Brother Ali Is Celebrating 15 Years Of “Shadows On The Sun” With A Tour
The year 2003 was a decent one in the Hip-Hop world. JAY-Z released one of his biggest projects, The Black Album; 50 Cent catapulted onto the scene with Get Rich or Die Trying; and ATL’s finest, Outkast, dropped their conceptual double-disc, Speakerboxsx/The Love Below. But while those projects glided along the surface, something exciting was bubbling underneath with Brother Ali’s Shadows On The Sun.
Now, 15 years after its initial release, the Rhymesayers phenom, is hitting the road to commemorate the album that gave him his voice for a 13-stop tour that spans the U.S. in November and December.
The gifted MC broke down Shadows Of The Sun track-by-track with journalist Andres Tardio in May on its official 15th anniversary, starting with the meaning of the title itself.
“Being albino, the sun is a major challenge for me,” he explains. “What I’m saying [with the title] is that all the factors in the world that feel oppressive to me, this gift that God gave me, will give me the ability to overcome everything.”
Although Shadows… wasn’t his first project (that distinction belongs to Rites Of Passage), it served as his introduction to the Underground Hip-Hop world, and eventually, beyond. As his first collaboration with Atmosphere’s production half, Ant, it was the expert production that allowed the intensely articulate MC to start to set the stage to tell his story.
Out the gate, the album let us know that Ali was going to give it to us straight. The lead single, “Room With A View,” detailed the world how he saw it, just outside his window. The hard-hitting and lyrically aggressive “Champion,” showcased a multifaceted artist, one who was not to be reckoned with. And, as if he weren’t self-aware enough, “Forest Whitiker,” reaches out to those who may not be considered traditionally beautiful. Although Ali has gone on to make four more, well-told albums, Shadows On The Sun remains the project that established his footing. It was his ascent to becoming an MC who could throw his weight around on the charts and in the greater Hip-Hop consciousness.
Anniversary tours have gained popularity in the last few years (as some of Hip-Hop’s greatest albums have hit the two and three-decade mark), and they will likely continue, serving as a nostalgic reminder of the roots that have built much of what we appreciate today.
Catch Brother Ali at one of the following tour stops:
11.01 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
11.03 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
11.08 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue Mainroom
11.11 – Austin, TX – The Parish
11.16 – Boston, MA – Middle East
11.30 – Berkeley, CA – Cornerstone
12.02 – Santa Cruz, CA – Atrium at Catalyst
12.05 – Los Angeles, CA – Roxy
12.06 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
12.12 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
12.13 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
12.21 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
12.22 – Denver, CO – Cervantes