Five Brother Ali classics you've probably never heard

Photo by Jonathan Mannion

See Also:
Cover Story: Brother Ali in His Own Words
Brother Ali: The day I met Cornel West

This week, hometown hero and indie rap superstar Brother Ali unleashes his new album Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. Declaring that it's not only a new album, but a new chapter in his career, we decided to mark the occasion by taking a look back at the best lesser-known jams that the big Brother has in his catalog. Like our rare Slug songs piece a few weeks back, we stuck to the rules of choosing nothing originally found on ANY official Brother Ali commercial releases. Here's five of the dopest deep cuts of his we could dig up.

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Tom Morello rages against Paul Ryan's machine

Photo by Erik Hess (More shots here.)
Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello rallies against another Wisconsin Republican, Scott Walker, back in June.
See Also:
Paul Ryan's Rage Against the Machine love is destined to be unrequited

Rage Against The Machine: The Battle of Minneapolis, part deux
Brother Ali to join Tom Morello at rally to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Big shock: The revelation that Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan likes Rage Against the Machine didn't go over well with the members of the band. Gimme Noise predicted this earlier in the week. In an op-ed with Rolling Stone, guitarist Tom Morello affirmed that the Wisconsin Republican "is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades."
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Flipp's Brynn Arens on Volume's 10th anniversary

Categories: History
Flipp's Brynn Arens

This week marks 10 years since the national release of Minneapolis rock heroes Flipp's Volume. Known for their incredible promotional stunts, the band celebrated the release by playing full concerts in three lucky fans' garages in one day. I happened to be one of those lucky fans. Ten years later, I had the chance to sit down with the band's frontman Brynn Arens (who now plays in the OddFathers) for a look back at Flipp, Volume and their wild rock and roll rollercoaster.

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Led Zeppelin IV turns 40-years-old today

Categories: History

​Dust off your vinyl copies of Led Zeppelin IV and crank up "Stairway To Heaven," for the most commercially successful album in Zep's storied history turns 40-years-old today. The album, which never technically received a title from the band (hence all the various fan generated titles for the album -- the Four Symbols logo, Four Symbols, ZoSo, etc...), is the third highest selling record in U.S. music history, selling well-over 20 million copies in the States alone, despite the fact that the band name was deliberately left off the album cover.

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Joni Mitchell turns 68 today, let's celebrate with some covers

Categories: History

The incomparable Canadian songstress Joni Mitchell turns 68 today. And while her own stirring music certainly stands proudly on its own, some of the most famous recordings of her songs have been done by other musicians. The list of artists who have covered Mitchell's songs over the years is a long and curious one (Leonard Nimoy, Jim Nabors, and Robert Downey, Jr.), but there are indeed some great covers of Joni's songs to be found out there. And for her 68th birthday, we've collected a few of the best in celebration of her impressive, inspiring career. Happy birthday, Joni!

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Miles Davis began recording Bitches Brew on this date in 1969, and changed modern music forever

With the dust of the just-completed Woodstock festival still settling, Miles Davis was on his own idiosyncratic trip on this date in 1969, as he settled into Columbia Records' 30th Street Studio in Manhattan to begin the three-day recording sessions that would produce his groundbreaking jazz-rock record, Bitches Brew. The album features a stellar cast of musicians who came to the studio with little knowledge of what they were getting into or what songs they were going to play. Davis thrived on playing in the moment, giving very little direction to the players or demands for what directions he wanted the songs to go, while also knowing exactly what type of style and sound he was searching for. More »

Dr. Dre: An abridged history in honor of Dre Day

Categories: History
​Dre Day, our annual bluntsmoked, brass monkeyed, and ingeniously tended get-down in honor of the one and only, was started by the local design firm Burlesque of North America nine years ago Saturday, when those multi-disciplinarians were banded around Life Sucks Die Magazine. And for all the ridiculousness, rumors, and low profiling, Dre still deserves it.

So in honor of the day and the man, we've put together a look back at why anyone gives a shit.

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10 best Beavis and Butthead moments

Categories: History
Yesterday the news leaped forth from the Internet that everyone's favorite (hopefully not only in retrospect) latchkey simpletons Beavis and Butthead are returning to MTV sometime later this year, part of a top-to-bottom restructuring of MTV's corporate posture. 

While the news wasn't entirely new -- their return has been rumored since last summer -- it does leave us a bit of room to reminisce, doesn't it? 

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Snoop Dogg: Master of time and history

Categories: History
Snoop Dogg is many things: actor, coach, writer, husband, father, seminal West Coast rapper, time-traveler, and history alterer. 

Here now, a small sampling of his exploits through the ages.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day: A musical tribute

Categories: History, Holiday
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Monday, January 20, 1992, as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday.

Twenty-four years after his assassination on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was honored with a national holiday (except for a few reluctant states including New Hampshire, which took another seven years to officially jump on board), the only federal holiday to honor an African-American. 

Here then, a humble musical tribute to Dr. King.

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