Review Summary: slow dowwwnn
As hip-hop went into the final decade of the 20th Century, she was at a phase of positivity and teaching the world of the chosen people of Africa and the followers of Mohammed. Among the teachers of Afrocentricity and Islam were Brand Nubian, made up of Grand Puba Maxwell, Derek (Sadat) X, Lord Jamar, and DJ Alamo. Their teachings on their debut One For All moved the staff at The Source, and they were rewarded by being one of the first albums to get the coveted 5 mics. Let's get into the review. First, the MCs. Grand Puba kinda overshines Sadat and Jamar, but that's okay. After all, at this point Sadat and Jamar are newbies and Puba was with Masters of Ceremony a few years earlier. Needless to say, Puba is a great MC. His flow is unique and on another level. NO ONE raps like Grand Puba. Sadat and Jamar hold their own as well, although they sound nervous (actually, Sadat sounds very phlegmy as well). Lyrically, they all take somewhat different personas. Grand Puba is all about having fun (for the most part), Sadat X is the more militant Panther one, and Lord Jamar is the more knowledgable one that dresses in dashikis and beads. How about the beats? Disregard what I said about the beats in my earlier review. The samples used for these beats are astonishingly diverse, especially considering this came out in 1990! The beats are very funky throughout the album. Lyrically, One For All addressed all the expect Blackness and 5% subjects, but it doesn't take itself too seriously. Quite a few of the songs here are centered around getting girls in bed (Grand Puba of course). In a happy friendly way, One For All is quite promiscuous and hedonistic. It's kinda funny because right before Grand Puba drops MAD knowledge on "Wake Up", one of the backround dudes says "Man he don't know nuthin'. He all about hitting skins" lol. My only problem with this is that some of the songs in the middle of the album ain't that good at all. But One For All is still an enjoyable album, especially if you listen to it looking forward to Grand Puba rapping. I recommmend this to Afrocentric rap fans. I don't think non-fans will like this. I now see why this got five mics in The Source and I can't argue with that.