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Brother Ali's grooves may float like a butterfly, but his incisively caustic words sting like a full hive of bees. “No, I'm not a prophet, nor am I proselytizing,” the Minneapolis rapper explains on his recent EP, Left in the Deck. “My assignment: to take my little light and shine it. They cannot define it, so they want to water it down.” He decries our digital age of gossip and falsification (“Each new innovation puts us deeper in a case”) and replaces it with his own form of empowering spirituality (“Embrace the awesome, all-seeing author of nature”). As ever, Ali decries poverty, war and injustice in all its manifestations: “Lost in the haze of the forced occupation/Cradled by the love of oppressed people's pain.” The world may be a mess, but Ali reminds us that we're all in it together.

Thu., Oct. 2, 8 p.m., 2014
(Expired: 10/02/14)

LA Weekly