(Top to Bottom: Image by Jonathan Mannion & image by Daniel Muller)
June 21-22 | 8th & Railroad Center, Sioux Falls, S.D. | 6-11:30 p.m.
Twin Cities hip-hop artist Brother Ali will be taking the stage at the 4th Annual 605 Summer Classic exactly one year from when he was arrested. The rapper, who is signed on with Rhymesayers Entertainment, was among the 13 protesters who were reportedly arrested the evening of June 21, 2012 at an Occupy Homes MN rally in Minneapolis.
“That overall experience… there’s nothing sexy or cool about jail, and some people treat you differently after that,” said Brother Ali, whose name is Ali Newman.
Born by the name Jason in Madison, Wis., Brother Ali changed his name after converting to Islam at the age of 15. His stage name stemmed from his friends and students calling him Brother Ali as a sign of respect to the changes and dedication he made in his life.
His love for hip-hop started even earlier at the age of 7. “Some guys up the street from where we lived were beat boys and break dancers,” he said.
In the late ’80s came more lyrical artists like Ice-T and Big Daddy Kane, which drew him even more into the scene, writing his own biographical music. “That’s when the words kind of took over,” he said.
Words taking over is an understatement when discussing Brother Ali, who has been known for controversial music and statements.
Pick up your tickets for the 605 Summer Classic here.