The flyest phenomenon to complement (and compliment) the Ali Bomaye album is playing it in the car over the course of two weeks, having various musically inclined peeps catch rides during that time, and watching each of them rock to it for at least two songs before even thinking to ask who the artist is. Where Ambush & Kareem Ali succeed is bringing the essentials of hip hop to your senses–unmistakable and classic, yet pristine and refreshing. The tracks are so digable that a listener makes his or her own normative leap that this is a familiar CD, already branded a surefire hit by everybody who’s anybody.
Ambush straight dominates with the production and Kareem Ali is a true-to-def lyricist. Reckon the comprehensive street depth of Illmatic with the oh-shit-turn-that-up reflex from when you first heard Ready to Die. Hip hop needs some stability ’round here, and there is a Baltimore accent lacing the sword that has come to slice sucka MCs off at the neck and lead the world in an “Ali Bomaye!” chant.
“We are from Baltimore City so that’s where we represent,” says Kareem Ali. “I realize that the DMV is bigger than Baltimore City, the United States is much larger than the DMV, and the rest of the world is bigger than the United States.”
Kareem Ali expertly flaunts this philosophy with his rhymes as easily as Ambush does with the beats. You’ll identify the D.C. funkiness in “One Mic Stand (feat. Bwils on drums)” and unearth the mother continent in your soul through “African Holocaust”. The duo’s ability to take their technique around the world and back home again is a feat of mastery, putting the album Ali Bomaye up alongside your favorites.
Check out the video for “Drama”, track 5 off the album: four minutes and twenty-five seconds of beautiful Baltimore grit.