Brother Ali well heard at the Bluebird
RHYMESAYER WORDSMITH WORKS A MIXED CROWD
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 01:10
Hip hop artist Brother Ali has overcome great challenges in his life to become a highly revered wordsmith, not only in his hometown of Minneapolis’ hip hop community, but all throughout the underground hip hop circuit.
Alongside Denver natives The Reminders, Ali erupted the Bluebird Theater with epic mic ripping and uplifting messages that boosted spirits in the crowd.
Consisting of a keyboardist, a trio of brass players, and an eccentric guitarist, Brother Ali’s stage ensemble was an interesting bunch for a hip hop act. Powerful horn stabs from the combo of a trombone, french horn, and trumpet erupted throughout the theater as guitar squeals intensified Ali’s entrance. Ali, who is “not the classic profile of what the ladies want,” stood over the crowd and quickly turned the band’s jam session into the very fun and funky “The Preacher.”
The song set an appropriate tone for the evening, delivering the soulful positivity of Brother Ali while maintaining the intensity of a classic rap show.
The good times even extended to the funny crowd. It began when Ali was hyping the crowd along with his title track “Mourning In America,” when an overexcited drunk Boulderite began to spew beer from his nostrils all over the face of a sorority girl in front of him. Too drunk to care beyond the initial shock, she continued to jam while the snot-alcohol juice dripped down her face.
The hilarity continued when more students smoked up and acted like hilarious fools while falling over themselves. Despite the idiocy in the crowd, the concert was also particularly interesting for having a large amount of Muslim concertgoers. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that so many people unite over the soulfulness of one man’s words.
Ali would go on to perform more songs from the beginning of his career, like the very influential “Self Taught” and the very crowd friendly “Forest Whitiker,” which pokes fun at all his physical irregularities and makes itself into an amazingly positive song.
Looking taller in person, Ali’s stage presence and commandeering stance could very well have allowed him to pursue a very successful career as a real preacher. Thankfully, he chose to give the crowd fist-clenching, politically and socially conscious music, like “Uncle Sam Goddamn,” which completely set the crowd off.
Ali was vibing with the crowd so much he performed the slow number “The Bite Marked Heart.” He said it was the first time he’d ever done it live.
Finally, after shaking the earth and the crowd all night, he finished off by performing the most explosive song of the night. He made sure the crowd felt him, as much as he felt them and did “Truth Is Here,” even bringing The Reminders on stage with him.