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As a member of Brand Nubian, Sadat X (born Derek Murphy) was one of the key MCs who related messages inspired by the Five Percent Nation. Two years after Brand Nubian's third album, Everything Is Everything, he made his solo debut with Wild Cowboys, which built on his lyrical reputation on top of tough, jazz-inflected arrangements. The album, featuring production from Diamond D and Buckwild, was a solid solo debut that didn't quite scale the heights of his legacy with Brand Nubian. No Better Way, also released in 1996, improved on the debut and was produced by a cast that opened up to include da Beatminerz and Pete Rock. Sadat teamed back up with Brand Nubian for 1998's Foundation, but he didn't appear again as a solo artist until The State of New York vs. Derek Murphy, an EP released on Relativity in 2000. With a full-time job as a special-education teacher, it took five years before his next album, 2005's Experience & Education, was released, but 2006 saw another full-length, Black October, which was recorded while Sadat X awaited the possibility of prison time for carrying a loaded gun. ~ Andy Kellman