Brother Ali has been a major figure in indie hip-hop for nearly two decades. He's known for his socially conscious rap lyrics and is on the Rhymesayers label roster with artists like Atmosphere and Aesop Rock. He released this month his sixth studio album, "All The Beauty In This Whole Life," which follows his time in Spain studying the concept of beauty.

More from OpenAir Sessions:

Brother Ali stopped into the CPR Performance Studio on the day of the new album's release. He performed three songs from the record and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about his work with poet Amir Sulaiman, the healing power of beauty and the community of musicians at Rhymesayers.

Stream the session above. Interview highlights:

Brother Ali on the concept of beauty that inspired his new album:

"The idea and the reality is that beauty is the outward manifestation of inner beauty. Which is virtue. Which is principle. Which is truth. And beauty communicates directly to the soul without the mind interfering. And it pulls the soul gently towards the truth."

On working with producer Ant of Atmosphere:

"I can only reach a certain place of songwriting with him. And I knew that this album specifically needed to come from a certain place. He and I, our friendship is so intimate and it goes back so far. And so it just causes this really beautiful place from which to create."

Songs performed:

  • "Own Light (What Hearts Are For)"
  • "Pray For Me"
  • "It Ain't Easy"