The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Reviews

Reviewed by Robert Gabriel, March 16, 2007, Music

Brother Ali

The Undisputed Truth (Rhymesayers)

So many years removed from the genesis of hip-hop culture in the Boogie Down Bronx, it's a wonder that anyone still tries to rationalize its explosion as some sort of deliberate advancement of a stringently defined discipline. It's not that a current MC like Minneapolis' Brother Ali should be slighted for taking hip-hop as such a literal set of rules and regulations. It's that those confines leave little room for anything we haven't already heard a million times before. Brother Ali obviously sports an adept vocal instrument, and he's got songs such as "Lookin' at Me Sideways" to prove it. Yet all too often, his voice/accent/rhyming patterns suffer from too much rehashed facsimile of past rap glories. As Ant's production more or less keeps things interesting over the course of The Undisputed Truth, Brother Ali barely avoids credit as a Frisbee manufacturer. (Friday, March 16, Emo's Main Room, 10:15pm)


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