I did something last night that I haven’t done in quite some time.
I raced to an actual record store after work to pick up an album.
New albums always come out on Tuesdays and it used to be my practice to go downtown every week and check out the new release shelf. In fact, there was a time in my life when I pretty much bought a CD or tape every single week, sometimes I would even pick up two new albums.
The last actual CD I bought, was Self-Explanatory by Classified and I picked it up at his concert. Other than that, I have bought a few albums from iTunes but I seriously can’t remember that last new release I picked up at a record store.
Well, now I can say that the latest release I bought is Us by Brother Ali.
The artwork is absolutely beautiful. It is hard to tell from this image but the black is actually raised ink and is printed a white paper case. The liner notes fold out into a poster of this image that takes it to a wider shot and includes the tag “There’s no me and you, it’s just Us.“
On the flipside of the poster / liner notes, all of Brother Ali’s poetic lyrics are printed out. He also writes about the making of the album as well, “I’ve seen life up close from a few different perspectives and my hope was to broaden my storytelling to reflect that. I wanted to open my lens and tell the stories of people I’ve loved from different walks of life. My hope was to describe these situations in a way that allowed listeners to connect with them as they did my autobiographical stories…I made an album about Us, some of the people who made me what I am… I hope you can see yourself in a few of these stories. They’re 100% true and they’re all from the heart.”
The album sounds really good. I like the way he played with where he places his rhymes. He has great lyrics, as always, and the live instrumentation he uses really stands out to give us some stellar songs. I can’t wait to dig into this album even further and share more of it with you here at a later date.
Also, stay tuned to this blog and the podcasts for Dope FM because Brother Ali will be on the airwaves with us soon for one of our in-depth interviews. I can’t wait!
*Did you catch the reference in the title to this post? If so, please leave a comment below and you can win (respect and admiration – sorry I don’t have anything else to give right now)