's a weed slanging pimp of sorts..that is until you discover what his metaphors represent at the end of each verse.
Here is one of the lead videos from "Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color."
You can pick up your copy of Brother Ali's latest studio album at Fifth Element here: http://fifthelementonline.com/collections/brother-ali/products/brother-ali-mourning-in-america-and-dreaming-in-color