Brother Ali, who released Left In The Deck this year, also spoke with HipHopDX regarding the greatest lesson he learned in 2013. 

The biggest lesson has been even when somebody does something wrong to me or to people I love, to not allow myself to get so down that it actually hinders me,” Brother Ali said in an interview with HipHopDX. “I’ve had some really disappointing things happen with people I trusted this year, and I let myself get to a point where it was slowing me down. I started wearing it. I started carrying it like a weight, and it was weighing me down. I almost was defining myself as the dude, the guy that so-and-so did wrong.” 

Ramadan allowed Ali to learn that this was happening in his life, the rapper said. 

“Ramadan this year actually taught me that, because we were fasting, and we would stay up and read the Quran so the next day’s fasting was bearable,” Ali said. “Two things happened. One of them was the [George] Zimmerman verdict. That just messed me up so bad, because I knew so many people. We have a case in Minneapolis— an unarmed, young, African American kid named Terrance Franklin that the police shot in the head five times in a basement. And I know these kids that are working so hard to push for justice, his friends. These 20-year-old Black kids from the North Side of Minneapolis organizing, building power, and I know how hard they were working and when that verdict came out, it was such a blow, and it ruined my next few days and made me realize I have to be able to be compartmentalized to a certain point. So I don’t stop caring, but also don’t let it slow down my…I need to be healthy, and I need to be moving.” 

Brother Ali’s Left In The Deck was released in 2013 via Rhymesayers Entertainment. The project was available for free and featured production from Jake One.

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