The Kennedy Center

Brother Ali


Brother Ali is a highly respected hip-hop artist, speaker, and activist from Minneapolis, MN. His decade-long resume includes six critically acclaimed albums, mentorships with iconic hip-hop legends Chuck D and Rakim, and performances on late-night talk shows with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. He has been the subject of Al Jazeera and NPR pieces, and was a keynote speaker at this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Additionally, he was named an “Artist to Watch” in Rolling Stone’s 40th-anniversary issue and has been featured in The Source’s “Hip-Hop Quotables.”
Ali has won the hearts and minds of hip-hop fans worldwide with his intimate songwriting, captivating live performances, and outspoken stance on issues of justice and human dignity.
Brother Ali’s latest album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, is his manifesto on the political, socioeconomic, and cultural suffering in modern American life, as well as a declaration of hope and possibility for a brighter future. The album is introduced by Dr. Cornel West, who said of Ali and his work, [move block quote from next paragraph here]“Brother Ali is fundamentally committed to truth and justice. He’s part of a great tradition in this country and around the world that highlights the wretched of the earth, allows them to undergo an awakening and shatters their sleepwalking. I want the world to know that Ali is my brother and I have so much great love and respect for him. We’re part of the same tradition concerned with truth and justice. He does it in his own smooth, sophisticated way. Sometimes he’s funky and sometimes he’s direct, but I love the way he tells the truth. The album itself (Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color) is such a force for good and a food source for people’s souls. People can feel the love on the vanilla side of town and on the chocolate side of town. It’s a human thing. A love thing.”
Brother Ali is currently working on his first literary offering, tackling the topics that are discussed in his speaking engagements and workshops.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/18/2015: Brother Ali

Hip-hop artist Brother Ali is a social activist and cultural icon whose music sheds light on controversial issues. His sharp perspective has earned him accolades from Rolling Stone and NPR, and Dr. Cornel West has praised his musical activism. 

This program contains mature themes and strong language

Brother Ali