Santa Fe — Members of Meow Wolf art collective banded together to help rapper Brother Ali film the video for his newest single Never Learn, which comes off his new album, All the Beauty in This Whole Life, released May 5 through Rhymesayers Entertainment.
Never Learn finds Brother Ali in one of the most beautiful spiritual buildings in New Mexico: the Dar Al Islam worship center in Abiquiú. Fans of hip hop may recognize the location from Tupac Shakur's posthumous 1997 release I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto. Brother Ali states that the worship center was mostly built by American Muslims working in the adobe style prevalent around the Southwest.
Ali said: "Spiritual and wisdom tradition holds that buildings should be designed in harmony with the natural beauty of the location, as well as the culture of the people in that area. Many of my elders built this place, and many of my friends grew up there."
Brother Ali, rapping over a wind-blown, ghostly melody that sounds entirely at home in New Mexico, is joined by dancers Al Taw'am from Minneapolis. The pair create one of the most visually arresting parts of the video, as they weave around Ali's lyrics. Brother Ali said the twins were dear friends, adding:
"(The twins are) leaders in our cultural and spiritual community. Their movement speaks of their family legacy of dignified regality. I believe them to be royalty."
The video was directed by Kron, and produced by several members of Meow Wolf art collective, including Ryan Thompson & Tristan Love (Producers), Amy West (AD), James Longmire (DP), Brian Solomon (B-Cam, Drone), Drew Stahelin (Gaffer), Shantanu Saraga (Swing), Alexandra Renzo (Production Manager), Lindsey Kennedy (BTS) and Anton Esteban (Colorist).
Meow Wolf would like to thank Brother Ali, Rhymesayers, Al Taw'am and everyone else involved in this collaboration. — Billiam