Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Brother Ali 

Thursday, November 11; the Hi-Pointe

Big men seldom need to use big words to defend their honor, so sometimes big boys' vocabularies can get a little rusty. Not Brother Ali. It's not just any rapper who can call the Minneapolis-based Rhymesayers label home. Having the balls to dub himself Ali alludes to hella hype as well. But Brother Ali delivers the punch his name promises.

Ali isn't one of those quick-to-sign-the-dotted-line, studio-only kinds of rappers. Earning credibility in freestyle battles, Ali is inherently at ease onstage. On his album Shadows on the Sun, he proves his ability to craft songs more intricate than the boasts and disses spit back and forth by braggart MCs. Ali spins stories of the downtrodden in Minneapolis and addresses his own insecurities in poignant retrospectives. After throwing his inner dialogue about being an Islamic overweight albino out to the masses, he rebounds with tough street talk about his skills. No rapper can make an album without pumping himself up; it wouldn't be rap any other way. Ali just does it with a touch of humor and dignified reserve.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Latest in Critics' Picks

More by Andrea Noble

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 3, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation