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Brother Ali @ The Ottobar

Writing about Brother Ali presents a problem. On the one hand I feel dwelling on his background undercuts his music; he even feared this, being so reluctant early on to discuss his race that some mistakenly reported him as African-American.

But on the other hand, an MC isn’t exactly a detached writer striving for Negative Capability. And as his career has progressed, Ali has been increasingly vocal about his Midwestern roots and what the region’s artists have to offer compared to coastal hip-hop, as well as his race and background.
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