Author Topic: Brother Ali - Shadows On The Sun  (Read 701 times)


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Brother Ali - Shadows On The Sun
« on: September 01, 2003, 08:45:01 AM »

Brother Ali's Infectious personality, strong rhymes and themes.

A couple of filler tracks.

The Bottom Line
Ali is one of the best talents to come out recently, and this album reflects that. This is one of the few must have joints for 2003.

Full Review
It must be hard being an Albino, i mean having to hide from the sun and all, not to mention some of the other complications. But imagine trying to combine that with the tough and often cruel world of underground hip hop. Brother Ali however has done more than combine it, he has come out on top, after blazing the underground scene, guest spotting for label mates Atmosphere, few people could doubt the potential of this 'different' person. Now he has hit us with an album of hip hop (produced by Ant of Atmosphere) that succesfully combines a healthy respect for the ol' school, knowledge of the current hip hop flavors, and also points a finger towards the future.

Brother Ali's flow is clear and strong, but it also sounds fresh, in a climate of me-too's. Brother Ali is like that cool breeze on a hot sticky night. You cant help but smile when you hear this MC. If Brother Ali is the future of hip hop, than it the future is aight. This album has plenty of highlights, with plenty of diverse and spiritual messages, as well as some tracks that will straight drop you when you hear 'em (Picket Fences, Forest Whitiker). The only weaknesses are some poor production moments here and there, and a feeling that Brother Ali may have overreached himself with 18 tracks. Anyway on to the tracks themselves:

1. Room With A View - 4.5/5
Blazing opening track with Brother Ali proclaiming he is the new Norman Rockwell. Great track, well produced with Ali in full lyrical flight.

2. Champion - 4.5/5
Brother Ali's flow on this track is incredible. "MC's put up your titles, i'll be grabbin 'em soon, them f**gots of doom, worse than breathin hazardous fume'. Beat is smokin as well. You cant help but sing along with this song. Brilliant.

3. Star Quality - 4.5/5
A slower joint to the opening tracks, Ali spits calmer introspective rhymes. Nice.

4. Prince Charming - 4/5
Ali speaks about love with a nice twist. This song is both kinda poignant and funny. Brother's flow is kinda corny (so is the beat) but amazingly Ali brings it all off. "You gonna get somebody killed, cause if i can't have you nobody will".

5.Win Some Lose Some - 3/5
Brother Ali raps philosphical on this track, its well meaning, but not an album highlight. Beat is a little annoying.

6.Pay Them Back - 3.5/5
This beat is hot, on some Wu style stuff. Brother Ali still sounds strong, rapping about respect for the originators. "You ain't the first you will not be the last, contribute, do your s**t, step the f*** off, your not half as important as you think you are". No doubt alot of MC's out there at the moment should listen to that line.

7. Blah Blah Blah - 2/5
Very corny jazzy trumpet style beat. Brother Ali raps well with the beat, but it all sounds real dated. A track that i find myself skippin more than listening to.

8. Shadows On The Sun - 5/5
The title track is brilliant in every respect, Brother Ali raps of his struggle as a rapper and how he can influence the world, on a bassy chilled beat. "My chorus is like the torch for those on whom the sun set" The many metaphors used in this track are simply Whoa!!!

9. Prelude - NA
An acoustic joint, just a change of pace, more than anything.

10. Forest Whitiker - 4.5/5
This will probably be the most popular track on this album, as Brother Ali speaks of loving one self no matter how different they may seem. A really good feel good joint "i'm gonna be alright, you ain't gonna be my friend tonite, i'm gonna be ok, you'll probably bore me anyway". The beat is as corny as hell, but once again Brother Ali keeps it respectable.

11. B**chslap! - 2.5/5
The beats cluttered and messy, and dominates Ali's rhymes. Average.

12. Back Stage Pacin' - 2.5/5
This joints about an MC's struggles doing gigs etc... Ali basically tells the tale. Ok.

13.When The Beat Comes In - 3/5
Uptempo track with Brother Ali rapping some hard battle type rhymes. He really shows alot of talent on this track, even though the beat is ehhh. "I might be on the stage but my heads in the streets"

14. Missing Teeth - 3/5
A weird beat on this track is almost distracting, but Ali wins over the end when he comes on and sings his verse.

15. Dorian - 4/5
Finally a nice beat, and Brother Ali rides it all the way. A great storytelling track.

16. Soul Whisper - 4.5/5
Another great track. This songs got it all, really good beat, originality, nice groove. Maybe just a tad short.

17. Picket Fences - 5/5
Whoooaaaaaaaa!!!!! This is right up there with the best introspective conscious raps ever. Brother Ali raps about his struggles growing up as someone 'different' and the family trouble he had. Great emotion, great flow. This track typifies when hip hop excels above all other music forms. The production is on point as well. "your parents might not see it but your babies do"

18. Victory! (come forward) - 4/5
This is a nice finishing track, Ali comes at you as hard as he did on the first track. This track would not be outta place on Jay-Z's The Blueprint.

Overall the album starts off strongly, but instead of building on this, it comes to a tired spot about 3/4 away through, and than finishes of with a flurry. If Brother Ali simply omitted those weaker tracks it would've been hard to deny this album 'classic' status. As it is however, its very close, and even the weaker joints aren't that bad, they are just dwarfed by being next to some of the best hip hop songs to come out in the last 3 years.

Brother Ali is a shining example of the new generation of MC's, and all those people who constantly speak of the end of hip hop, need to get this into there body quicker than a blood transfusion, and than they will no doubt regain there color and love for hip hop quick. This album is an absolute must buy, if you sleep on Brother Ali, you are sleeping on the return of fresh, intelligent, lyrically warm hip hop. So what are you waiting for? The sun to rise? Because he just did.


This album recieved 3 Mics in the Source.....BS
Go support him and go buy it!


  • Muthafuckin' Don!
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Re:Brother Ali - Shadows On The Sun
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2003, 09:14:22 AM »
One of the best albums of the year.  The underground is running shit in 2003.


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Re:Brother Ali - Shadows On The Sun
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2003, 07:38:41 AM »
One of the best albums of the year.  The underground is running shit in 2003.

WEll not sure of this one not checked it but after that review i probably will...thanks


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Re:Brother Ali - Shadows On The Sun
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2003, 04:32:39 AM »
Dope album.