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The 50 Best Songs of 2009

As part of PopMatters’ 20th anniversary, we are revisiting classic features. Travel back in time a decade ago to 2009, when indie rock was in its full ascendency,and hear the songs that soundtracked the era.

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Music

Brother Ali: Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color

The personal is the political in the fifth LP of Rhymesayer's heavy hitter. Produced in entirety by Jake One, it's as American as music gets: fearful, angry and hopeful, all at the same time.

Music

Zion I & the Grouch: Heroes in the Healing of the Nation

Zion I & The Grouch seek to recapture the best parts of their previous collaboration while trying to up the ante with new elements.

Music

Keeping It Real: Dreams, Mind-Alteration, & Misperception in Hip-Hop

Hip-hop has been engaged in an ongoing tension between fantasy and reality, art and artifice but rappers, like all good artists, sometimes have to lie in order to tell the truth.

Reviews

Brother Ali: 27 October 2009 - Dallas, TX

Ali’s mantra of united love and acceptance is how he lives his life. He communicates this without irony or looking weak. That takes the sting out of an otherwise overdone concept.

Jennifer Habicht
Music

Brother Ali: The Truth Is Here

Consistency is a game Brother Ali is not afraid to play. And he demonstrates that across this fantastic nine-song EP.

Music

Brother Ali Has Finally Laid Down The Undisputed Truth

The conscientious hip-hopper talks about racial identity and the new album that could blow up his career at last.

Chris Riemenschneider
Music

Brother Ali: The Undisputed Truth

The Twin Cities’ earnest, Muslim, albino rapper is back with his long-awaited follow-up to the critically acclaimed Shadows on the Sun, and he brought some baggage with him.

Gentry Boeckel
Music

Psalm One: The Death of Frequent Flyer

Psalm One has the fire, the flow, and the charisma to succeed -- once she finds the production, she'll fly.

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