20 of the Best Lyrics From Brother Ali’s ‘All the Beauty in This Whole Life’ Album
Longevity in the rap game is in large part predicating with staying hot and within the sight of the public eye, but a select group of artists have managed to buck that trend while remaining successful at their craft, one of them being Brother Ali, an MC that is as comfortable cloaked in anonymity as he is holding a mic and moving the crowd.
Beyond being an albino, which already sets Brother Ali apart from the pack, the Rhymesayers Entertainment artist and practicing Muslim is also one of the more cerebral artists in rap, speaking to the hearts of men and women from all walks of life and from various vantage points, which has made him an esteemed member of the hip-hop community and an indie stalwart. But in recent years, following the release of his last album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, aside from the occasional live performance, Brother Ali was off the grid. While the rapper is known to have considerable gaps in between music releases, this sabbatical was particularly lengthy, leaving fans clamoring for new tunes from the bearded wordsmith.
Well, Brother Ali fans and Rhymesayers loyalists can rejoice, as the rapper has just unleashed his latest long player, All the Beauty in This Whole Life, his sixth studio album and first in nearly five years. All the Beauty in This Whole Life is comprised of 15 tracks of heartfelt raps from Brother Ali, who's voice is needed more than ever in this time of social and political turmoil. The rapper doesn't fail to deliver, turning in yet another sonically rich project that is a reminder of his aptitude as an MC, songwriter and poet. With Brother Ali's new LP hot off the press and in heavy rotation, we highlight 20 lyrics from All the Beauty in This Whole Life that are among its best and quotables that every rap fan needs to hear.
"Put pen to paper the first time when I was barely eight or/Maybe nine that was the late eighties, Reagan time/Put in the freshest tape rewinds, wait, let me take my time/The entire landscape of that blank page was mine/Created space to climb inside, escape the crazy times/Reshape the climate, break it down, that was my frame of mind" - Brother Ali
"The U.S. government profiled me and the sponsors dropped me/Some of my listeners felt a way so they no longer got me/I knew that telling that truth is costly no one alive can stop me/I rolled that flag out on the ground and prostrated my body/This is more than music to me, this is ancestors speaking through me at the tomb of Rumi" - Brother Ali
"I jump in with both feet nothing low key/You can find me where I'm s'posed be, where my folks be/If you listen very closely you know who chose me/Nothing that I own owns me and so I'm so free/I remember being hungry needing groceries/Nighttime getting no sleep 'til my nose bleed"
"I'm trying to share life as it comes/No timeline from the night to the sun/Crème de la crème and crust and the crumbs/Type of love you can't type with your thumbs/Let me not hear your voice in a speaker/I'm tryna feel your breath when it leaves ya" - Brother Ali
"I loved you before I knew that you existed/It isn't really anybody's business/Not asking for permission or a witness/It honestly doesn't make any difference/Living in this insane mess/There's only one person that can make me make sense" - Brother Ali
"I might've got excited at you and shouted/But you never let me down when it truly counted/Nothing could ever break the bond/Whatever page you're on/Celebrate or mourn, babies born or parents gone/No matter how crazy the storm, you won't face it alone" - Brother Ali
"Dear Black son, there's people you've never met/Who fear and hate you for something that you never did/And these people are so self-convinced/Sometimes they pull the trigger, call that self-defense/And in that sad insanity/Their fear is realer to them than your humanity"
"You've got a spirit that a bullet can't kill/That doesn't make it any less real/They say it takes a man to raise a man/You're slipping through my hands like grains of sand/And here I stand, tryna wrestle with the hourglass/Maybe see how long I can make an hour last"
"I'm not grinning cause I'm at a loss of opposition/Lot of them don't want me livin'/Thank God it's not your decision/I don't hate for a minute/A drop in the infinite/'Cause hate got a small percentage of envy in it" - Brother Ali
"I'm in the Republic of Iran at a conference/Talkin' 'bout the cops and their nonsense/And how they like to hunt black folk with no conscience/And how they want to preach human rights, its preposterous/Request from the audience spit that Uncle Sam Goddamn/Drawing out the round of applause/I was rocking a cappella before this/Because I know that rapping in Iran is lawless"
"I tried to be invisible honestly/Wishing that the ground would just open up, swallow me/What kind of crime did I commit for this mockery?/Guess I must've lost some kind of cosmic lottery/How am I processing this at a baby's age?/It felt like I had a gut full of razor blades"
"She said "Elvis wore his hair in a pompadour/So he could try to look like Muddy Waters more/But he would fry his crown so that he could lay it down/Like a white boy they called it a conk before/Until James Brown came kicked down the door/Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud my boy"
"I want it all real, nothing fake please/I don't want to wonder what your handshake means/I don't need to say everything I think I must/My ego's trying to ruin everything I touch"
"My power comes from the Most High/Lord God of the globe sky/Soul vibration is so fly I can walk on water, no lie/Champion author, small fry/Rock of Gibraltar; north side/Serving this culture might I confide that I’m here to assault you/I got some money in the bank that I did not have when I start/Got a little money up in my hand I do not have money in my heart"
"I was standing onstage when my hero died/Feel the heartbeat of my people’s cries/Nation nineteen thirty three bow ties/Light of the Deen gleaming in your eyes/Even when the tears flow down both side you know why sacrificed your whole life/You can go ahead, let your soul fly 'cause the whole tribe blood line flow through mine"
"I sew the seed like fabric at the seams/You can't sip it to lean, but you can give it to fiends/The most taken for granted on the planet/You can't Snapchat it or Instagram it/It's from the unseen realm where the camera can't film/But the coal gets scorched into diamonds in the kiln"
"How the hell are y'all going to heal, be made whole?/You identifying with the people in control/You can't throw a human in the bottom of a boat/Unless somebody got a damn chain around your soul/In that middle passage asking who got stole?/A hot auction block where your blood ran cold"
"Profile pic look just like the next amateur/Babies get exposed no one's controlling how it damage them/You find yourself detaching, retreating, reacting/Deep anger, decreased passion and you keep lashing out/Your sweet family reminds you of your weak habits/You have no mercy for yourself and so you're relapsing"
"You didn't say it in your letter, but the fact that I failed you is loud and clear/Found out the amount of fear/You would drown when you found yourself naked staring down a mirror/And partners are supposed to lay the cards bare/I left you playing solitaire, and I promise you that I'm sincere/If you're looking for some judgment, you won't find it here"
"These two eyes inside of my head have never seen clearly/A whole team of geniuses couldn't seem to cure me/A lot of the time I just resign and just close them completely/And relied on what's inside me to guide me sincerely/Let the heart navigate and pray that the path is straight/Lead me directly to your threshold standing at the gate"