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Reel to Reel

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Album Review

In a sense, Grand Puba really never was a genuine member of Brand Nubian. He was several years older than Lord Jamar and Sadat X, and had already recorded with the old-school crew Masters of Ceremony several years before finally hooking up with his younger mates. And even the mostly collective-minded One for All featured a couple Puba solo joints. Based on the sophomore Brand Nubian outing, it is pretty clear that Grand Puba's carefree verbal play, completely unencumbered by ideology, tempered the more in-your-face manifestation of Jamar and Sadat X's radical politics since In God We Trust which, as thrillingly polemical as it could be, was also rather severe and uncompromising, even apocalyptic, in its outlook, and therefore off-putting at times. Likewise, based on this debut solo album, it's clear that Brand Nubian created precisely the right context in which Puba's self-reflexive braggadocio could flourish without wearing thin because Reel to Reel, as much fun as it is, has little in the way of substance. As a result, the record never becomes more than a pleasing divertissement. Minus any counterweights who can "drop the science," Puba, like some sort of hip-hop Dolemite, proved to be interested mostly in self-puffery, partying, and playing the ladies. While the persona is entertaining as far as it goes, it doesn't have a lot of mileage in it unless you have a high tolerance for tall tales about stunts and blunts. The artist himself had a good time satirizing this penchant at the beginning of the classic "Wake Up" from One for All, but seems to have lost sight of some of the possibilities for self-parody here. Having said that, the album really does have a lot to offer, including the irresistible one-two punch of "Check Tha Resume" and "360°," the deep-fried "Honey Don't Front," and the delightfully lazy "Who Makes the Loot?," whipped off with Brand New Heavies when they were at their funkiest. The production (most of it by the artist himself) is universally excellent, and Puba is, without a doubt, one of the cleverest, most cheekily complex MCs to ever pick up a microphone. Just bring your incredulity and sense of humor — the lower the brow the better — and Reel to Reel is a real hoot.

Customer Reviews

PUBA-PUBA YALL!!!

"well ill be damned if i do...damned if i don't, its time to kick the flavor on real ya' think i won't!" Old Skool Illin' - Mary J. with the Grand Puba - Ya' just don't hear this type of stuff anymore these a dayeees...

classic

this is a dope album from the puba - got to cop it if you dont got it- peace

Grand Puba's Greatest Hits (Yet!)

The ones you should buy from Grand Puba, which is known as Grand Puba's Finest Songs are: "That's How We Move It," "Big Kids Don't Play," "Lickshot," "Honey Don't Front," "Ya Know How It Goes," "Reel To Reel," "Soul Controller," "Proper Education," and last but not least is: "360 (What Goes Around)." The one you should mostly buy is: "That's How We Move It." So, after buying the song, I hope you have a good time listening to Grand Puba's Finest Songs (Yet!).

Biography

Born: March 4, 1966 in New Rochelle, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

Grand Puba, born Maxwell Dixon, is best known as the sage lead rapper of Brand Nubian for the group's classic first album, One for All (1990), and the well-regarded reunion album, Foundation (1998). A native of New Rochelle, New York, Dixon made his commercial debut a little earlier with Masters of Ceremony, a group that recorded for M-Low, Strong City, and the larger 4th & Broadway. Shortly after he left Brand Nubian due to some interpersonal conflict, Dixon debuted as a solo artist with Reel to...
Full Bio
Reel to Reel, Grand Puba
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, R&B/Soul, Rap, East Coast Rap
  • Released: Sep 29, 1992

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