Ithaca, N.Y. — Brother Ali will be performing at Ithaca’s Haunt this November 7, according to Dan Smalls Presents.

The rapper and Wisconsin native is known for dizzying hooks and prideful, powerful lyrics.

Some of his songs — in particular, “Uncle Sam Goddamn” — have also drawn notice for their strong criticisms of the United States.

One of the verses on that song, courtesy of RapGenius:

“Smoke and mirrors, stripes and stars
Stolen for the cross in the name of God
Bloodshed, genocide, rape and fraud
Writ into the pages of the law good lord
The Cold Continent latch key child
Ran away one day and started acting foul
King of where the wild things are daddy’s proud
Because the Roman Empire done passed it down
Imported and tortured a work force
And never healed the wounds or shook the curse off
Now the grown up Goliath nation
Holding open auditions for the part of David, can you feel it?
Nothing can save you

A review in PitchFork gave Brother Ali high praise for his idealism upon the release of his 2012 album, “Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color.”

He has all the work ethic and self-respect of someone who doesn’t worry about what other people think, and all the community awareness and sense of justice of someone who can’t picture anything more important than what other people think.

As much as he’s solidified his place in the indie rap game, Ali always seems like he’s in the process of working out new things– how to best balance out his roles as an artist and an activist, how to reflect on his past and learn from his mistakes and conflicts, and how to translate each new phase of his life and his experiences into work that maintains the precarious balance between being imposing and being humble. 

Tickets go on sale on Friday.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.