Some have called Brother Ali's
[click to read]
Shadows on the Sun [click to read] a
powerful album; a stellar release full of raw potency that showcased a
breakdown of self with introspective splendor. His follow up, The
[click to read],
took the broken pieces to rebuild Ali, tying loose ends, answering
questions and showing the joy of a man who succeeded despite hardship.
In between, The Champion EP was a bridge to that victory. Now, The
Brother is unveiling The Truth is Here, a new EP containing the next
chapter of this celebrated emcee's career, where he is able to unwind
with rhymes still as intricate as ever.
The greatness of Ali
has always been his autobiographical approach, which is evident from
the jump on "Real as Can Be." The song, including interesting tidbits
on tour stops and tragedy, gives Ali the chance to announce that he's
"got a brand new baby daughter on the way." The strength is still
evident on "Philistine David," where he is unafraid to add melodious
hooks to complement his knock out flow in a rhyme about perseverance.
Another significant quality in his repertoire has also been his
versatility. Whether discussing suicide ("Palm the Joker"), faith
("Good Lord"), or love ("Baby Don't Go"), the rapping is always on
point with elaborate rhyme patterns and forceful delivery. Slug's
appearance is an added bonus, as the two trade bars on "The Believers."
If it ain't broke, why fix it? The Brother Ali/Ant union is still
alive. While there may be an addition of other producers in the
upcoming Ali album, this EP is fortunately full of Ant's fingerprints.
The smooth Jazz of "Real As Can Be" is followed by the more upbeat
"Philistine David." Where the samples in "Palm the Joker" permeate the
track with Soul, the piano's keys on "Good Lord" infuse the track with
a buoyant tempo rarely heard on Ali songs. "Baby Don't Go" manages to
fuse those two together, a soulful song full of bounce. Speaking of
bounce, the bass on "Talkin' My Shit" adds to the smooth vibe that is
prominent on the backend of the album. "Begin Here," the finale, is
simply Ant at his best, flexing elaborate samples with a rough, calm
drum pattern that allows Ali to bow and close the curtains to a
Ali has disassembled his life, put it back
together and put it all on wax. He's shown us his darkest and most
joyous of moments in a way rarely seen in rap. Matching skill with
candor and introspection with an intimidating delivery, he's
consistently crafted praise-worthy releases. This is no different. The
Truth is Here is another chapter in this edition of Brother Ali's
autobiography, one that begs for the pages to continue to be turned. On
this album, Ali says "If you ain't really thinking 'bout the things
that you say/Then don't call me a hater when I feel the same way." It's
only clear that Ali truly does care about what he says and gives enough
reason for any Hip Hop fan to do the same.