22. Brother Ali – Mourning in America, Dreaming in Color
It’s been an intense few years for Brother Ali since his last album in 2009. In fact, the track “Stop the Presses,” (which should open the album but doesn’t) details all of these things: the death of Eyedea, his musical break-up with producer Ant (of Atmosphere), his new, strong commitment to his Muslim faith. Those things combine to produce a radically different type of Brother Ali album. Those Ant beats that Ali rode tight like skin in the past are gone. Instead, this album is entirely produced by Jake One. Jake One’s beats here have a slightly more commercial snap to them, but they’re amongst his most cynical offerings too. These darker, slyer beats bring Ali to some complex crossroads. He’s typically on this album either angry over the state of America, or struggling to be a family man, or trying to calm down that anger through his spiritual teachings. It’s absolutely a portrait of an important American artist at a time of great change in their life. And while I don’t think this Jake One sound works as well for Ali as Ant’s beats did, this album still bumps and still teaches you how to be a better citizen. It will probably be the most enigmatic album of Ali’s career when it’s all finished.
Originally Posted by Delano
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