Rapper, poet and scholar Brother Ali comes together with his good friend Atmosphere for a national tour next month.
Both artists are considered pioneers of the Minnesota hip hop scene and have combined legacies of 20-plus albums. Having risen through the industry together as part of the Rhymesayers Collective, Brother Ali says he is excited to share a stage with Atmosphere once more. “I’m looking forward to it very much,” Ali says of the tour.
“Atmosphere and I started our careers together to a degree; [Rhymesayers] started a few years before me, but I joined them very early on when they were just starting to tour around the US and the world.
“I think we did our first Australian tour together as well and I've been touring with them all year. We just celebrated 20 years of Rhymesayers and so this year we've been on tour together all year to celebrate.
“Also Atmosphere just released an album and my album will come out next year. So it makes sense for us to be spending all this time together.”
Hailing from the 'burbs of the American Midwest, Ali says it is a privilege for him and his music to reach as far afield as Australia, a country he explains holds an almost mythical quality for him. “Australia is an addition to the tour we’ve been doing in the US and Canada” he says.
“And it’s always a really beautiful thing to come that far and be greeted by people who know our music and who put the time in to search for our music, find it, relate to it and have it be a part of their lives.
“When you’re a kid growing up in America, Australia seems like one of those places you can never go, it almost feels like a mythical place because it’s so far away. When I was a kid we had silly movies, and it didn’t feel like a real place.
“So every time I go there I'm still really touched by the fact I'm in Australia, and I'm not just here visiting but there are people that are here to listen to me and it’s genuinely special.”
With six albums under his belt, the most recent being the politically-acerbic 2015 record, 'Mourning In America, Dreaming In Colour', Ali says fans can expect high-energy sets from both he and Atmosphere. “I go on and do a Brother Ali set and perform music from all of my albums,” he says.
“I perform all the music from all the different phases of my career, so there are some that are more party-rock, straight-ahead rap songs and high-energy rap songs.
“There are some that are really personal and autobiographical, there are some that are political, and it ends up being a celebration of embracing ourselves, which is what my music comes back to being.”
Brother Ali and Atmosphere Tour Dates
Mon 27 Feb - The Gov (Adelaide)
Wed 1 Mar - The Tivoli Theatre (Brisbane)
Thu 2 Mar - Metro Theatre (Sydney)
Fri 3 Mar - 170 Russell (Melbourne)
Sat 4 Mar - Metro City (Perth)