Mourning In America And Dreaming In Color
Brother's back with his fourth LP on Rhymesayers with platinum-selling producer Jake One. If you haven't guessed from the title, its a political critique of America.
1: Distorted bass and happy-go-lucky chimes. Slick production. Brother Ali alternates between criticizing and praising America, highly insightful stuff. "I Want to make this country what it says it is". Dr. Cornel West kicks some words of wisdom at the end. Dope!
*2: Simply poppin' Just Blaze-esque soul beat. A more critical/cynical view of America's people. "A subprime mortgage in a failing house market / You die just as poor as when you started".
*3: Beat sounds like somethin' Common would spit over, real slick soul keys. Lovin' that snare! Ali admits that the "energy I brought might've been a bit off" on the Us album. Ali raps about losing his beloved DJ as his career grows. Real inspiring stuff.
4: Slower, electro Dilla-esque beat. Apocalyptic. "Murder murder, kill kill kill". Not sure about the female vocals though.
5: Rock guitar beat with hectic drums. Not the most inspired sounding beat. Nice scratching on the chorus. Brother Ali calls for change! Amir Sulaiman steals the show at the end though, awesome verse.
6:Brother Ali raps about his frustration with being broke as fuck. "People stressing here's the question / how they get people drinking tea in a recession?" Real insightful political hip hop, dope shit.
7: More gangsta/synthetic beat. Now Brother Ali is selling cocaine! Marijuana! Rappers selling drugs and/or prostitutes? Blasphemy!
8: Another synthetic/gangsta beat. This got the 8-bit swag goin'. Brother Ali talks about his music, selling out for the mainstream, typical underground rap subject matter but he does it really well.
*9: Happy-go-lucky guitar/bassline. These drums are fucking hard though. Poppin'! braggadocio shit, but once again Ali does it flawlessly. "Seinfeld rap your show bout nothin'".
10: Take-em-back-to-church vocals, some organ, cool drums, production sounds a bit overdone. Not sure exactly what Ali is tryin' to say here, but its reeaal deep dude.
11: Nice motown flip with that funky piano. The brother raps about the origin of his namesake and the legend behind it. Cool, short jam.
*12: Pitched up soul vocals, classic drums. Ali raps about finding his son with his head badly burned, "child protection payed a visit..." Serious family problems, dawg. Really heartfelt, conscious rap. Bravo.
13: Reals soulful, funky beat with the smooth soul vocals on the chorus. "the art of truly living is learning how to die". This is the love song, and its good.
14: More vocals on the chorus, somewhat less smooth. Diggin' the bass line on this. "Let the choir sing!" Brother Ali pays tribute to his idols. Nice closer.