On Us lead single Fresh Air, Brother Ali sounded like the happiest man in underground hip-hop – and why shouldn’t he be? He’s got a wonderful family, a devoted fanbase and, as evidenced by album inclusion Best@It, connections to some of the most talented emcees in the game. On the newly-leaked cut, Ali teams up with Philly’s Freeway and Brooklyn’s Joell Ortiz for a showcase of supra-regional solidarity and on-the-mic supremacy. Rhymesayers producer Ant‘s beat comes on strong from bar one, driven by a a propulsive guitar/percussion sample, and Ali’s guests bring their most aggressive flows to match. Though all involved deliver standout performances, the headliner’s bars are a highlight – Ali showcases his versatility by shifting from a (relatively) mellow, melodic flow to a hard-hitting lyrical barrage halfway through his closing verse, and Ant switches the beat up to match. For more fresh, old school-informed boardwork and furious flows from Ant and Ali, pick up a copy of Us when it hits stores Sept. 22.
Written by richard on 09/17/09
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