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Muslim albino rapper Brother Ali in City Pages

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Muslim albino rapper Brother Ali in City Pages

Postby Pete Scholtes registering » Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:01 pm

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Thought Madison might enjoy my story on Madison native Brother Ali:

City Pages: "Dark Star"
http://citypages.com/databank/28/1375/article15315.asp

Complicated Fun: "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
http://blogs.citypages.com/pscholtes/2007/04/he_aint_heavy_h.asp

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Postby Pete Scholtes registering » Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:14 pm

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Postby Darthcrank » Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:33 pm

breaking news: having a skin pigment disorder makes you able to re-assign your race.

Another white guy claiming to be black at heart....how Don Imus of him.
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Postby Pete Scholtes registering » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:41 am

Darthcrank wrote:breaking news: having a skin pigment disorder makes you able to re-assign your race.

Another white guy claiming to be black at heart....how Don Imus of him.


Hey, I'm just happy to get a response to the article.

But for the sake of argument, please point out an example of where Brother Ali is "claiming to be black at heart."

I can save you the time: He never does.

It's interesting that you'd draw that conclusion, though.
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Postby rezin » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:29 pm

nice article.


who cares what race he is, or thinks he is? it's just great music, and he's really good live. should be a great show on friday.
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Postby charliedon'tsurf » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:44 pm

I am looking forward to the show on Friday night and good article in the City Pages. A couple early reviews I have read of The Undisputed Truth makes it sound that it may not live up to the glory of the debut album Shadows on the Sun. Which is why I did not rush out to buy it last Tuesday. Still it has been great seeing Ali develop as a performer. He can work a crowd now so much better now than I first saw him opening up an Atmosphere show around five years ago. It probably also has something to do with how now he has created a dedicated fan base who are fired up at his shows in the matter of a scant couple years.

On a less related note I enjoy your writing in the City Pages and on your blog, Peter. Also as one of the owners/shitworkers at Crustacean Records we really appreciate the love you have given some of our acts. Minneapolis is sort of our sister city and where we sell the most records now and getting press attention there is partially responsible. You should have received your promo copy of the new Drunk Drivers record and the new Screaming Cyn Cyn & The Pons should be on your desk by the weekend.
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Postby Pete Scholtes registering » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:01 pm

Thanks for the kind words, man. The Drunk Drivers?! Great live band, surprised they're still alive and together!

I'm not sure why, but I've always admired Ali more than really loved him until this new one. I think part of it is engineering; the new record just SOUNDS better to me than any of the previous Rhymesayers stuff, even my favorite old tracks. It's also that he's singing more, which is a real untapped strength of his.

I obviously didn't talk much about the music in the piece, but I think he's swinging harder, and is writing almost straight out of his thoughts into songs too personal for me to even feel like I should be reviewing. Live, the new songs and old ones blend into a perfect best-of, and he has the pace down right. His DJ also does a tad more actual cutting and scratching, and Ali does some a capella, which works better for a few of the songs, anyway.

Hearing the album and talking to the guy, and then seeing the reactions in the wider glare of publicity and fan expectations has been interesting. Jesus, growing up on the near East Side of Madison, how many kids were there who wouldn't have exactly known how to answer if you asked them if they were black or white? Now I wonder how many of the most disdainful comments about Ali come from whites desperate to be down.
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Postby Darthcrank » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:25 pm

Pete Scholtes registering wrote:
Darthcrank wrote:breaking news: having a skin pigment disorder makes you able to re-assign your race.

Another white guy claiming to be black at heart....how Don Imus of him.


Hey, I'm just happy to get a response to the article.

But for the sake of argument, please point out an example of where Brother Ali is "claiming to be black at heart."

I can save you the time: He never does.

It's interesting that you'd draw that conclusion, though.


Alrighty, I'll retract the statement. After carefully re-reading that I come away with the notion that he wants to be race-less, though he identifies with the woes of some...
And that is honorable.

And then I listened to more than the clip of the rap-off contest.

Damn. he has a great voice.
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Postby Frank Booth » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:33 pm

"Damn. he has a great voice."

It is pretty spellbinding to see him live, I've never seen someone whose voice can run from a quiet whisper to a booming tone so well. Dynamics, they're the non-CRUNK!
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