The ideas of community and belonging have been thematic staples in Brother Ali's work since the beginning of his career, so it makes sense that one of the Twin Cities' most established hip-hop artists would jump at the chance to help out the people in his own hometown. On Saturday, October 1, Ali will be closing down the streets surrounding his mosque in North Minneapolis, Masjid An-Nur, for a full day of community outreach that will offer those in need free medical services and supplies, and will cap off with performances by both Ali and fellow Rhymesayers artist Freeway.
[jump] People and families in need will be able to receive health care services, haircuts, meals, winter clothing, school supplies and health/hygiene kits, according to a statement from the label. Everything will be free and open to the public.
Ali also posted his own thoughts on the event in a YouTube video. "There are a lot of events that we do throughout the year, especially in our hometown. I love doing the First Avenue shows, and I love doing Soundset," he says. "But this event has a particularly special place in my heart -- because it's in my particular space in the community, but then it's also such a service to humanity. It's not just a show. All different parts of the Twin Cities community get to come together to actually help in need, and then have this music here to celebrate the cultural side as well."
Watch the whole preview video here, which also gives a brief tour of the mosque Ali has been active with since the early '90s:
And here's the official flyer for the event:
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