Across 16 tracks, this Minneapolis rapper laments the double lives of gays, racial minorities and children of divorce. He professes his love for his family and his God. He even brags a little about being a bad motherfucker.
These songs lodge comfortably in a place between good and evil, justifying the disc's title.
Brother Ali's life story validates his tales of pain and resistance. He's a legally blind albino. He was born in Madison and grew up poor in Michigan.
Us is much more than a spoken-word record. It's a journey through the funky trumpets and groovy bass lines of retro-soul music. The exhilarating production is the creation of Ant, the producer who is one-half of Atmosphere.
Us succeeds on the strength of Brother Ali's fiery spoken-word passion, revealing an artist who has found his own voice.