We live in the days of Republican rap. Greedy, selfish capitalism is at the root of lyrics steeped in hedonism, and to borrow from the legendary Harry Belafonte, a glaring lack of ‘social responsibility.’ “We Built It,” the manifesto of that farce of a convention orchestrated in Tampa, Florida by the GOP, could easily apply to a genre swimming in Maybachs and pyramid scheme-esque millions.
This highly discernible shift leaves many lovers of Hip-Hop lamenting the days when the genre provided stark commentary on turbulent times with truth and fearlessness.
Enter Brother Ali.
Hailed as one of the most prolific rappers on the underground Hip-Hop scene, the Minneapolis based artist is well known for interweaving music and politics. Touching on everything from race, religion and poverty, Brother Ali’s album, “Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color,” is scheduled for a September 18th release. His latest music video for the title track, “Mourning in America,” is both visually and viscerally stunning and attacks such themes as war, gun violence, bullying, capital punishment and police brutality, while facing the issue of Islamophobia in this nation head on and without apology.
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“This song is an observation and a critique of our culture of death and murder,” said Brother Ali. “From actual war zones around the world to our own inner cities where this summer’s death rates rival war zones. I also address our national hypocrisy regarding violence. We have a zero tolerance policy of violence committed against us, but we’re a lot more lenient and patient when it comes to the violence we commit.
“A life is a life and a killer is a killer,” said Ali.
Oddly enough, none of these issues were addressed during a 3-day span of political rhetoric that allegedly was engineered to convey where America is — or should be — as a country.
Give thanks for Hip-Hop.
See the video, directed by Todd Angkasuwan, below and share your thoughts. Viewer discretion for children and those who experience adverse reactions to truth is highly advised.
To order “Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color,” click here.