Brand Nubian – “One For All” Album Anniversary

Brand Nubian – “One For All” Album Anniversary

Brand Nubian released their first studio album on December 4 1990.  The album was released on Elektra Records and as “classic” as many people have labeled this album, it has yet to go gold.

The album is a perfect as an album can be.  Grand Puba, Lord Jamar and Derek X make this one of the greatest debuts in Hip Hop History!  Even the last track “Dedication” where Puba gives thanks, is bangin!  The album starts with the infectious title track where Puba starts off,

“I hit a beat and swing a note as if my name was David Ruffin
Quick to toast an MC just like an English muffin
Don’t worry about a thing ’cause the Puba’s never bluffin’
I gets headaches from the wack so then I take a bufferin’ and I max
I wait until the opportune time and then I tax but should I max?”

On “Feels So Good”, the crew raps about girls and how fake hair and nails is not the deal.

“I knew this girl and her name was Tina
She rested in Medina, never saw eyes greener than hers
But yo there was just one little flaw, the green eyes
I had to penalize, cause they was bought in a store
A synthetic cosmetic, it was pathetic
If they was real, then yo she got the credit
But they wasn’t so she doesn’t
I like the natural look, so I kicked it to her cousin”

The song “Wake Up” and it’s video were banned from MTV at the time for the lyrical content.  It contained no foul language but it did contain 5% idealism (political and religious beliefs).  But the album is a balance of seriousness and also youthful playfulness.  On “Slow Down”, The BN’s share stories of the  affects of drug addiction which contains a sample of Eddie Brickell’s “What I Am”.  It would be the most successful single and track off the album.

“Who Can Get Busy Like This Man?” slows it down and bangs like ever song on this album, but the highlight of the album has to be the Grand Puba solo “Step To The Rear” where Puba steals the show and proves he’s one of the most incredible mc’s to come along.  The song needs to be heard to be truly enjoyed!

“Step to the rear, Grand Pu is on arrival.
Raised in the ghetto singin’ songs called survival.
Runnin’ round town givin’ all the girls Puba snacks,
I wouldn’t try to scale my style, you just might catch a cardiac.
Figured the way to get paid is to grab the mic; rehearse, ya know.
Smooth as Jermaine, so honey don’t take it personal.
There’s no need to try to diss the swinger,
Baby, all you get is two snaps up and the finger.
The bob-a-loo bad boy, a threat to the paranoid,
You try to step to this? It’s void!”

The album is top notch and is probably one of the most creative and unique albums in Hip Hop History!  Why has the album not sold as much?  Maybe they were too dope for people to appreciate?  Not sure, but one this is for sure…this will go down as an absolute classic!

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