1 Verse, 1 Hearse #17, Brother Ali – Shine On
The last time a rap story made me click replay multiple times, I think y’all were still getting tipsy to J-Kwon. Yes, its been a long time. To be dramatic, I could say that the last storytelling song I liked was Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story”, because that’s how good I feel about his song. So when the opportunity to interview Brother Ali came up, I jumped out of my seat. The ending on this track just had so many possibilities, and was driving this hearse crazy. I had to know more about it. Luckily, Brother Ali helped a writer under deep thought, and took control of the wheel on this edition of 1 Verse, 1 Hearse. Take it away Ali.
Let me explain, you see. I ain’t much for wait and see
So when I seen you take a seat I played maître d
She replied angrily,
“Mister I can’t believe you’d stand your grown ass in this place and play games with me
Crazy freak! Wait, how did you get all that food?”
I ordered from the table ’round the corner and brought it to you
Can’t say I thought it through, ma’am this all sort of new
But when I saw you I sort of I knew I had to talk to you
And nothing in my arsenal seemed possible
So I called a audible, serve you my honor too
I didn’t mean to bother you
I just want to watch a few
Moments of your life
Much like a fly on the wall would do
Never mind me, the light from your unusually bright shine blinded me
‘Til that was all I could see
I understand if you don’t want to talk to me
I’ll just leave, pardon me
Let me take this little broken heart and leave
“Wait, that was a stupid thing to do
But my date didn’t show up and my table’s set for two”
I pulled on my coat like oh look at you
That’s all I really wanted ma’am, enjoy your afternoon
How did the idea for “Shine On” come about? Don’t tell me it was based on a true story?
I mean, I think everytime someone writes a story, even writers that write stories that are authors, all stories are based on something real. But that was just a story. A lot of times when I sit down to write songs or an album, I usually have a heavy serious theme that I usually want [it] to be. A lot of times I’m not in the mood, or I’m just not in the place to write those serious songs. So just to keep the juices flowing, I’ll hear a beat and I’ll say, look I don’t care what album this is or [how] it turns out. I don’t care if nobody ever hears this, what’s just some fly cool shit that I can do with this music. So “Shine On” was just an idea, a story.
At the end why did you say you were through? Throughout the story you really sounded like you liked this chick, and when you won, you threw it all away. So my question is, what motivated you to say you were through?
Well I mean the whole idea of the song is…you know like the hook says, “don’t pay me no mind, don’t worry about me”. I think sometimes we just need to appreciate things without having to get anything out of it. Just observe, acknowledge, [and] appreciate. I just wanted to interact with her, see her up close. [I] just wanted to see her talk. Just truly admiring somebody without getting anything. I’m not trying to smash. You know, just to have that experience, and then sometimes to just give and then walk away is a beautiful thing. Make a fool out of myself so that she could smile, and feel appreciated, and then just leave. To me that really proves the point that this is not me trying to being sly, trying to get some booty. But, I just truly appreciate you. I just really think that you’re something special right now, and I was happy to interact with you, and that’s it.
With the most intriguing part of the verse taken care of (props: Ali), let me take control of the steering wheel, make a U-turn, and take you peeps back to the beginning of the verse.
After an awkward moment at the end of the 2nd verse, Brother Ali quickly regains his composure, and starts to do all of the explaining in the 3rd verse. I could not picture this song without the dialog in this verse. Not only does it tell us about what type of lady she was, but it further proves that Brother Ali was simply doing this for the pleasure. Plus, it shows that he actually appreciated this woman. For one, he gave her a spot on this verse, and told it in 1st person which makes it more personal. It’s not like he’s telling us a “I said, then she said” kind of story. Although it’s still Ali doing the girl voice, the appreciation for this woman is evident.
The girl sounds like a little brat at the beginning, but it’s justifiable. Understand that some random dude just faked being her waiter. Pretty creepy if you ask me, but bold, and just cool nonetheless. I’m surprised he didn’t get slapped. But, Ali’s plan was meant to fail. The real waiter was eventually going to talk to her, and blow his cover. After all, Ali was just trying to interact with her and share time with her, just like he said above. So after the lady freaks out, Ali does some more explaining, which just gives her more time to think and realize how sweet this random dude is. Yet her date doesn’t even care to show up on time, or show up at all. She quickly compares Ali, and her date, and realizes that Ali is the better guy. I believe that if Ali would’ve said yes, and sat down with her for dinner, and then her date arrived, she would’ve told her date to leave, and stayed with Ali. He totally won her over.
Brother Ali really threw us a curve ball with this one. Before talking to him, I could’ve sworn that he said no because she had insulted him when she called him a freak, and then didn’t appreciate his gestures. I was wrong though, and Ali was simply happy that she acknowledged his gestures when he said, “oh look at you”. He wasn’t trying to sound like he didn’t care. Ali killed it with the ending on this track, and the follow up to it was magically suspenseful. I thought I was watching Breaking Bad when he left us hanging after the second verse. The 3rd verse couldn’t come quick enough, and when it ended it left us baffled. “Shine On” was a roller coaster track throughout. Ali absolutely shined with this story; it was suspenseful, entertaining, shocking, and it packed a heavy message. Don’t be scared to have some fun in your life. Appreciate things without having to benefit from them. YOLO! What I ruined it? hah.
Thanks to Brother Ali for the explanation. My interview with him coming soon! The Bite Marked Heart EP available for free download here.
PS. Yes, Breaking Bad is a magnificent show. The best of all-time. I’m serious. Netflix it.