5 Questions with Brother Ali as 'Us' approaches
|Photo By B Fresh Photography|
Brother Ali's forthcoming album is upon us. That's right, Rhymesayers' lyrical heavy-hitter is back again, but with a more introspective tone than ever. The album Us will "touch on the strengths and flaws of the human condition, exploring drug abuse, divorce, homophobia and many more topics that most people are scared to touch in their own lives, much less on an album for the world to see," according to the release. Gimmie Noise caught up with Ali at his recent video shoot in the Warehouse District to get personal, and get the scoop on his tour and new album.
|Photo by B Fresh Photography|
|Brother Ali with his wife and kids|
Gimme Noise: The upcoming album is called "Us." It was going to be called "Street Preacher," so why the change?
Brother Ali: A fan gave me the title "Street Preacher," the message being: connect with other people by embracing who we really are. I set out to make an album of stories from the people I love and give my listeners an intimate look at a side of life they may not be familiar with. "Street Preacher" was the working title until the album was done. Siddiq [of Rhymesayers Entertainment] and I were listening through the finished album and came to the conclusion that the title didn't end up matching the content...I don't "preach." It's just not who I am--I ended up telling stories about "Us." The all-inclusive, greater "Us" that makes the world go 'round. So we decided to rename the album what it's really about--Us.
GN: You will be rolling worldwide for your "Fresh Air Tour" with Toki and Evidence in less than a month. How will this tour give fans a breath of fresh air? Where does the name come from?
BA: The idea is to celebrate life and appreciate what we have. We're not concerned with what the magazines and videos and rappers tell us we need to own to enjoy life. We're blessed to be who we are and we appreciate life no matter what challenges it throws our way.
GN: On the new single "Fresh Air," you talk about buying a house. How does it feel to be able to buy a home for you and your family with money you earned doing what you appear to love- rapping?
It's a dream come true. There's no other way to say it. There's nothing lavish about my lifestyle-- I'll probably never be on MTV Cribs but I'm the luckiest son-of-a-bitch that ever lived.
GN: On Twitter you tweeted "You know you're in love when you and your girl can make Wendy's in car with the baby feel like a date. God is Good!" Where is your favorite place to take your wife out on a date?
BA: Steaks outside at Nye's. A walk by the river at St. Anthony Main and a good movie. The rest is none of your business. *wink*
GN: Being away from your family while on tour must be challenging. What plans do you have in the works before you leave?
BA: Being away from them for long periods is literally torture for everyone involved. Just thinking about it makes my heart sink. It's the evil downside of what we do. I'm really blessed to have a supportive wife and I try to make every minute count when we're together. When we're home, I'm able to create my own schedule so I can spend every minute with them. I'm an extremely hands-on dad. The goal for the next few weeks is to get Faheem off to a good start in the new school year.
Free MP3 of "Us": CLICK HERE
For a slideshow of Ali at his recent video shoot, click here.
-- Rebecca McDonald