Brother Ali's "Us" 4 stars from Spin Magazine
Minneapolis rapper Brother Ali is the neighborhood tough with a heart of gold. Briefly homeless after his first marriage dissolved, he finally tasted success with 2007â??s The Undisputed Truth, and now, on his fourth albumâ??s â??Fresh Air,â? heâ??s playing Al Green records, making pancakes, and watching cartoons with his new wife and children. Happiness hasnâ??t blunted his keen social insight, though, as he empathizes with latchkey teens (â??Tight Ropeâ?), reflects on friends trapped in the street life (â??Slippinâ?? Awayâ?), and rues slaveryâ??s consequences (â??The Travelersâ?). For him, hip-hop means fighting for justice, and as Chuck D attests in Us' introduction, Ali is a â??soldier in the war for love.â?