Brother Ali Surprises Fans With An Evidence-Produced Album. Listen Here. (Audio)

The giving season came early for Hip-Hop Heads, as Brother Ali and Evidence dropped a surprise album titled Secrets & Escapes. The two Rhymesayers artists gave fans 10 brand new tracks, including appearances from Talib Kweli and Pharoahe Monch, as well as a vocal feature from the Dilated Peoples co-founder.

In early September, Ali and Ev’ announced that they would be co-headling a tour together, which would kick off on November 7 in Santa Ana, California. So, this album proves that there was more behind the decision for these two to go on the road. Concertgoers will be in for a treat when they perform the only song on Secrets & Escapes that Ev raps on, “Red.” It’s a standout track that’s powered by a fly flute loop and crunchy drums. Both MCs lay bare their souls over the woodwind groove.

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This project was apparently recorded over three trips that Ali made to The Weatherman’s stomping grounds in Venice, California. The duo agreed they wanted to get out of their comfort zones, and create something that neither artist’s fan-base would expect from them. The first three songs on the LP, “Abu Enzo,” “Situated,” and “Greatest That Never Lived,” are all prime examples. These records show a unique chemistry that is unlike Ali’s work with Ant or Jake One, and they sound quite different than last year’s Weather Or Not (voted the best LP of 2018 by the readers of Ambrosia For Heads), or Defari’s Rare Poise.

Other must-listens include the title-track on which Ali calls himself a hypocrite and expresses that he is no saint; and “Red Light Zone” where the Twin Cities MC tackles viral video culture. The samples on that cut are hilarious. The way Ev chops up the horn sample on the outro “They Shot Ricky” has an early Soul Assassins flavor. While the album is just over half an hour long, it’s a pure dose of quality Hip-Hop.

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Last week, Ev and Alchemist released a new Step Brothers video, “Burnt Tree.” That song is also an RSE release.

Press photo by Shelly Mossman provided by Rhymesayers Entertainment.

#BonusBeat: The tour dates for Brother Ali & Evidence: