This is a past event.

Brother Ali w/ Fashawn, BK-One 

When: Thu., April 22 2010
Price: $15, $13 (adv.)
Brother Ali defies odds like it’s his job. Ali is a talented rapper who happens to be blind in a world saturated with visual media, a Muslim in post-9/11 America, and an albino in a genre where just being white still raises eyebrows. It makes one wonder how much the music really matters. It’s an easy and often fair criticism to lob at rappers like Ali — Midwestern, “conscious” MCs affiliated with Atmosphere and their Rhymsayers Entertainment label — that it all sounds the same. It’s too preachy, too old-school, out of touch, and no fun. That criticism doesn’t apply to Brother Ali. On last year’s Us, bolstered by the funky productions of Atmosphere’s Slug, Ali sounds absolutely energized. Mostly, he’s living in the first person, acknowledging the hardships that fueled past releases and blowing by them with a grin and a clever rhyme. And when the focus turns to politics, it’s still personal. Telling stories with empathy, Ali shades characters with nuance, balancing rhyme schemes like it’s a matter of course. Here, the music is all that matters. Brother Ali and Fashawn’s “Breaking Dawn” tour hits the Music Farm on Thursday. Fresno, Calif.’s Fashawn just put the finishing touches on his official debut album, Boy Meets World. BK-One opens the show at 8 p.m. —Bryan Reed


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