I know this is a month old but I’ve watched it a dozen times. This is absolutely a treat for any one thats a fan of Brother Ali, Twin Cities music, Rhymesayers and Muhammad Ali. So many great stories coming out of this interview.
Proud to be a part of this one. Myself and Tyler at aboveGround Magazine came together for an end of the year mix of some of our favorite songs of 2010. Big or small we have artists from all over the map and all over radar. Recall our Best Kept Fresh series that compile our favorite tracks for each month. For this end of the year mix we grabbed the homie Vik Vega (of Chicago’s Midnight Rockers!) to hold us down on the 1s and 2s. He killed it as usual!
Shouts to the homies Vik, Tyler and MBW.
Track list below!
1. TRUTHLiVE – Tormented Genuis
2. Brother Ali & Fashawn – Breaking Dawn Boys
3. Black EL & Durkin – GO! ft. Outasight
4. Wiz Khalifa – The Kid Frankie
5. Freeway – One Thing ft. Raekwon
6. The Roots – The Fire ft. John Legend
7. Boog Brown – Friends Like These ft. Kam Moye
8. Celph Titled – Styles Ain’t Raw ft. Apathy & Chino XL
9. Pac Div – Rollin’ ft. Ty$
10. Yelawolf – I Wish (Remix) ft. Prynce CyHi & Pill
11. M-Dot – Be Easy ft. Torae, Chino XL, Bam & Lyric Jones
12. Mally – Lights Off
13. JR & PH7 – Bow Down ft. Evidence & LEGACY
14. Jabee – Better ft. King Mez & Carlitta Durand
15. Skyzoo – Speakers on Blast
16. Dice Raw – No Doubt About It
17. Dave Coresh – Keep It Movin’
An incredible twenty five minute piece about Brother Ali, brought to you by Alabama Public Televion. Pretty random…but also pretty awesome! Good watch!
Shouts to Midwest Broadcast.
This is absoultely fantastic! The production and rhymes are so on point! I feel like I ways find my self Googling hip-hop Christmas songs around this time of the year. This one will be put in rotation for years to come.
The Grouch, Brother Ali and Eligh team up and make a theme song for the “How The Grouch Stole Christmas Tour” that kicks off today in Los Angeles, CA at The El Rey Theater!
Shouts to Rhymesayers!
Check out the list of tour dates after the jump.
cap D – King of the Mountain ft. Brother ALi (Prod. by Illmind)
This one is off cap D’s solo effort titled PolyMath. Gotta love the Brother Ali guest feature and Illmind production combo on this one.
spotted at Fake Shore Drive.
I’m always down for some fresh new Brother Ali. Especially when it features production from Medium Zach of Big Quarters.
Ali dropped this track in honor of The Takin’ It To the Streets Festival here in Chicago on June 19th. The line-up is incredible. Brother Ali will be performing alongside Mos Def, One.Be.Lo, Twin Cities’s M.anifest and Chicago native Mikkey Halsted.
It’s all free!
More information, a full line-up and schedule of events can be found at the fetivals official website.
June 19 – Marquette Park in Chicago. 9am-9pm.
Brother Ali is one of the best interviews in the rap game. Here he talks about when Justin Timberlake came up on stage and started beatboxing during one of Ali’s shows.
Just when I thought Brother Ali couldn’t look any cooler…..he grows out that unreal beard. This is some of the best footage I’ve seen from Brother Ali’s “Breakin Dawn Tour” which features Fashawn and BK-One.
spotted at Midwest Broadcast.
In anticipation of their upcoming tour – Brother Ali, XXL Freshmen Fashawn and BK-One come together for an incredible tour theme song. Ali, Evidence and Toki Wright did something similar for their tour this past fall. This is literally hot off the press, Fashawn was just tweeting about being in the studio with Ali last night. Incredible production from BK-One is a perfect backdrop for Ali and Fashawn to trade verses. A rookie and a veteran coming together to make a track that is the definition of hip-hop.
No dates in Chicago! Come on now!
Hit the jump for a full list of tour dates.
03.29 Fargo, ND: The Aquarium
03.31 Bozeman, MT: Zebra Cocktail Lounge
04.01 Calgary, AB: Republik
04.02 Edmonton, AB: The Starlite Room
04.03 Saskatoon, SK: Louis’ Pub
04.05 Winnipeg, MB: Pyramid Cabaret
04.08 Detroit, MI: The Shelter
04.09 Toronto, ON: The Mod Club
04.10 Ottawa, ON: Ritual Nightclub
04.11 Montreal, QC: Foufoune Electriques
04.13 Providence, RI: Jerky’s Live Music Hall
04.14 New Haven, CT: Toad’s Place
04.15 Brooklyn, NY: Knitting Factory
04.16 Pittsburgh, PA: Diesel
04.17 Gambler, OH: Horn Gallery
04.20 Wilmington, NC: Soapbox Laundrolounge
04.21 Asheville, NC: The Orange Peel
04.22 Charleston, SC: The Music Farm
04.23 Atlanta, GA: Drunken Unicorn
04.24 Birmingham, AL: BottleTree
04.26 Baton Rouge, LA: Spanish Moon
04.28 Nashville, TN: Exit/In
04.29 Columbia, MO: Mojo’s
04.30 DeKalb, IL: Otto’s Nightclub
05.01 Milwaukee, WI: Turner Hall Ballroom
05.02 Des Moines, IA: Vaudeville Mews
I saw BK-One tweeting about this last night. I assumed it was a joke!
Well I can honestly say I never thought this would happen. Pretty cool stuff – I would love some higher quality video footage but this will definitely do.
Update: According to Jake Money we might see some better footage.
- The Roots + Mos Def – 100% Dundee, Umi Says & Adrenaline
- The Roots + Brother Ali – The Preacher, The Travelers & Freestyles
Here are some dope live recordings from a few weeks back at The Roots Holiday Jam session which featured Mos Def & Brother Ali.
I can only image what this show was like. I have all 3 of these acts perform live. My jaw probably would have been on the floor the whole time.
props to All The Way Live for the audio.
A little gift from the Brother Ali. Story below. I guess we need some more blizzards to keep Ali cooped up more often. Here he goes in over Kanye’s “I’m So Appalled.”
Damn it snowed a lot here the last few days.
We had 15 inches of snow in Minnesota over the past few days. My holiday was over a month ago and I’ve been stuck in my house the last few days. To entertain myself, I chopped up a Kanye West song called “I’m So Appalled” and did a super rough homemade recording of some bars. This is what I do when I’m bored!
The homie Franz Diego is also in the spirit. Bringing Minneapolis and Chicago together by spitting some fresh rhymes over The Cool Kid’s “Hammer Bros.” Fire.
Franz uploaded the track to YouTube as well. Check it.
A nice six minute interview with good ole Brother Ali. Pretty standard but interesting interesting interview for Ali fans.
A nice little interview with Brother Ali backstage at the Chicago Fresh Air Tour stop. Funny cause I was interviewing Toki at the exact same time in the other room. You can hear Ali’s voice in my interview and you can here Toki’s voice in this interview.
Sorry fellas! Ha!
Shouts to RubyHornet.
I was listening to a little bit of this live on 89.3 The Current back when it aired – now we have some video footage of Brother Ali and Bk-One performing “Tight Rope” and “The Preacher” off US. Two best tracks off the album.
Kickin’ It with Toki Wright – PWELBS.COM/BAD SERVICE INTERVIEW. Fresh Air Tour (Metro, Chicago 11/18/09)
Interview with Rhymesayers artist Toki Wright – recorded live at The Metro in Chicago, Illinois on November 18th, 2009. The Fresh Air Tour featuring Brother Ali, Evidence, Toki Wright and BK-One.
Being a fan of hip-hop for some time now I have seen quite a few hip-hop shows and have met quite a few artists. I can’t enough how true and respectful and giving the artists on the Fresh Air Tour are. This was easily one of the best hip-hop shows I have seen in my life. A total party from start to finish. Toki Wright opened up with a fiery set as BK-One held it down for all three MCs for an exhausting couple of hours. Evidence drenched the crowd with solo material and some cuts form his group Dilated Peoples. Then “The Street Preacher” Brother Ali came and rocked the show like he always does. As they took in the crowd noise after performing their tour anthem “The Freshest Kids” I could see it on their faces – that this Chicago stop was one hell of a show. With Chicago being the second to last stop before the gang headed home for two sold out shows at the legendary First Avenue in Minneapolis, I decided to catch up with Mr. Toki Wright.
I walked into the Metro spotted my man Toki wearing his Twins fitted cap. We got the interview rolling and he had some great things to say about the Fresh Air Tour, the Twin Cities music scene and what he is working in the coming months.
Pwelbs: This is Bad Service – DJ Pwelbs – sitting with Rhymesayer’s very own Toki Wright. This is the Fresh Air Tour Chicago stop. How is the tour been so far? Touring with Ali, Evidence – it’s gotta be crazy. You are almost done.
Toki Wright: Yeah we are almost outta here. Big ups to Minneapolis of course first and foremost. Fresh Air Tour we out here at the Metro in Chicago. It’s been crazy touring with BK-One, Brother Ali and Evidence; it’s been great shows every night. I really feel like doing this “Freshest Kids” thing – it’s been a good jump for me in my career. It is just a big jump for me in my development as an artist. It’s just great. I’m happy.
P: Absolutely! So I’ve been following you guys on Twitter – I hate to bring up Twitter.
T: Nah man. [Laughter]
P: I know it has taken over. I was telling my buddies it’s definitely the most connected I have ever felt to the artists that I like. Have you felt more connected to your fans?
T: Yeah definitely – people actually have a direct link to you. Which sometimes can be a little overwhelming but sometimes its good because you want to hear what people have to say. Those critical opinions I think a lot of times artists, especially in hip-hop, get a close circle of people around them that are “yes men” or tell them they are better then they may really be for their own self security. For me as an artist that wants to be honest with my listeners, I like to hear what the real response is.
P: Definitely, I feel you on that one. You’re from the Twin Cities. You have got to be proud of the whole scene right now. You have got Rhymesayers going big for 2010, Doomtree, Big Quarters – they are doing Last Of The Record Buyers, Dessa is teaching at McNally – I know you’re a part of that (hip-hop) degree over there. How do you feel about all of this?
T: I love Minneapolis. I always think Minneapolis has been a forward thinking city. You think back to Prince. You think back to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. We have always been people that have been innovators. It’s not only dope to see Rhymesayers setting things off but Just Live is another group from Minneapolis that I have seen doing some stuff with Wyclef. I’ve seen them on Americans Next Band. You know what I mean, it’s just all these crazy things and people are really starting to spread out and branch out which is only going to be better for the Twin Cities scene, Minneapolis, for all of us. People like St. Paul Slim, Muja Messiah, Maria Isa who is out in New York like every month doing shows and getting involved in the Afro-Puerto Rican community. It’s dope to see people that you have come up with expand and go to all these places that you may never have expected and they never really expected and proving all the naysayers wrong. It’s good. It’s great!
P: I know you’re an activist on the side and do a lot of side projects. I think what’s crazy about the Minneapolis scene is that all the artists give back. Even down to the bottom, not that I’m saying Big Quarters is at the bottom but they are just so involved in community. They help out producers and upcoming rappers. It’s just awesome.
Also your new album did very well. A Different Mirror, I think you even had to re-ship? How does it have feel to have support from all the fans? All your blog support and how much it has taken over. How does it feel?
T: It’s a beautiful thing. I tell people I’m a kid from North Minneapolis and people told me that I would never be anybody and I’m not really someone to rub things in people’s face but it is good to know that if I continue at whatever pace that I am at and really believe in what I do, I think I can make it. I think that is inspirational to other kids from my block and kids from North Minneapolis. We get looked at like we are the scum of Minnesota and they are beautiful people and make beautiful things. Seeing everybody from top to bottom succeed is great for me. Seeing Big Quarters succeed and give back is great for me. Seeing Maria Isa give back is great for me. Because that is a new flavor that isn’t always, you know out there in the hip-hop scene. People aren’t always reinvesting in where they came from. You have to understand that a lot of that comes from hatred from the person that’s above you. I think that a lot of us have come up in different pockets at the same time and have had to work together so we have camaraderie with each other.
P: Absolutely. I know the last thing I saw from you was a guest feature on a Trey Lane record; he is a rapper out South Dakota. I know you just dropped your album back in the summer but what else are you working on? This day in age something is always on the way.
T: Yup – A Different Mirror is out there and I’ve been pushing that. I’ve got the “Devils Advocate” video that is on MTV. I’ve got a new video for “The Feeling” with Brother Ai that is coming out in a few weeks. Maybe a month or something. I have a bunch of features that I have been working on. We are trying to work on doing another tour and we have just new music. I have been writing new music everyday and connecting with some people that I would love to work with and people I look up to. I’m working on a joint with Louieville Sluggah from Boot Camp Clik right now. You know just doing things that I always wanted to do when I was younger. The expansion is happening and I’m creating new work everyday. I definitely have more work for people that will be free or for a small fee by the end of the year. Then I’ll be ready to hit people with another record next year.
P: Sounds good, we always love to hear about some new Rhymesayers and Toki Wright coming our way. Any other artists you are paying attention to? I know we discussed a few of them earlier. Anyone else either artists or producers? Twin Cities specifically?
T: Nationally, I would definitely say Jay Electronica. He is definitely someone that makes me thing when I am listening to them. Locally, St. Paul Slim definitely. There are a lot of younger artists that are coming up everyday through these community groups that are making amazing new music all the time. I give props to everybody but I definitely give props to Benzilla, PC, King Karnov and some of the other people making beats outta the Twin Cities. Big Quarters of course.
P: Franz Diego!
T: Of course Franz Diego, Illumnious 3 and The Usual Suspects. A cat named I.B.E. has a video coming out that I am in – coming out soon. People are really stepping their game up and are really starting to become more professional with the work. Of course I am a big supporter of the Doomtree folks. Me and P.O.S. came up around the same time and seeing what he is doing and seeing how he has expanded. I told him the other day. Man, you inspire me to do better. Just seeing where we were and where we are now is inspirational.
P: Yeah not to mention he is just one of the nicest guys out there. I interviewed him last year. He is one of a kind.
T: Yeah – he is great! That’s the thing. You know a lot of great people come from Minnesota. The thing about Minnesota is that it is so cold that you really want to have to live there to be there. [Laughter] It keeps out a lot of the bad attitude.
P: I hear ya on that one. That’s all from me. Enjoy the show and I’ll be out there front and center. Enjoy your time and rest in Minneapolis as this tour winds down.
T: You know it. Once again – North Minneapolis, St. Paul and Twin Cities. Respect. Rhymesayers Entertainment and Soul Tools. Everybody out there making music and everyone out there supporting their community. Big ups to the whole poetry scene. Big ups to everybody out there making moves for their hometown. Love.
P: No doubt. This is a Bad Service with DJ Pwelbs live from the Metro in Chicago. The Fresh Air Tour with Brother Ali, Evidence, Toki Wright and the one and only BK-One. We are outta here! Thanks!
T: Peace. One Love.
I can’t thank Toki Wright enough for taking the time for this interview. Shout out to Brother Ali, Evidence and my man BK-One for chatting it up. Such good people.
You can catch the audio for the interview this Sunday, November 22nd on my radio show Bad Service on Radio DePaul. Tune in at Http://radio.depaul.edu from 6-9PM for hip-hop all night. More information at http://www.pwelbs.com.
I’ll end it Fresh Air Tour Style. 1,2,3 Peace! 1,2,3 Peace! Rhymesayers #1.
Toki Wright’s A Different Mirror is in stores now.
I don’t think words could describe the Chicago show last night. One of the best hip-hop shows I’ve seen. All these guys brought it. From meeting up with Toki, meeting Evidence and talking with BK-One – the night was amazing. Speechless.
From the tweets I’m reading so far Ev, Ali, Toki and BK seem to agree this was the best night of the tour. Crazy.
Toki Wright interview on the way. Yessir!
Brother Ali gets down with two joint’s off his recently released album Us – in stores now. Fresh Air Tour Chicago stop – this Wednesday! BK-ONE!
Some amazing live footage of Brother Ali performing “The Truth” over in Paris a month or so ago. You can catch the whole set here. Crazy how the Rhymesayer’s crew has such a following in Europe. Not that I blame them!
P.O.S. talks all his Halloween memories on MTV. Such a classy dude.
Shouts to P.O.S.!
More exclusive video footage of Brother Ali, Evidence, BK One and Toki Wright on Fresh Air Tour. For complete tour info head over to the Fresh Air Tour schedule: http://is.gd/4CPg8
Damn – looks like a party! Can’t wait for the Chicago stop.
Timbaland – Say Something (Ft. Drake) + Gift Of Gab – Dreamin’ Ft. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien & Brother Ali
An unfinished version of this track his the net last week – here is the mastered version. Off Timba’s Shock Value 2.
One of half of Bay area hip-hop duo Blackalicious grabs Del and Brother Ali for his upcoming solo effort titled Escape 2 Mars which is set to drop November 3rd.
Ev and Ali outside The El-Rey Theatre for the L.A. stop on The Fresh Air Tour. Greatest fans in the WORLD! Go to www.brotherali.com and get your tickets NOW!
Freeway updates all the fans about what projects are dropping when. Freeway’s album with Jake-One titled The Stimulus Package is dropping January 19th on Rhymesayers.