Brother Ali is sorta like a preacher. He laces his songs with uplifting messages, social commentary and tales of inner growth. And on his fourth album, Us, the 32-year-old Minneapolis MC totally embraces the role. “Street preacher is what a fan once called me,” he rhymes on the title track. “I been called worse and tried to live up;” the lyrics on the horn-heavy “Preacher” could easily be a sermon in a Sunday-morning mass. Brother Ali’s fiery, passionate delivery will have you yelling “amen.” Atmosphere’s Ant produced Us, and he touches up the beats with an array of live instruments, giving most of the tracks a bluesy vibe. Almost a decade after his indie-hip-hop debut, Brother Ali is still grounded and still champions the little guy. He never panders to the mainstream, but he’s not too avant-garde to pen a few catchy choruses. His latest incarnation as a preacher is most fitting: Fans take his word as gospel. Brother Ali leads the Fresh Air Tour with Evidence, Toki Wright & BK One and Smokescreen. It comes to the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588) at 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 advance, $14 day of show. — Eddie Fleisher
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.