It’s been almost five years since Brother Ali (Rhymesayers Entertainment) released an official album, but he’ll be back on May 5 with All the Beauty in This Whole Life. Ali’s sixth studio LP, All the Beauty was entirely produced by Rhymesayers co-founder and Atmosphere producer Ant; “It might be our best work,” Ali writes, which means a lot considering the three albums and one EP they put out from 2003-09.
Given Ali’s political zeal and willingness to take ideological stands, one would assume his latest album tackles recent developments in the United States, and it does. But it also takes a look inward. A press release explains, “Exploring his origins as a rapper and a Muslim (“Pen to Paper” featuring Amir Sulaiman), his struggles as an albino (“Pray for Me”) and the suicides suffered by his father and grandfather (“Out of Here”), on All the Beauty in This Whole Life, Ali delivers intimate pieces with evocative candor over Ant’s soulful production.”
Ali’s last LP, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, hit #5 on Billboard’s U.S. Rap chart. In her review of the album, Andrea Swensson wrote that it “[paints] a dark portrait of modern-day politics.”
But according to a video Ali shared in his album announcement, All the Beauty in this Whole Life is “completely about the idea of beauty, and love, and the truth that’s communicated when hearts are connected.” He started the album “before some of the new changes in the world,” and he hopes that it comes as a benefit to his audience.
“Own Light (What Hearts Are For),” the single Ali calls his new album’s “theme song,” is a heartfelt call to positivity.
All the Beauty in This Whole Life is available for pre-order now.
1. Pen To Paper (feat. Amir Sulaiman)
2. Own Light (What Hearts Are For)
3. Special Effects (feat. deM atlaS)
4. Can’t Take That Away
5. Dear Black Son
6. We Got This (feat. Sa-Roc)
7. Uncle Usi Taught Me
8. Pray For Me
9. It Ain’t Easy
10. Never Learn
12. Before They Called You White
13. The Bitten Apple (feat. Idris Philips)
14. Out Of Here
15. All The Beauty In This Whole Life