Brother Ali welcomes students back to Burly

Underground rap artist Brother Ali kicked off the Back to School Bash on the fourth floor of the Davis Center, which was decorated to model a VIP event. The Sept. 2 event was part of the UVM Week of Welcome sponsored by Sigma Phi Epsilon and UVM Program Board (UPB).

Green lights and bass-heavy music set the mood as guests ate candy apples, corn dogs and other appetizers before the concert.

Preshow activities included tarot card readings, air brush tattoos, freebies, a cartoonist and a free photo booth. Brother Ali was also available to give autographs and talk to fans at the sold out show.

Hailing from Minneapolis, Brother Ali has been called groundbreaking for his poetic and inspiring lyrics.

At the concert he performed some of his most well known songs including “Take Me Home” and “Uncle Sam Goddamn” from his album “Undisputed Truth.”

“I hope you look at me and see a cross between Santa Claus and the Kentucky Fried Chicken guy,” Brother Ali said.

He emphasized that the point he was making was to be yourself and love who you are — something he told the audience he was always taught as a kid.

Ali said that being an albino influenced his music, which stems from personal experience in dealing with being different.

“Brother Ali’s lyrics speak from the heart,” junior Dave Bernstein said.

Overall the excitement between Brother Ali and the crowd was mutual.

“I’m really excited because I never expected to see him in Vermont, he’s a really big deal in Minnesota but I never expected him to be so well known in Vermont,” first year Chris Dempsey said.

Brother Ali also said that he was excited to be in Vermont.

“Love it here, been going to Higher Ground for years, since 2003,” Brother Ali said. “We have a blind spot that hip-hop reveals to us,” which he asked the crowd to think about.

At the end of the night, new and old fans were left with a ringing in their ears and fresh ideas in their minds.

“I thought it was a well-executed show,” junior Kyle Weidman said. “It had many positive underlying themes.”