HiDdeN Gems IN thE MeGArougH – Brother ALI and GriMM

I’ve switched off from close to all mainstream hippetyhop for some time now. Its as if the genre grew from its street roots, money came in, and for a long, long time, there remained in the mix between raw and commercial, a huge amount of phenomenal art, whether it was Biggie’s sublime bounce or Premier’s galactico smoothness on the decks. And then…for much of the last decade and now the deal is done, for the scene has become appalling, so far removed from its origins that its unrecognisable. There is no connection between the hideous mong mumble rap nonsense of Lil Pump and…KRS One. They cannot be connected by anything but skin colour, which is tenuous at best.

And so I delve back and try to pull out from the dust of the past, the gems in the mega rough. The artists who inspired me with my own life and writing or simply sounded amazing.

I came across Brother Ali through my devotion to rhymesayers realm. A track called Whatever offered a punchy, raucous white chap, who could pound beats and say something of value…

‘We want the sex and not the kids, the cheque and not the job’…

 

 

He is one of those rarest of emcees whose flow can make a poor beat sound perfect.

He has often delved into the political…

 

I’ve not found a track of his which didnt resonate with something of my own essence.

 

And yet, Brother Ali got too godly for me to relate to, for I have long concluded that any human Abraham routine of divinity is a creation of a control system to buy into the helplessness of our mortality – which is where we differ from animals most poignantly… but still, even when a man of a god he has chosen, Brother Ali manages to make sense and stay so ruggedly connected to a reality I can feel within me.

The poetry is some of the best I have ever heard or found written…

‘we may live in the gutter, but we cling to each other.’

More of the outpouring verbatim from heart and soul expanding bounding out the well plumbed to the abyss and sent hurtling upwards to the daylight is too close to my own femurs to repeat.

Still…the thank god, be good, like god, routine is worthy and encouraged. I try to do that and am partly successful. Yet I am more alert always to any hint of the passionate, the vital, the animals more animal than their human outline and impression of it…

 

I find this kinda god talk more interesting…

 

a proper hiphop classic, sublime flow and macabre sincere poetic reportage from the streets. its a realistic discussion with a realistic idea of a god we can try speak to and who will speak back to us…Grimm wrote this from hisĀ  hospital bed when a drug deal went horrid and his closest friend was found too full of lead and gunpowder. It was a grim reflection of Life, not manufactured for the applause.

‘god threw rocks at my glass heart and it shattered’

 

Grimm is an oddity, in that he wrote his rhymes and found his beats without the grandstanding direction of a commercial enterprise whose focus was making money not making art.

 

And to finish this offering, I will turn to a comrade of Brother Ali. Felipe…aka Immortal Technique. Who is the most potent revolutionary in the hiphop realm found since KRS One.

‘you can criticise human rights in cuba and china, but not in israel or the philipines’

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