There are a few incredibly obvious facts about Brother Ali that need to be mentioned here, albeit briefly. Yes, he's an albino, a devoted Muslim, and don't forget about the lazy eye and husky build that make him appear more like a bouncer who belongs in front of—but never on—the stage. Now that these details are out of the way, let's talk about Brother Ali, the rapper.
Four years after Shadows on the Sun—2003's staggering debut album that was a gasping cry from a damaged soul who has seen a life of far too many hardships—Brother Ali makes his return in grand fashion with The Undisputed Truth. Equally as powerful as Shadows, the album finds an older, wiser Ali trading one batch of woes for another. The beat-down kid is now a grown-ass man, but his schoolyard bullies have been replaced by a failed marriage whose wounds remain fresh. The record is neatly split between two Alis, and it's a bi-polar glance at an artist at the pinnacle of his career, who at the same time is desperately trying to hold his life together.
While he might spend the lion's share of The Undisputed Truth pinning his adversaries to the ropes and pounding them with his verbal bravado, Brother Ali is still a tender soul who refuses to deliver the knockout punch. Instead, as the album builds, Ali drops the tough guy routine and exposes the man behind the mic, unashamed of his flaws.
In the open letter to his son, "Faheem," Ali is both boastful and apologetic, offering to hang up the rhymes once and for all if his career onstage ever comes between him and his son again. The Undisputed Truth concludes with "Ear to Ear," which finds the rapper making peace with his unstable past, while optimistically looking forward. A father with a second chance, a "big dick daddy" with a new girl, and a confident emcee who is just as willing to throw down as he is to admit his faults and struggles.