December 26, 2015

Brand Nubian "Foundation" (Rap Pages, 1998)

"Few rap groups manage what Brand Nubian have: recording a reunion album that equals their previous work. Working with their original lineup for the first time since their masterful debut project, One For All, Grand Puba, Sadat X, Lord Jamar and DJ Alamo (who's now an official member of the group) demonstrate how to deliver a credible, hard-hitting Hip-Hop collection that addresses a variety of topics on Foundation. Focusing on respect, pride, love and struggle, the New Rochelle quartet rap lyrical circles around their myopic competition... While the multitude of overtly positive messages is sure to please their original fan base, several selections will thrill cats who've never experienced Brand Nubian. "The Return," a gritty, flute-backed, chest-thumping celebration that bumps harder than turbulence, wins with a bevy of punch lines and well-placed scratching..." Cont'd...

"Even though the work of the Puba-less Brand Nubian and Puba's solo songs touched on worthy topics and included dazzling wordplay, they work better as a unit than they did separately. The former Derek X's abrasive voice sounds much more appealing when complemented with Jamar's husky presentation and Puba's often playful demeanor. Likewise, Foundation's production far exceeds any of Nubian's work since One For All. Beatmasters such as DJ Premier, Lord Finesse, Buckwild, Diamond D and Grand Puba contribute a myriad of aural moods that fit Brand Nubian's lyrics like shrink-wrap.... Expertly executed, Foundation's poignant subject matter and super production reestablish Brand Nubian as premier Hip-Hop spokesmen." - Rap Pages, 1998. Revisit this LP today!