Saturday April 24, 2010 | 9:00PM
Bottletree Cafe (Get Directions)
For the first time in his life, Brother Ali has been enjoying some day-to-day stability. Gone is the turbulent marriage to his first wife, homelessness, and the associated drama—all of which Ali openly documented on his last LP, The Undisputed Truth.

Continuing the tradition of Ali’s previous albums, 'Us' is produced entirely by long time partner Ant (Atmosphere, Felt) who provides enchanting mixtures of lush strings, and haunting choirs with the grinding pulse of funk-inspired synth bass and talk box.

Tickets are $15 / $18 day of show. Ages 18+. Doors at 8pm. Show at 9pm.

General Admission
Ticket sales ended Apr 24, 2010 8:00 PM. Additional tickets may be available at the box office.

BK-One's love of music has been a lifelong affair. From an early age, he studied classical piano and jazz theory, taught himself to play the vibraphone, and began collecting records.

Before he was old enough to get into clubs, BK was touring the country as a vibes player in a jazz band and experimenting with multiple genres alongside local music veterans.

After moving to Minneapolis in 1996, BK wasted no time finding a place for himself in the local Hip Hop scene. He helped to start one of the city's first independent Hip Hop radio shows and put his record collection to work, DJing regularly across the city.

After meeting a hungry young rapper named Brother Ali and introducing him to the local Rhymesayers crew, BK-One found his best job the backbone of Ali's live show. Creating elaborate routines with quick mixes and pounding beats, he and Ali have spent 10 straight years earning their reputation as masters of the stage. In that time, BK has also released several popular mix-cd's, like For The Love Of Music and Set In Motion, which skillfully blend hip hop, funk, afrobeat, reggae, and jazz records.

??When not touring the globe with Brother Ali, BK-One has traveled extensively throughout Central and South America and these travels would become the inspiration for his first solo album, Rádio Do Canibal. The title Rádio Do Canibal refers to the Brazilian poet Oswald de Andrade's "Cannibal Manifesto". Written in 1928, the poem described Brazil as drawing its power from the absorption of other
cultures. Decades later, Brazilians were creating wildly inventive music that drew inspiration from a wide range of sources. From the Brazilian sounds of bossa nova, Bahian folk, and samba, to international styles like psychedelic pop, reggae, Portuguese fado, and the soul, jazz, and funk music of the U.S., nothing was off limits. Rádio Do Canibal is a humble attempt to capture the spirit of that Brazilian music, creating something new and exciting.
?Alongside up and coming Twin Cities producer Benzilla, BK-One has crafted a dynamically engaging Hip Hop record inspired by the music of Brazil featuring artists like Black Thought (The Roots), Scarface, Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Slug (Atmosphere), Murs (Living Legends), The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Phonte (Little Brother), The Grouch (Living Legends), and of course Brother Ali. BK's years of experience in different styles of music shines through on this album, as he collaborates with rappers, jazz musicians, and singers alike. He says of the experience, “This album combines my three favorite, travel, and working alongside my friends”. more >>>
K-os, born Kevin Brereton, is a genuine neo-crossover rap n' roller who's music, much like your Ipod, might speak to hipster club kidz, pop chart gazers, Canadian indie rockers, dirty south electronic rap renegades, or reggae rude boys simultaneously. As it should - his rhyme and crooning skills took root in arguably the most polyglot and multi-cultural city on the planet, Toronto. And he's quite vocal about his not belonging to any one genre - he belongs to them all. Says K-os: "I'm a historical opportunist who’s grown up on everything from Dylan to Marley to KRS-One... I've never seen myself as just a hip hop artist".

On Yes!, his 12 song deep fourth album, released in Canada on Nettwerk/Universal, the now Vancouver-based upstart has consolidated everything he's done before, and chimed in where his head's at now, like a more musically seasoned audio auteur would, despite his past successes. "As cliche as it may sound, this record really does take the best elements of my past work" he explains. "Strangely, three albums later, it feels like I'm starting new again, with a new label, manager, and agent. This album is a return to me picking up drum machines, guitars, keyboard and going for broke!" more >>>
The early 90’s is considered by some to be the golden era of Hip Hop – a time where De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, Public Enemy, and NWA produced music robust with messages of political unrest, a hunger for knowledge, and self appreciation that represented a culture and generation of young people. It was a period where the 90’s babies learned what they could from the best and began harvesting their own skills, making them some of today’s most promising emcees.

World meet Fashawn - a 90’s baby hailing from Central California whose music will leave you believing that maybe Hip Hop’s golden era has yet to arrive. Full of raw talent, charisma, and an undying hunger, the 21 year old emcee is the breath of fresh air hip-hop has been waiting for.

Born in 1988, Fashawn grew up in a virtually parentless home. His father was incarcerated, while his mom was focused on feeding her drug addiction - a combination that caused a boy to become a man quicker than most. Placed in a group home by child services at the age of 12, Fashawn found solace in music, and began writing rhymes to escape the less than desirable hand he had been dealt so early in life. Eventually taken in by his uncle, Fashawn spent his teenage years calling First & Shields Ave in Fresno, California his home. Here is where he would find skating, the distractions of the streets, and the pursuance of his music career to be more rewarding than school. Yet, he had a constant thirst for knowledge that extended beyond the streets, so he became an avid reader with an affinity towards non-fiction and motivational books.

In 2006, Fashawn released his first mixtape, “Grizzly City”. Catching the attention of fellow Fresno emcee, Planet Asia, Fashawn was invited to go on the road with him. Knowing this was a chance of a lifetime; the then 17-year-old emcee dropped out of school to follow his dreams and has never looked back. Since then he’s had the honor of working with premier DJs, Mick Boogie and Terry Urban on the Orisue clothing sponsored “One Shot One Kill” mixtape, and with Hip-Hop internet heavyweights and on his “Higher Learning” mixtape. Both efforts garnered him nationwide recognition. 2 months prior to releasing his debut album he released an 11-song collaboration with multi-platinum producer “The Alchemist” titled “The Antidote”. The release has been considered one of the top mixtapes released in 2009. The road and the studio is no mystery to Fashawn as he’s been fortunate enough to work with and/or tour with some of the industries top artist. Working with Ghostface Killah (Def Jam), Talib Kweli, DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill), DJ Khalil, Evidence, J Cole, Blu, Mistah Fab, The Alchemist, Aloe Blacc, The Grouch, UNI, and Planet Asia, as well as The Roots (Late Show with Jimmy Fallon).

Recognized as a leader in Central California's hip hop scene, steering a vibrant pack of young artists with his innovative style and originality in his music, Fashawn is more than ready to take on the world with his debut album "Boy Meets World". Produced entirely by Los Angeles native Exile, “’Boy Meets World’ is just a story about a kid growing up,” explains Fashawn. Already being considered a “hip hop classic” by press and media, Fashawn has garnered 2009 new artist of the year awards to hip hop album of the year nominations with the release of Boy Meets World. “It’s my story, it’s very honest, it’s very in depth. So whatever you thought you knew about me, listen to this and you’ll really get a good look at who I am.” more >>>
For the first time in his life, Brother Ali has been enjoying some day-to-day stability. Gone is the turbulent marriage to his first wife, homelessness, and the associated drama—all of which Ali openly documented on his last LP, The Undisputed Truth.

His new album, Us, is a progression that will establish Brother Ali as one of Hip Hop’s most enduring figures. While maintaining his intimate approach to songwriting, Ali has broadened his focus to examine life through his relationships with those closest to him. The new direction allows Ali to venture through the strengths and flaws of the human condition, exploring the evils of slavery, drug abuse, rape and poverty as well as the beauty of love, family and redemption.

Continuing the tradition of Ali’s previous albums, Us is produced entirely by long time partner Ant (Atmosphere, Felt) who provides enchanting mixtures of lush strings, and haunting choirs with the grinding pulse of funk-inspired synth bass and talk box. Giving Ali the perfect musical bed to deliver his commanding and ever thought provoking musings.

This new approach was hinted at on Ali’s most recent EP, The Truth Is Here, on the funked-up track “Little Rodney” where he says in the chorus, “If ya’ll trying to talk about the horrors you see / tell your stories through me.” As Ali says, “there are individuals that are doing okay, but a lot of the people around me and many I care about are still going through the same thing…things haven’t changed for them.”

Us opens with “Brothers And Sisters” as the legendary Chuck D (Public Enemy) introduces Brother Ali as the speaker for the evening accompanied by a live Gospel choir and Stokley Williams (Mint Condition). Ali uses songs like “House Keys” and “Games” to illustrate how easy it is get caught up and trapped by drugs and hustling. “These are people that could be your friends,” explains Ali about those in his new material. “This is not just a statistic…this is real life and real people.”

“The Travelers”, is a multi-viewed look at slavery in America. Ali paints the picture of both the hardship faced by slaves being forcibly removed from their lives but also the effect this had on white America who has inherited a shameful legacy. “We need to really go back and acknowledge slavery for what it is, what it was at the time, and what it is in our lives, all of our lives” says Ali.

Studies of slavery and modern corner life alike make the Ali worthy of the “Street Preacher” title friends have given him. Yet amid his evolution on Us, he hasn’t forgotten about what it means to be an all around champion MC. With the bombastic “Bad Mufucker Pt II” and the Freeway (Rocafella) and Joell Ortiz (Slaughterhouse) assisted “Best@it”, Ali still celebrates the craft of MCing. “I believe there’s nothing wrong with just rapping for the sake of rapping,” says Ali, who’s still trying to be the greatest of all time.

While in many regards Ali is well on his way to that label one thing is undeniable, Brother Ali is one of the most engaging and important voices in Hip Hop right now and he and Ant have once again crafted a beautifully intelligent and entertaining album for all of Us. more >>>