Release Date: Mar 10, 2009
Record label: Rhymesayers
I haven't heard an opening track as hard as Brother Ali's "Whatcha Got" in a long, long time. The best comparison I can make, and the one get-out-of-my-way-or-I'll-cave-your-face-in boot-stomp I keep going back to, is the intro on DMX's It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, where X talks to himself for a few seconds before a timpani "dong" sparks life while setting a tone as foreboding as death. "Whatcha Got" doesn't store up its anticipation the same way; Ali can hardly wait for the wild organ and guitar-wails in the beat to kick in before ripping them apart, like some hungry animal smelling blood.
Consistency is a game Brother Ali is not afraid to play. The smooth Minneapolis emcee has proven that he is capable of churning out top-notch, praiseworthy material without breaking a sweat, though sometimes it might take a little while. And that’s just what he has done with The Truth Is Here, a well-crafted nine-song teaser of his full-length album dropping this fall.
If you want a striking glimpse at one MC's potential future, listen to Brother Ali's celebratory day-after reaction to Barack Obama's election on the web-released "Mr. President (You're the Man)". It sounds giddy and spontaneous, though for all I know it could've been recorded the day after McCain claimed "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" and saved for November 5th.