Brother Ali

From06 March 2019to 07 March 2019

Brother Ali

Part of the Minneapolis Rhymesayers crew, Brother Ali (Ali Newman, born July 30th 1977) is an underground rap artist from Wisconsin, US.

Brother Ali is an unusual character. As a devout Muslim, Ali is an important figure for the Muslim community in the world of Hip Hop, standing alone in a world of drugs, sex and hedonism. Alongside his religious beliefs that are entirely opposite to the lifestyle of other Hip Hop artists, he also has the rare genetic condition of albinism, leaving him with a lack of pigment, making him even more unique. Yet whiles these facts make him a rare character, it is his socially conscious underground rap that has made him turn heads in hip hop, achieving significant success in the charts.

Growing up in various cities in the Midwest, US, his family settled in Minneapolis, where he began rapping at the tender age of eight, recording his first piece of music at 13. His demo tapes, “Rites of Passage” (2000) caught the attention of the Rhymesayers crew, who decided to sign Ali, bringing him along as part of their crew to the 2000 Scribble Jam, where Ali reached the finals. In 2003 he released his debut record, “Shadows on the Sun” which dealt with his struggles due to his albinism.

His next three records all entered the top 100 US Charts, entering the top ten of the Indie Charts and R & B/Rap Charts. 2007’s “Undisputed Truth” peaked at 69, with 2009’s “Us,” a return to more traditional forms of hip hop, reaching 56 and 2012’s “Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color,” which held more political vehemence than previous records, peaked at 44.

Brother Ali is known for his outspoken political activism, focusing on themes of racial inequality, slavery, economic injustice and gay rights. His song and accompanying video “Uncle Sam Goddamn” even prompted the US Department of Homeland Security to freeze financial earnings from being transferred to his label.

Wednesday 06 March 2019
Brother Ali
The Pinhook, Durham, NC, US

Thursday 07 March 2019
Brother Ali
Motorco Music Hall, Durham, NC, US


January 22, 2019 in