Rebels are obedient to the unpopular.
Brother Ali spoke to our MSP chapter about Black History Month, Malcolm X, his Muslim faith and sharing our world together as one people.
About the speaker
Brother Ali is a highly respected Hip Hop artist, speaker and activist from Minneapolis, MN. His decade long resume includes six critically acclaimed albums, mentorships with Iconic Hip Hop legends Chuck D and Rakim and performances on late night talk shows with Conan O Brien and Jimmy Fallon. He’s been the subject of Al-Jazeera and NPR pieces and was a keynote speaker at this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Forum. He’s landed coveted press features such as Rolling Stone’s 40th anniversary “Artist to Watch” and Source Magazine’s “Hip Hop Quotables”.
Ali has won the hearts and minds of Hip Hop fans world wide with his intimate song writing, captivating live performances and outspoken stance on issues of Justice and Human Dignity. In 2007, Ali was flagged by The US Department of Homeland Security for his controversial critique of America’s human rights violations in his song/video “Uncle Sam Goddamn”. In the summer of 2012, Ali was arrested in an act of civil disobedience as an organizer of Minnesota’s Occupy Homes movement to defend Twin Cities homeowners from unjust foreclosures. Brother Ali’s latest album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color is his manifesto on the political, socioeconomic and cultural suffering in modern American life, as well as a declaration of hope and possibility for a brighter future. The album is introduced by Dr. Cornel West.
Dr. West had this to say about Ali and his work. “Brother Ali is fundamentally committed to truth and justice. He’s part of a great tradition in this country and around the world that highlights the wretched of the earth, allows them to undergo an awakening and shatters their sleepwalking. I want the world to know that Ali is my brother and I have so much great love and respect for him. We’re part of the same tradition concerned with Truth and Justice. He does it in his own smooth, sophisticated way. Sometimes he’s funky and sometimes he’s direct, but I love the way he tells the truth. The album itself (Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color) is such a force for good and a food source for people’s souls. People can feel the love on the vanilla side of town and on the chocolate side of town. It’s a human thing. A love thing.”
Brother Ali is currently working on his first literary offering, tackling the topics that are discussed in his speaking engagements and workshops.
Favorite quotes from this talk See all
To me, the realest rebels are actually very obedient. We're very loyal. We're obedient to something that is unpopular. — Brother Ali
What's a riot to one person is an uprising to another. — Brother Ali
We're taught indoctrinated with this way of thinking before we're even of an age to make decisions about what kind of people we want to be. — Brother Ali
Dominators, one of the things they really love to do is make us think that everything in our life is an isolated incident. — Brother Ali
The Muslims say that the human being is an obedient creature, and the question is to what am I going to be obedient? And to what degree am I willing to sacrifice for that obedience? A lot of us are obedient to our egos. — Brother Ali