From the Hood. February.
Up next is our second monthly feature on the music from the Twin Cities. Today we've got 3 artists on the standby Minneapolis label RhymeSayers Entertainment. There was a time when Minneapolis was known for lakes or cold weather or that stupid cherry on a spoon sculpture -- but these days, it's all about Rhymesayers. The Rhymesayers Record Shop (The Fifth Element) is a landmark in Uptown. The sounds of Atmosphere come pouring out of every cracked car window in South Minneapolis, and out in my suburban town all of the kids are slack jawed when I tell them of one of the numerous times I saw Slug battle someone else in front of about 8 people in a seedy St. Paul jazz club. Ok... enough rambling.... on to Brother Ali.....
To say that Brother Ali is my favorite albino rapper may not be accurate -- he just wins by default. He's also one of the nicest guys I've met in the local music scene. Every time I've run into him at some shitty bar, he's always incredibly gracious and receptive to compliments. But the voice this guy has -- holy hell -- at shows you know when he's picked up the mic. He gets a crowd going like no other hip-hop guy that I have ever seen. It's truly a natural talent. Couple that with some sick rhymes and he makes minneapolis mine.
The next three tracks come from Stuck on AM, an anthology of live Radio K performances. These are from the early days of Rhymesayers. And a beautiful Mason track for good measure.
Our last 2 artists break from the Rhymesayers mold. Some of the best Singer/Songwriter around -- Mike Gunther and Kid Dakota are both helping to put Minnesota on the map.