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One for All

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Album Review

Brand Nubian never sold as many albums as the many West Coast rappers burning up the charts in the early '90s, but the New York group commanded great respect in East Coast rap circles. In black neighborhoods of New York and Philadelphia, Nubian's debut album, One for All, was actually a bigger seller than many of the platinum gangsta rap releases outselling it on a national level. Influenced by De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers, Nubian favored an abstract rapping style, and Eastern rap fans were drawn to the complexity of jams like "Dance to My Ministry," "Ragtime," and "All for One." Grand Puba, Lord Jamar, and Sadat X had a lot of technique, which was what hip-hoppers favored in the East. On the whole, Nubian's Nation of Islam rhetoric isn't as overbearing as some of the recordings that other Five Percenters were delivering at the time. The CD is a bit uneven, but on the whole is likable and exhilarating.


Formed: 1989 in New Rochelle, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Five Percent Nation of Islam was a popular inspiration for numerous thinking-man's rap groups during the early '90s, and Brand Nubian was arguably the finest of the more militant crop. Although they were strongly related to the Native Tongues posse in style and sound, they weren't technically members, and were less reserved about spotlighting their politics and religion. Their outspokenness led to controversy, on an even larger scale than similarly minded groups like the X-Clan or Poor Righteous...
Full bio
One for All, Brand Nubian
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Hip-Hop, Rap, Alternative Rap
  • Released: 13 November 1990

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