Cultural Arts Review

Posted on October 10, 2012 by


This weekend I went to the Brother Ali concert at First Avenue in Minneapolis. I originally went to see my friend open for Ali, but I definitely got more than I thought I would. I expected to hear some great rapping, but I did not expect to get a message of pain, truth, and love.

The concert was part of the Mourning in America tour. Brother Ali’s newest album came out September 18th this year. Yet another somewhat controversial album of Ali’s, “The Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color [album] presents a scathing, yet honest, critique of America and its many flaws while simultaneously presenting a hopeful outlook of its possibilities.”1 After seeing this for myself, I agree with this statement 100%. In fact, before the concert started 4 people representing Occupy Homes MN came out and spoke. They want people to start crying out against the injustice of questionable home foreclosures. Before the concert even started we were getting hammered with political issues. Classic Brother Ali from what I can tell.

On top of speaking out on political issues, also “preached” to us some of his beliefs. He said, “…I believe in that thing that we call God, or Allah, or-or-or-or Karma, or the Universe, or Science or whatever you think is out there, that is a force of Good out there, I believe that that thing is real.” He goes on to say much more (I wish I could post the video but it’s not working) but his base line message is that we should love. Coming from a Muslim in America in such a time of struggle, I found this inspiring. I’m not sure about a lot of things, including the challenges of inter-faith dialogue, but I felt that Brother Ali was speaking of something greater. He doesn’t rap about sex, or drugs, or fighting, he raps about things that matter. To stop thinking about hatred and start focusing on love. And I appreciated that. I support Brother Ali and his message of truth and love.



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