I have not written a music-related post since December and my last album review posted in April 2008. While it may seem I was once again musicless in Seattle, the truth is I have been so busy enjoying so many recent additions to my music collection I have not made time to write about it.
Truth is Here is Brother Ali’s first release to have a legitimate shot at gaining him mainstream recognition. While his previous four releases are underground par excellence, only “Truth Is” from The Undisputed Truth received any significant coverage by mainstream radio. The Undisputed Truth peaked at 69 on the Billboard 200.
Ali’s newest release is well produced, lyrically rich and refreshingly relevant in this age of disposable hip-hop. I believe he will finally break through. The only real criticism I have is the release is too short. It is officially an extended play (EP) which means it is longer than a single but shorter than a full, long-playing (LP) album. Truth is Here consists of nine tracks composed of three sought-after B-sides and six previously unreleased songs, totaling roughly 34 minutes in length.
As for the production, Ali reunites with Rhymesayers Entertainment cohort, Ant, who weaves intricate tapestries of lush soundscapes that mesh perfectly with Ali’s burgeoning content. The two fit together as emcee and producer like hip-hop Velcro®. Ali’s lyrics are the hook and Ant’s production the loop.
Truth is Here gets 4 out of 5 on the “Tyrone Biggums” scale. (reference)
When a release is this good, you add a few tracks and make it an LP. This EP created a lot of buzz and raises expectations for his forthcoming fourth LP, Us, due to hit the street September 22.