Listening to Brother Ali's records, you'd be forgiven for automatically assuming that his lyrics were not so much written as they were ripped, barehanded, from the boiling innards of some kind of seething rap volcano. At least that's how he's sounded since he started gathering national exposure with his 2003 breakthrough, Shadows on the Sun, and 18 months after his critically lauded The Undisputed Truth, a lot of underground hip-hop heads started wondering just where he got all that spitfire inspiration. Truth is, Ali's lyric-writing process is probably just like nearly every other MC's, from Rakim to Lil Wayne: A combination of a few (or several) spiral-bound notebooks' worth of feverishly scribbled ideas and a decent amount of off-the-dome freestyle concepts polished down to their tightest core. With Ali's personal back story, Muslim faith, philosophical beliefs, and finely tuned sense of bare-knuckled swagger coming into play, this installation of the Whole Music Club's annually recurring "Making Music" series should provide a great deal of insight into the working process of one of the Twin Cities' fiercest, most linguistically intricate artists. All ages.
Thu., Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., 2008