Brand Nubian is an American hip hop group from New Rochelle, New York, composed of three emcees (Grand Puba, Sadat X and Lord Jamar), and formerly three DJs (DJ Alamo, DJ Sincere, and DJ Stud Doogie). Their debut studio album, One for All (1990), is one of the most popular and acclaimed alternative hip hop albums of the 1990s, known for socially conscious and political lyrics inspired by the teachings of The Nation of Gods and Earths.[1] In 2008, placed the group on its list of the 25 Greatest Rap Groups of All Time.[2]

Brand Nubian
Brand Nubian performing live in 2008
Brand Nubian performing live in 2008
Background information
OriginNew Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Years active1989–1995, 1997–2000, 2003–present
Past members
  • DJ Alamo
  • DJ Sincere
  • DJ Stud Doogie (deceased)

History edit

1989–1992 edit

Brand Nubian formed in 1989 and their first single, "Brand Nubian," was released in 1989. Signed to Elektra Records by A&R man Dante Ross, their debut album, One For All, was released in 1990. Generally acclaimed, the album drew fire for militant Five-Percenter rhetoric on tracks such as "Drop the Bomb" and "Wake Up".[citation needed] The controversy helped selling in excess of 400,000 copies.[citation needed] A version of the Fab Five Freddy-directed video of the single "Wake Up," featuring a black man in white-face makeup, was banned from MTV. On that channel and from official WEA sources, this image was replaced by a Baptist preacher.[3] The singles "Slow Down," "All for One," and "Wake Up" all became hits on Billboard’s Hot Rap Tracks chart in 1991.[citation needed]

Shortly after the group's debut release, Grand Puba quarreled with Sadat X and Lord Jamar, and he left the group, along with DJ Alamo, to pursue a solo career.[4] Following this, Lord Jamar and Sadat X asked DJ Sincere to join the group in 1992. The same year, Puba released his solo debut, Reel to Reel.[citation needed]

At the end of 1992, Brand Nubian released the single "Punks Jump up to Get Beat Down". The track created controversy because of its homophobic content such as Sadat X's line "I can freak, fly, flow, fuck up a faggot/I don't understand their ways; I ain't down with gays". Despite this, the single charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 77.[citation needed] Later versions omitted the line and replaced it with different lyrics, including the version on the greatest hits compilation The Very Best of Brand Nubian.[citation needed]

1992–1996 edit

In early 1993, Brand Nubian released their second album, In God We Trust,[4] which included the song "Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down" and the number 92 Hot-100 single "Love Me or Leave Me Alone." That same year, the group's song "Lick Dem Muthaphuckas" was released as part of the Menace II Society soundtrack.[citation needed]

Brand Nubian's next release, Everything is Everything, was released in November 1994.[4] Reviews were mixed and sales mediocre, despite the top-40 Hot Rap Tracks singles "Word is Bond" and "Hold On".[citation needed] In 1995, Brand Nubian broke up and its members started solo careers in music and television.[citation needed] That same year, Grand Puba released his second solo album, 2000, featuring another Billboard Hot 100 single, "I Like It (I Wanna Be Where You Are)," and Sadat X released his first solo album, Wild Cowboys, in 1996.[5]

1997–2000 edit

Brand Nubian's original members reunited in 1997 and contributed "A Child is Born" to the Soul in the Hole soundtrack.[citation needed] In 1997, "Keep It Bubblin'" appeared on the Money Talks soundtrack.[citation needed] In 1998, Brand Nubian released the album Foundation on Arista/BMG Records.[4] It featured contributions from producers such as DJ Premier, Buckwild, Lord Finesse, and Diamond D. The lead single "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" became, at number 54, the group's highest-charting single on the Hot 100.[citation needed] In 1999, Grand Puba and Sadat X were featured on "Once Again", from the first Handsome Boy Modeling School record.[citation needed] In 2000, Brand Nubian once again teamed up with Buckwild of D.I.T.C., releasing the single "Rockin' It," after which the members, once again, pursued their solo projects.[citation needed] Sadat X released a solo EP in 2000, The State of New York vs. Derek Murphy.[citation needed]

2001–present edit

Grand Puba released his third solo effort, Understand This, in 2001, which received little attention.[citation needed] Brand Nubian reunited once again in 2004 for their fifth album, Fire in the Hole, released by Babygrande Records. Sadat X released another solo effort in 2005, titled Experience & Education, to mostly positive reviews. Jamar pursued his acting career, appearing on an episode of The Sopranos, as well as episodes of Oz, Third Watch, and Law & Order. Lord Jamar released his first solo album, The 5% Album, in June 2006, on Babygrande Records. Sadat X's third full-length album Black October came out in October 2006. In 2007, the group released an album titled Time's Runnin' Out, containing material recorded ten years earlier during the sessions for the 1998 Foundation album.[citation needed]

Members edit

  • Grand Puba (1989–1991, 1997–2000, 2003–present)
  • Sadat X (1989–1995, 1997–2000, 2003–present)
  • Lord Jamar (1989–1995, 1997–2000, 2003–present)
  • DJ Alamo (1989–1991, 1997–2000)
  • DJ Sincere (1989–1995)
  • DJ Stud Doogie (died 2021)[6]

Discography edit

Studio albums

References edit

  1. ^ Steve Huey. "Brand Nubian | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  2. ^ "The 25 Greatest Rap Groups". 2008-08-14. Archived from the original on 2015-04-05. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  3. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2014-02-17.
  4. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 62. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  5. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4.
  6. ^ "Lord Jamar Reveals Brand Nubian + Grand Puba DJ Stud Doogie Has Died". HipHopDX. November 1, 2021.

External links edit