February 09, 2015

Brand Nubian "Everything Is Everything" (Rap Pages, 2/95)

"Mini-markets or bodegas, lowriders or cabs, sunshine or snow. Welcome to the West wit an East Coast perspective. Longtime fans who have followed the evolution of rap's demilegends Brand Nubian may be a little taken aback by the broad musical strength displayed on Lord Jamar and Sadat X's second effort as a duo. Everything Is Everything is not In God We Trust, and it most certainly is not One For All. The album, produced entirely by Lord Jamar (who admittedly is a fan of MC Eiht, Cube, Snoop...and others), wreaks of inspiration and influence from the group's Westside counterparts - culminating in a laid-back, easy-flowing, West Coast "G"-feeling project. The first single "Word Is Bond," hits with an exhibition of hardcore stylistics over a fat jazz track, as does "Step Into Da Cipher," a posse cut spotlighting New York's Serge, Maestro Manny and Snaggapuss. Although concepts get a little cloudy ... Nubian also pull through heavy topical discussions pertaining to the plight of the Black man, proving that their original flavor is not completely left in the dust."

"... Filled with West Coast expressions, sweet female and male backing vocals, live musicians, and, of course, the smart rhyming skills of both Sadat X and Lord J, Brand Nubian return with brand nu vibes and an altogether brand nu sound. But the burning question remains: Is this a genuine bridging of the East Coast / West Coast gap, or is it just another ploy to ... what? Sell records? Fourth-generation Hip-Hoppers may not care, but fans - we want to know." - Rap Pages, 2/95 (Updated).