Brother Ali

If the idea of an albino Muslim rapper sounds like the start of a bad and potentially offensive joke, you haven't met Brother Ali, an MC with skills that render all biographical trivia irrelevant. Though the Minneapolis wordsmith's introspective and occasionally self-loathing lyrics have much in common with the boohoo-hop of homeboy Slug, Ali slings hard-core rhymes and block-party boasts with a flow that has earned him comparisons to Tupac and Eminem, and enabled him to hold his own on stages with luminaries like Rakim and Big Daddy Kane. While Ali taps the brain, producer Ant keeps the booty busy with a funky foundation of chipmunk soul samples and bass-heavy beats. On his much-anticipated sophomore full-length, The Undisputed Truth, the self-proclaimed "thugged-out nerd" unflinchingly hits painful subjects -- from his recent divorce to the U.S. government -- without losing the downbeat or his sense of humor ("You got more exes than the honorable Elijah Muhammad"). Brother's gonna work it out. -- Eyl

O Brother, where art thou pigment?


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