Brother Ali

Striking though his categorical attributes might be, what makes Minnesota's best-known white albino Muslim rapper great is the swinging, preacherly sonorousness of his voice and how he puts it to intimate use when talking about "us"—as in, whoever is identifying with what he's saying. He's a rare cultural amalgam as a result, not because his between-worlds experience is so unusual (which it is and isn't), but because his righteousness is so generous. Produced entirely by Atmosphere's Ant, Brother Ali's new album on Rhymesayers, Us, finds him celebrating family peace and success (on "Fresh Air") but still identifying with outsiders five different ways, never more surefooted than when flowing, "You say I made you fall in love with me/Wish I could make you fall in love with you," and never sounding more natural and relaxed than with Mint Condition's Stokley Williams singing sweet backup on the outro. With Evidence, Toki Wright, and BK One. 18+ Fri; all ages Sat.
Fri., Nov. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 21, 5 p.m., 2009
 
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