Brother Ali brings lush lyrics to the stage
Brother Ali is out to bring back the unity of society one show at a time.
“We don’t have togetherness anymore,” Ali Newman, better known as rapper Brother Ali said. “Sometimes a show is the one and only time we get together about anything.”
A sense of oneness was palpable at the Fox Theatre on March 6, where the packed venue served as one united body. A sea of arms swayed back and forth to the catchy rap beats as one booming voice screamed words that the performers coached the audience to say.
Energy was high as Toki Wright hopped on stage with DJ BK-One, who mixed vinyl records for all of the night’s performances. Wright said that no matter what bands usually say at shows, Boulder is truly his favorite place to perform.
Wright made political statements in his songs and even asked which audience members had registered to vote. He also addressed his thoughts about the current president.
“Maybe you’re a Bush supporter, and that’s just stupid,” Wright said.
Energy stayed high between each performer as BK-One maintained a steady dance beat while Wright remained on stage to keep up the audience’s hype with the phrases “Make money, money,” and “Hip hop, don’t stop.”
Abstract Rude also gave an amazing show, spilling out lyrics with such speed and creativity that his words blended into its own beat. His songs were less political, and focused more on relaxing all day and living life.
“Dust yourself off and realize life goes on,” Abstract Rude said before putting on a pair of sunglasses and singing the song “All Day.”
By the time Brother Ali strode onto the stage, the venue was filled with clouds of smoke and a mass of bobbing bodies.
Brother Ali performed his first two songs with an antique microphone that added a fuzzy quality to his sound. He also relied on the audience to sing key parts to his songs.
He recognized the talent of bands on conventional record labels, but said that he preferred being on an independent label that receives support from fans who have to make an effort to find his music.
“If you listen to the radio and don’t like the things you’re hearing, you have to get out there and find the things you want,” he said.
The performance lapsed into slam poetry twice, eliminating a beat so the lyrics could make a deeper impact. Brother Ali rapped about politics, growing up in poverty and about being albino.
Most songs were from Brother Ali’s most recent album, “The Undisputed Truth,”including “Uncle Sam Goddamn” and “Take Me Home.”
The audience screamed for an encore, so Toki Wright and Abstract Rude came out for an extended freestyle session with the other artists.
Most audience members said they were impressed with the constant energy flow of the show and with the lyrical skills of all three rappers.
“I’ve been to a lot of the rap shows from the Rhymesayers crew,” Matt Moskal, 20, a Spanish and psychology majorsaid. “They did a great job of keeping the hype.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Reporter Carolyn Michaels at Carolyn.firstname.lastname@example.org.