Tag Archives: brother ali


BK-One’s new album


What? You’ve never heard of BK-One and yet you call yourself a beat fiend? Okay, maybe you don’t call yourself that, and I don’t actually blame you for not knowing about him.

BK-One is probably most famously known as the dj of Brother Ali.  And he just dropped his own album featuring a whole slew of guest artists.  Brother Ali, Murs, Slug (from Atmosphere, if you don’t know) and a veritable who’s who of the indie hip hop scene.

The album, titled Radio Do Canibal and is supposed to be heavily influenced by Brazilian music and culture.  You can’t tell that much from the leak track below, but it’s dope enough to be worth a listen.

You can stream a whole bunch more tracks off his MySpace page, so if you’re looking for more take a peek.  And for those of you who are heading out to pirate this, BK-One has a polite message for you:

If you downloaded it, I’m glad you’ve gotten a chance to hear my music…but you’re really missing out.  The packaging is pretty innovative and is made from 100% recycled material.  Inside, you’ll find English translations to all the Portuguese interludes (they help to explain the connections between Brazil’s music history and American music from the past and present).


Brother Ali, live.

Hells yeah, Brother Ali live in concert and in full effect.

Props to The Find Magazine for bringing this to my attention, and to Grand Crew for providing it.  Dope set + dope artist = happy hip hop head.


Album Reviews Music

Brother Ali – Us

So I quickly mentioned this the other day in my post about some upcoming albums in 2009 and I have to say that since I’ve had a chance to listen to the whole thing, this is just a stellar effort.

I was grossly underwhelmed by the Rope-a-Dope and by The Undisputed Truth, but Us’ target=_blank>Us is one of the best albums I’ve copped in a good while.

Unlike his previous efforts, this is not one that is overtly political.  Far shy of Uncle Sam Goddamn, this album has a lot more soul and melody than anything since Shadows on the Sun

Take Us (the track) for example.  It was featured in my last post, but it is soulful and haunting in a way that shocked me.  It starts off sounding almost like spoken word, and his phrasing is poetic.  There’s no hook, just solid bars and words that actually sound like he meant something.

Slippin Away is grittier and is more traditional Ali.  He’s telling a story of losing control and trying to deal with a childhood that was just downright oppressive.  It’s a story we’ve heard a lot of times, trying to make your way and resist the crazy peer pressure flying his way.

The Travelers is a bit surprising, coming from a white fellow.  It’s a matter-of-fact approach to telling the story of slavery.  It’s one part memorial and one part documentary, and comes across as both honest and not at all trite.  At least in my impression.  It’s totally possible that you may have another opinion.

Travis Lupick of Straight.com makes a pretty interesting observation when he says: “Us is a concept album that gives the impression its songs were inspired by the lives of a thousand real people. Hence the record’s name. It’s a portrait of America that is told with an amazing level of empathy. And it sounds damn good. Entirely produced by Atmosphere’s Ant, Us includes tracks that could almost find their way onto the radio, but overall, remains a jazz-infused product of the underground.”

I like the phrasing of that, but y’all will have to check it out to decide just how hyperbolic he’s being.  Frankly, I love this album and encourage you all to go find it.

Cool Featured Music

Happy Record Store Day! (in Advance)


April 19 is the official Record Store Day!

This completely caught me off guard. I really had no idea there was a record store day, but now that I know I’ll definitely make sure to celebrate it.

In case you don’t know, Record Store Day is meant to celebrate hundreds (if not thousands) of independently owned record stores. The ones you go to all the time, that has that girl or guy behind the counter that knows a little too much about music. Or, if you’re unlucky, just walk by and always wish you could go in.

Before I explain any more, here is a link to find out if your store is participating. By going to the website, you can also sign your store up to participate. It may be too late, but it’s worth a shot!

A lot of big name artists are participating, and part of the rationale is a desire to almost “combat” the closure of all kinds of record stores. The growth of ITunes and digital music is, in a lot of ways, killing the independent record store. There are, and will always be, hardcore fans (such as us here at 4080) that will continue to dig in the crates as much as we can, but without additional support not nearly as many can survive.

They even have a youtube channel, at http://www.youtube.com/recordstoreday that showcases videos from bands and fans to support the cause. So check out some of the videos.

On TOP of all these wonderful links and entertaining things, I have another special surprise for you. CBC Radio 3 has been running a contest to determine Canada’s best record store. You can vote here. According to the Edmonton Journal, the finalists are:

Edmonton’s Sound Connection, a haven for used vinyl, is one of five finalists – along with Meow Records in Prince George, B.C., Taz Records in Halifax, Backstreet in Saint John, N.B., and Back Alley Music in Charlottetown.

So that being said, Happy Record Store Day! April 19, go find a little record store (not one of those big chains), and buy something. Anything. It doesn’t have to be a record. It doesn’t even have to be music. Just find something and buy it. Or hell, just GIVE them money if you REALLY can’t find anything. It doesn’t matter if they’re officially participating in the day, they could probably use your business anyways.

For those of you in the Montreal area, please check here for some wicked stores to check out.

For those of you not in the Montreal area, you can usually find anything you want here. The Global Electronic Music Marketplace will let you find enormous amounts of vinyl and CD’s and order them from various little record shops. So keep an eye out on that site. I’ve found some stuff there that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

On that note, I’ll leave you a little quote by Brother Ali about record stores

Brother Ali

“I’ve always loved independent music stores because the staff is usually there because of a genuine love and appreciation for music. They’re more in-tune with the customers and I’m willing to pay the extra dollar or two for the service they provide. Some of my greatest music discoveries have come from picking up an album at an indy store and the cat behind the register saying “You like this man? Have you heard of so-and-so?” I prefer to shop where people understand me and the music- the music i like.”