Gotta thank Bano, my new source for new hip-hop, for telling me about Brother Ali's new EP, "The Truth Is Here," released last month. Gotta thank Rhymesayers' uber-producer Ant for putting this record over the top.
Brother Ali's got a strong voice -- easy to listen to and like while being powerful at the same time -- and on this "Truth" (his last LP was "The Undisputed Truth" in 2007), his rhymes seem to be getting more clever, his wordplay more literate and sneak-attack head turning. On record, he's better capturing his brilliant live performances.
But Ant's ear for old school music -- classic soul and R&B of the Motown vein, as well as soulful jazz and funk -- really carry the album. Slug's partner in Atmosphere should be getting more work from artists outside Rhymesayers -- and breaking out more artists within -- because he knows the real truth. Witness the thick, dusty bottom throughout this record and a silly good piano loop on "Good Lord."