Brother Ali’s album “Mourning in America” is out next week on 9/18 and today he releases a new video to the internet for the single “Only Life I Know.”
As the album title suggests, Brother Ali makes socially conscious hip-hop. And the best part—it’s really good. “Only Life I Know” may capture the American condition post-2008 more accurately than any other music out there. And I call it post-2008 rather than post-Great Recession, because although the economy is technically no longer in recession it sure doesn’t feel that way to the middle and lower class. Data out today shows middle-class median household income fell for the fourth straight year in 2011. Obama says that things are getting better—and they might need to get better at the corporate level before they get better at the middle-class level. But the issues Brother Ali is taking on here in the middle of an election season make it some of the most relevant music available right now.
Oh and did I mention—it’s really good? “Only Life I Know” has a beautiful retro hip-hop groove with an elastic bass line and embellished with horns. For all the discontent it takes on in the lyrics, the music is infectious rather than aggressive. Check out the video below.