Brother Ali: Wrestling With His Ego While Creating New Album
Hounded and harassed by Homeland Security after his song and video Uncle Sam Goddam went viral back in 2007, Brother Ali continues to be called one of raps most insightful and political artists. He calls his album Mourning in America, Dreaming In Color (2012), a manifesto on the political, socioeconomic and cultural suffering in modern American life, as well as a declaration of hope and possibility for a brighter future. Working on the follow up currently, Brother Ali is mindful is focused on creating work that does no harm, as he told me during a recent interview for the podcast Below the Fold. “The ego is such a ninja. The ego is so masterful in trying to destroy everything that we do. It can poison the work that we are doing in terms of thinking that my truth is the best and only truth. Even in being humble, the ego gets off on people saying ‘Oh man, I can’t believe how humble you are’. Listen to that full interview where Brother Ali dishes on how far Homeland Security went to intimidate him, being a community organizer, the influence of his mentor Chuck D, and how Donald Trump’s racism has already made things much worse for his family. Islam is how Brother Ali wrestles with his ego and to listen to him now, it sounds like he is winning. Concerning his next album, Brother Ali told Soren Baker of Hip Hop dx “This album is a lot less overtly political in the sense of policies and distribution of things. It’s a lot more dealing with community and life, how to be a person, how to actively practice the art of loving and how to practice what it really takes to be a community. It has a lot to do with how we can get our hearts right and how to be bonded and to be connected to each other in really genuine ways.” No title or release date is set for the forthcoming album. Wrestling with his ego in Minneapolis, Brother Ali is not a man in a rush.