Top

blog

Stories

 

Brother Ali boycotts Grammys, drops free EP

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
brother_ali_bite_marked.jpg
No Grammys, no flat-screens, no BS.
While most of y'all were lazing around watching the Grammy Awards on Sunday, Brother Ali was staging a personal protest. "I'm boycotting the Grammy's. Refusing to watch until @Atmosphere gets a nomination. (or until I get TV at my house)," he tweeted. Although Bon Iver's double win signals some loosening of the major-label stronghold on the event, hip-hop categories are still locked down by the mainstream acts. The gap between Drake and the attitudes of Rhymesayers, Ali and Atmosphere's label, which was built with bricks of philanthropy and good intentions, doesn't appear to be closing anytime soon.

So, in the mean time, Brother Ali has released a seven-song EP entitled The Bite Marked Heart for free.

Last night during the Grammys, Ali and Slug of Atmosphere riffed publicly about this dichotomy, engaging in a tongue-in-cheek Twitter exchange about "music's biggest night's" continual snubbing of the Rhymesayers movement.

Though the statement was coated by a joke about Ali's total disengagement from all mainstream media (anybody surprised that he isn't tuning into The Voice?), the sentiment says something about the conscious finiteness of Rhymesayers' moral approach to hip-hop. 

They've stuck to their indie guns from the get-go -- they stayed in Minnesota, they kept "bitches and hoes" out of their rhetoric, and they haven't won a Grammy. But the tone of Slug and Ali's dialogue tells us that, however deserving they feel they might be, industry recognition was never the goal.

As successful as their movement has become, there is a mainstream ozone layer that -- for better or worse -- good-natured, "emo" rap has been unable to pierce. In 100 years when the deciders of history determine just what to make of the hip-hop movement, it's very possible that Ali and Atmosphere will represent those that did it right -- even if "Grammy Award-winning" was never one of their epithets. 

In the meantime, let's enjoy the spoils of having altruistic artists in our backyard. Here's The Bite Marked Heart, a soulful taste of the thematic spoonful Ali feeds you throughout the EP: be good to your neighbor, love conquers all, live in the moment, etc. The full EP can be downloaded here.



Also, here's the video for "Shine On."



City Pages on Facebook | Gimme Noise on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us
My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
scoops
scoops

Nice! A May Hawthorne Sample! Two of my favorite artists! 

Richwoman
Richwoman

Let's join the best wealthy dating site: Milcupid,C-oM meet more rich guys and beautiful girls.

Sam I am.
Sam I am.

Rap is for uneducated trash.

Celebration Gen
Celebration Gen

Why take a shot at Drake? What exactly is less than "moral" or "Good Intentions" about him or his music?  I've yet to see or hear any sort of scandal involving him, have never heard "bitches and hoes" type crap from him (granted, I only hear his stuff on the radio), but he seems like a good egg.

By and large, Canadian rap & hip hop - and their artists - tend to stay away from that stuff, focusing more on positive messages. I'm not by ANY means a fan of rap and hip hop, but even I can appreciate a little K'Naan,  Cardinal Offishal, and K-os, when they end up mixed in on the radio.

If anything, Drake should be getting props for making it in the US music scene, as a Canadian! *Most* artists from outside the US borders get pretty ignored in mainstream music awards.

bill.e.goat
bill.e.goat

 I am surprised you aren't just in LOVE with it then!

Makie
Makie

wow... I actually agree with you?

Tony Blair
Tony Blair

Um. Listen to any song by Drake sometime. All he EVER "raps" about is sex, drugs, and money. Don't get me wrong, I'm generally a Drake fan - but the point here is that there is real substance in the lyrics coming from the Rhymesayers artists. 

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

 I think he was commenting more on the fact Drake would be considered like the 15th best rapper in Minnesota right now.   He might be good enough to do like one verse on a Dessa song or something, maybe.   

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

This was definitely not a shot at Canadians. Drake has stayed away from scandal, but the point is more related to his status within a major label promotional cycle and the Grammy spoils that come along with that.

Celebration Gen
Celebration Gen

 Didn't say it was a shot at Canadians.  Merely pointed out that if the author wanted to illustrate a "gap", he picked a really inaccurate example for his purposes.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...