Brother Ali | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Brother Ali 

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After several years of seemingly nonstop touring, Minneapolis MC Brother Ali is starting to reap the benefits---his fans are all over the brand-new The Undisputed Truth (Rhymesayers Entertainment), and he's slated to play Coachella. His latest record launches from the same gut-wrenching place as 2004's unfuckwithable Champion EP. Guided by the Koran and an allegiance to the Funky 4+1, Ali alternates rap-game chest beating with impassioned survival screeds about trying to hold a family together, and his flow is a blustering gospel fury that makes it all potent and personal. Producer Ant, on loan from Atmosphere, throws his slurry drawl atop warm reggae chops and forceful 70s rock leads. Ali hasn't lost any of his tense melancholy, but now he's effortlessly confident---and he should be. Psalm One, BK-One, Trama, and Toki Wright open. a 7 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $12. A

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