Mainstream audiences and mainstream notoriety emerge from a wealth of different instances. Usually it's luck, but is "luck" commendable? No. What is - is persistence. That's why although Brother Ali has yet to penetrate the Billboard's top spots, he is solidifying a very promising reputation.
From hearing his name uttered on the battle circuit, and noticing praise for the ever so cleverly dubbed albino rapper - I had no real notion of Ali's talent. That is not until 2003's "Shadows Of The Sun," which with the aid of Rhymesayers, obtained the necessary praise that Brother Ali deserved.
After the hype generated from his first well-known release, Ali released the "Champion" EP. Without guests, solely aided from his supplied beats, Ali rhymes in a variety of ways. From the energetic and cocky tracks, "Champion" (Remix) and "Bad Ma Fucka," to the hauntingly intriguing "Sleepwalker," Ali presents a level of intelligence and wordplay which make for entertaining material. "Self Taught" is another gem featuring an enjoyable vibe fueled by it's whimsical beat. His depth is best showcased within "Rain Water," a moving tale of determination even through the regularly presented obstacles life presents.
The EP does have a couple of drawbacks, the beat on "Chain Link" feels a little too melodramatic and somewhat out of place. Though lyrically it's decent, the mixture doesn't work. "Waheedah's Hands" is also an odd feeling track. The simple beat presents confusion of its tone.
I had the chance to spend some time with Ali when he came through Vancouver alongside the Living Legends. From his demeanor and attitude around myself, to his stage presence, Ali proved his credibility. This EP is further evidence of how talented an artist he is.