Audio Session – Brother Ali – Us (album)

I was originally going to start this post by saying “We’ve featured Brother Ali before…” NOT. That’s really a damn shame as GOOD as brother Ali is. Our man The Hip Hop Purist has been down for years and HE wrote a piece about the Brother before. But for some strange reason this is his first feature on Audio Sessions I guess that gives us a reason to go back and post his ealier albums. I mean its all new to you right?

From Wikipedia 
Jason Newman better known by the stage name Brother Ali was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1977, and spent his early childhood moving from city to city in the Midwest (mostly in Michigan). Ali’s family settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1992. It was in Minneapolis that Ali converted to Islam and was given the name Ali. He has a son, Faheem, from his first marriage, and remarried in 2008.

Ali was born with the rare genetic condition of albinism, a disorder characterized by a lack of pigment in skin, eyes, and hair. Brother Ali often makes fun of the media’s constant urge to mention his condition in the first lines of their reviews or newspaper articles.

While Brother Ali’s family is white, he has often described a childhood marked by cruelty and exclusion by his white classmates as a result of his physical abnormality. He’s often explained that, from an early age, he felt “most at home amongst African Americans.”

When Ali’s career began to blossom, he began to field questions about his race. Due to his stage name (a common reference among religious communities, particularly Muslims), many writers assumed Ali was black. When questioned on the subject, Ali declined to comment. In hindsight Ali regards this early decision as a mistake. It was wrongly reported that Ali was black.

In 2003 Brother Ali released his first studio project titled “Shadows On The Sun.”  Although the album had no major national distribution, “Shadows” was heavily praised by independent hip hop fans and publications. Ali used the album to explain his childhood and identity.

In September 2009, Brother Ali dropped his current release.  The album was originally titled “Street Preacher” but later changed to “Us.” It debuted at #56 on Billboard’s Top 100. Ali is currently on tour to support this album.

As always, these are not the complete songs, just 90-second clips to give you a feel for the music. If you like what you hear, buy the CD. We’ve gotta support if we want real hip hop to flourish.

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HipHop Affirmations:I Know You’re Not insane

Everything ain’t OK
I’m trying to live for today;
but tomorrow is a repeat of yesterday.

Joell Ortiz – 125 part 4

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I know you’re not insane.

Affirmation of the Day: I make the necessary changes to make things happen

Question of the Day: What changes do you need to make?

Action of the Day: Keep track of your daily activities for 2 weeks and see where you are making the same mistakes.

Run the Point; from where you are, with what you have!

Your Ambassador,
Mike Bruny

This is just a weekly taste of Hip Hop Affirmations.If you want a daily dose visit Hip Hop and get each and every day started right.

Mike Bruny is a certified professional life coach and author, working with ambitious professionals across the country. He helps them to rediscover their values, gain clarity for life/career decisions and live more fulfilling lives. If you want to know more, reach him at:
His book “Move the Crowd: 30 Days of Hip Hop Affirmations to Change Your Life.” is availible now on

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The Hip-Hop Purist: Bouncer Vs. #1 Mom

If you look at me, you probably wouldn’t think of me as a tough guy. And you’d be right: I’m not a tough guy. I’m average weight and pretty non-athletic in appearance. I do, however, train MMA.
So in my small circle of homies, I am seen as a semi wannabe- tough guy. One of my college buddies even asks me to be the informal bouncer at his house parties. I don’t drink or smoke, so I won’t be tapping the stash. If he decides to charge, he knows I am honorable enough to never attempt to pocket a dime. And I look like a geek, so if anyone wanted to test me at the door, they would more than likely try to use their hands instead of using a weapon.
The last time I played door man, I learned a valuable life lesson:

You gotta let people be hypocrites / count your blessings and mind your businesses. – Slug (Atmosphere), Like the Rest of Us

So I’m standing at the door trying to pretend the crunk music is not wack…trying to avoid inhaling too much cigarette/swisher/clove/weed  smoke…and wondering how this dude convinces all of these women to come to his tiny, dirty, decrepit house. Then up steps a pregnant person. Women got in free that night so I did not have to ask for anything. She asked me for something though.
”Do you have a light?”
As a father, I remember trying to make sure only the best foods were in the house during the pregnancy. I even got a juicer. This future mom making an inquiry like that horrified me. So me in my self righteous grandeur decided it was only right to intervene. I mean, maybe she just didn’t know.

“You shouldn’t be doing that,” I murmured in a low tone, not trying to bring attention to the situation. “You should make every attempt to give the little person the best chance possible,” I damn near whispered.
She, on the other hand, decided to test the volume limits of her vocal cords. All the martial arts skill in the world can’t beat sense into anybody, and when someone is determined to wallow in negative circumstances, trying to force them out just leaves you looking stupid.

She “put me in my place.”
I guess.

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Quick Hits: Ten, Eleven, Twelve

Just some lists we found floating on the “webs”

Earth, Wind & Fire famously sang “Something happened along the way…” in After The Love Is Gone well courtesy of its the 10 messiest break ups in Hip Hop and R&B.

Remember that time you heard about that album by that rapper that was supposed to come out. Us too. has 11 of the biggest Urban Legend albums that never happened.

And finally twelve.  TWELVE!  The Atlanta Post gives us 12 rappers and the political offices they would have.

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The MIXdown: The Stamp Mix

Its been a long time.  But what do you expect, its damn hard moving across the country.  Its even harder to get moved in, open all your boxes and then FINALLY put all the equiptment together.  But alast here we are.  Why the Stamp Mix and not say oh, the Turkey Mix, the Stuffing Mix, or even the Thanksgiving Mix?  Well silly rabbit that’s just TOO obvious. According to US Post Office its Stamp Collecting Month all across the land so why not celebrate this action-packed month. If you notice I start the mix off with a little diddy from the Fresh Prince aka Will Smith. Since Willow gettin all this play from Whip My Hair, we can see where she might have got it from.

1. Rock The House – Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
2. Aonetwo – INSTR
3. Ooowee – J Live
4. The Dane Side – INSTR
5. We Alright – EMC
6. Humpty Dance – INSTR
7. Hip Hop Music – Groove B. Chill
8. Dance on Glass – Q Tip
9. Booger Break – INTR
10. Seventeen MC’s – Insight
11. So Whatcha Sayin – INSTR
12. Strictly Business – EPMD
13. You’re A Customer – INSTR
14. Heard’em Say – Kanye West
15. Jazzie’s Groove – INSTR
16. I Poke Her Face – Kid Cudi (w/ Kanye & Common)
17. No Good Break – INSTR
18. Fatboys – The Fatboys

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He Ain’t a Gangsta, He’s a Republican

If you read the Root on a regular basis you might have checked this one out a few weeks ago.  Thomas Chatterton Williams opines that all those gangasta rappers are really Republicans.  We all know gangasta just love their guns, it seems most don’t really have positive things to say about homosexuals and as Williams points out.

“Even the hardest, most cartoonish thug-rapper moving kilos of yayo by day before “ménaging” with gold-digging groupies at night seems compelled to profess belief in a personal and interventionist God. (Think of anyone from DMX to Mase to Lil Wayne, who reads the Bible in jail; Kanye West, who came into the game with the hit single “Jesus Walks”; Master P, who has wondered on wax whether “G’s get to go to heaven,” as did Tupac; and the ex-Bad Boy Loon, who recently turned fundamentalist Muslim.) An adamantly atheist rap star is as inconceivable as an openly gay one, and the fact is, that puts hip-hop comfortably in GOP territory.”

Now all this is a nice mental exercise but I doubt most rappers will consider GOP membership.  Although Eazy-E was famously invited and actually attended a Grand Ole Party fundraiser out in Callie back in the day.  He got the invite based soley on his zip code. The Repubs figured anybody living where Eazy was living HAD to be down with the GOP.  But Williams does make a rather valid point near the end

“There is a reason the hip-hop generations have never produced a Huey Newton or a Malcolm X. Hip-hop — when it transcends the gutter and goes beyond the streets — doesn’t want to overthrow the system; on the contrary, it wants desperately and at any cost (“Get Rich or Die Tryin'”) to join it.”

Sad to say, on this count he might be right.  Check here for the entire story.

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Grownhead Check: 104 – 110

Since we don’t have passwords, secret handshakes or ID cards we need to figure who amongst us does not belong. Who amongst us is not really a “grownhead.” There is only one way to tell (pause), YOU are a grownhead IF…..

104)…you remember when female MC’s had to be good on the mic and not just “freaks”

105)…you actually gave a damn about the mid-term elections

106)…when you watch Michael Vick run around the field for the Philadelphia Eagles it just reminds you of the original high-flying def-defying black quarterback Randall Cunningham

107)…when the time changes it throws you off a little

108)…you remember when Anita Baker actually got played on the “young” radio stations

109)…your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “break up.”

110)…you use the phrase “What you mean you never heard of…” more and more

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