Review Summary: An EP thats making that LP coming out later this year look like gilded hydroponic on a silver platter delivered to your king-sized bedside by a group of half-nude Geisha girls.
Brother Ali is a man of many woes, and many talents. Born an Albino and legally blind, his early life was one of social rejection and self-doubt. But once he happened upon a particular musical art called hip-hop, he must've realized his affinity for it could go much further than the role of a fan (we still love you guys.) Born again as a highly spiritual rap artist, his insecurity has proven to be a springboard to indie fame and global recognition. This is an EP released earlier this year (in 2009,) drying the drooling mouths of Ali fans awaiting his Fall '09 release. Short, sweet and ***ing groovy.
The production is beautiful, and perfect. Utilizing harmony far more than the typical rap song does, the beats alone could be released as an album. A slew of instruments that create enveloping atmospheres in the vein of jazz, orchestra, blues, rock, and of course hip-hop. Mastered to fruition, the production is loud, prominent, and the ideal layout for an MC with a impassioned style like Ali's to flow over. The beats include Ali's spiritual emotion in that they are brimming with soulful instrumentation. You'll hear guitars, keyboards, strings, maracas, and bass guitars, among other instruments bleed heartfelt music. My band instructor used to tell me that when you'd hear something like this back in the day, the musically and socially inclined spectators would say, "Damn, this guy plays like he's black.
" whether or not his/her complexion fitted that description, but the metaphor is obvious. "The Truth Is Here" is instrumentally celebratory, contemplative, aggressive, and celestial.
Lyrically? If you don't know about Brother Ali, now would be a fantastic time to find out. On this EP it seems the man has found his divine, poetic sound. Here is an example, from the song "Palm The Joker":
We spend days punchin' brick walls, The scabs we rip em off and fill them bitches with salt
To our injury we add insult, got a leather bound edition of *** that ain't our fault
Throughout the whole album he sounds prophetic, and self-assured, with lyrics that relate his struggles to people who share similar downsides. There is heavy emphasis on his faith, but to me (an atheist) it makes the preaching all the more credible. If there were a Church of Brother Ali I'd make my way down for service on more than Sunday morning to hear this man speak. He has a seductive way with words, certainly, and his flow is jazzy - almost sounds like he's singing when he isn't (and he does.) The lyrical performance on "The Truth Is Here" make the album even more dance-floor worthy than the awesomely hip-hop production does. Brother Ali's penmanship alone is lively - when performed you can't help but at least want
to move. Even when he's describing hard times, the dude can't help but at least keep his head up the whole time. Fledgling rapper? You could learn a lot from Brother Ali.
In short, "The Truth Is Here" is a necessary accompaniment for summer-day loving hip-hop heads. Even if you harbor a strong hatred for the genre, judging by the general areas of music most people respect and enjoy, this album should still have something for you and its probably on more than one song. Get this, and look out for the full length "Street Preacher" in the fall of 2009.
Damn how the world do it, the world is wrong
She knew I was right the moment she heard my song