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Indie Rap Icon Brother Ali Debuts “Ottomans” Song & Animated Short

February 16, 2024 (Los Angeles, CA) – Today, acclaimed Hip Hop artist and community leader Brother Ali delivers a brand-new song and animated short for “Ottomans.” This first look and listen serves as an introduction to Love & Service, an animated film and full-length analog album, the newest chapter in Brother Ali's litany of statement pieces.

The 13 songs and 40-minute film play like a multimedia primer on healing and wholeness, spirituality and community. The gritty yet lavish soundscape provided by unJUST (of the mighty Hieroglyphics crew) is a collage of educational children’s films from the 70’s and 80’s chopped and flipped in the classic ASR-10 sampler. The warm, unquantized sound is a perfect bed for Ali’s dense and poignant musings on God, death, empire, and beauty. 

This music marks a new sonic territory for Brother Ali, but just as important to the project is the visual identity created by unJUST. A life-long fan of hand-drawn illustration and cartoons, he created a dynamic animated canvas for visual storytelling to accompany the concepts Ali has written about. In Love & Service, each song features a unique visual style meant to harken back to the days of pen scribblings and charcoal drawings. These are not the slick, hyper-realistic computer graphics that define most modern animation. This is textured, choppy art with fingerprints and smudges. 

Brother Ali: “Nothing fuels creativity like new perspective. The opportunity to step outside my comfort zone has changed me forever, and music is pouring out of me like never before.”

Brother Ali left Minneapolis in 2020 in the midst of a fiery uprising, global pandemic, and music industry shut down, taking his family to live in Istanbul Türkiye. Straddling two continents, this city has been the perfect home for Ali as he forges a new understanding of his purpose, relationships, and self. Now he returns with a new project to share what's on his mind and his heart.

“Ottomans” Artwork

About Brother Ali:

Brother Ali is an underground Hip Hop icon, speaker, and community leader. His two-decade resume includes critically acclaimed albums, mentorships with Hip Hop legends Chuck D and Rakim, and performances on late night shows with Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien.

His provocative and uplifting brand of Hip Hop has earned him coveted press features like Rolling Stone’s 40th anniversary and Source Magazine’s “Hip Hop Quotables”, while his outspoken social justice message has landed him on government watch lists. He’s also lectured at universities from Princeton to Stanford and delivered the keynote address at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

When he’s not rocking the mic at Coachella or being arrested fighting for social justice, Brother Ali travels the world learning and teaching Islamic Spirituality. Ali hosts The Travelers Podcast from his new home in Istanbul, with over 100 episodes exploring life’s journey with artists and thought leaders from across the globe. 

After decades as a prominent mainstay on the Indy Rap powerhouse Rhymesayers roster, Brother Ali established his own Travelers Media imprint. Love & Service is the first major release on this new platform.

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