Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crate Digging: Shadows on the Sun

by Brother Ali

I've been feeling Brother Ali's last two releases quite a bit this fall and winter, so felt like it was time to dive into some of his older recordings.

Shadows on the Sun was his first full-length album with Ant supplying the beats throughout, and it's interesting to see how their collaboration has grown.

Ali is younger and hungrier on this album, trying to set himself apart from lesser MCs ('Back Stage Pacin'') and establishing himself in the game. Ant gave him more aggressive beats than he does today, although the signs pointing towards the more thoughtful and family-oriented Ali of today are there too, like on songs like 'Dorian'.

The centrepiece of this album is 'Forest Whitiker', Ali's anthem of albinism and acceptance. It's a very honest and descriptive song, as Ali describes his appearance, and then rejects anyone who can't see past it.

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