Interview with SADAT X (of Brand Nubian) - interview by Todd E. Jones

by , Editor on March 23, 2007 | genre: hiphop

SADAT X (of Brand Nubian) - interview by Todd E. Jones

Artist: Sadat X
Title: Black October
Release date:
Label: Female Fun Records / Riverside Dr. Records
Female Fun Records
Buy at: Amazon

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“Locked Up With Sadat X”

An Interview with SADAT X (of Brand Nubian)

(March. 2007)

Interview by Todd E. Jones (aka The New Jeru Poet)

Sadat X is a caged legend. As a member of Brand Nubian, he has performed timeless verses on the classic songs such as “Slow Down”, “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down”, “One For All”, and “Love Me Or Leave Me Alone”. As a solo artist, he has achieved an undeniable credibility. His solo track “The Lump Lump” is a magnificent remarkable track that incorporated a vocal sample from Groove Theory’s “Tell Me”. The song, “Hang Em High” used a sample from the theme song to “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly”. His classic debut LP, “Wild Cowboys" is an under appreciated magnum opus. Released on Loud Records, “Wild Cowboys” featured production by Pete Rock, Roc Raider, DJ Ogee, Da Beatminerz, Diamond, and others. Released on Stimulated Records, “The State Of New York Vs. Derek Murphy” EP was also terribly slept on. The EP featured production from A Kid Called Roots, Diamond, Minnesota, and more. Standout tracks included “X-Man”, “Cock It Back”, and “You Can’t Deny”. After signing to Female Fun Records, Sadat X released the “Experience & Education” LP. Guests included Heltah Skeltah, Agallah, Edo.G, and Money Boss Players. Production was handled by Agallah, Geology, DJ Spinna, Vin The Chin, Diamond D, Madsol-Desar, Sha Boogie, Minnesota, and A Kid Called Roots. Throughout the years, the emcee has worked with a myriad of legendary artists including The Notorious B.I.G., Edo.G, Common, Large Professor, Big L, Guru (of Gangstarr), Vast Aire, O.G.C., A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Kool Keith, Xzibit, The Beat Kids, Talib Kweli, Big Daddy Kane, Greg Nice, and many more. His nasal sounding voice is a significant attribute that makes him sound unlike any other emcee. His unorthodox flow and loose structure of his verses accentuate his uniqueness. His verses are loose, but somehow always tight. He has made his offbeat delivery sound perfectly on beat. His multiple contributions to the hip-hop culture are soulfully based in truth.

The wild cowboy is now behind bars. Professionally, Sadat X was living a positive life while free. He has coached basketball, taught in schools, and even released a new Brand Nubian album with the original members (Grand Puba and Lord Jamar). Ironically, Lord Jamar portrayed Supreme Allah is the HBO prison series “Oz”. Spiritually rich, Sadat X was enlightened when he became a member of the Muslim organization known as The Nation Of Gods & Earths. Unfortunately, a money dispute caused intense conflicts in New York. Someone snitched on the wild cowboy! Sadat X was arrested for gun possession. At the time, he was facing almost a year in jail.

“…Stages and cameras and lights don’t affect me. Same on the wax as the same on the street…” (from “Stages & Lights” from the “Wild Cowboys” LP). The music of Sadat X is admirably honest and vividly real. Before he had to start his jail sentence, Sadat X completed an entire album. “Black October” by Sadat X was released around the same time he went inside. The opening title track (produced by DJ Spinna) is a poignantly heartbreaking look at his preparation for his incarceration. In the brutally honest “Momentary Outro”, Sadat X tells the story behind how he got arrested. Like the song “The Daily News” (from “Experience & Education”), “The Post” (produced by Diamond D) features Sadat X free styling by using the headlines from the newspaper. Produced by Ayatollah, “Throw The Ball” is a vivid picture of a family barbeque. Produced by The Asmatic, “Eternally Yours” is a heartfelt atmospheric track. J-Zone produces the excellent “X Is A Machine”. Fellow Brand Nubian members, Grand Puba and Lord Jamar joint Sadat X on “Chosen Few”. Produced by Scotty Blanco, “Million Dollar Deal” features X pondering what he would do if he had the opportunity to sign a record deal for $1 million. Da Beatminerz produce the sonically rich “On The Come Thru”. Hidden tracks include a fantastic remix of “God Is Back” and another song about a woman trying to turn Sadat’s girlfriend into a lesbian. The album offers a harsh view of the struggles of Dotty X. Like life, the emotional spectrum is offered. Sadat X displays his love for his family and girlfriend. His anger and frustration is evident when rhyming about his legal problems. Some songs showcase his sharp skills as an emcee. The “Black October” LP is the most realistic and honest hip-hop album in a very long time.

NOTE: This is a lost interview in 2 parts. Conducted in November 2007 while Sadat X was locked up in Rikers Island, this first section was not completed until March 2007. As of this time of writing, the second part has yet to be completed. Hopefully, Sadat X and I can have an in-depth conversation when he is free.

Sadat X may be incarcerated, but his music cannot be chained. The great Dotty X is the wild cowboy who has already left an immortal mark on the hip-hop culture. His indelible contribution to hip-hop demands absolute respect and acknowledgement. From his signature vocal tone to his and funky delivery, Sadat X is truly one of a kind. New York may have locked up the man, but they did not lock up his spirit. Sadat X, keep your head up!

TODD E. JONES: “What goes on?”

SADAT X: “Right now, it’s Thanksgiving. I’m just relaxing in the dorm after eating what was supposed to be Thanksgiving dinner.”

TODD E. JONES: “Tell us about your new album, ‘Black October’, which was just released on Riverside Drive Records / Female Fun Records.”

SADAT X: “I just wanted to get some music to the people, being that I’d be locked up for a minute.”

TODD E. JONES: “Since you recorded ‘Black October’ right before you had to go into prison, how long did the entire album take to record?”

SADAT X: “The album took about 4 months to record.”

TODD E. JONES: “Favorite song on the ‘Black October’?””

SADAT X: “I feel strongly about my songs. It’s hard to pick a favorite.”

TODD E. JONES: “Which song took you the longest to do from conception to completion on ‘Black October’? Why?”

SADAT X: “The longest song to do was Da Beatminerz song, ‘On The Come Thru’ because I had to catch up with them.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is the creative process like?”

SADAT X: “The creative process involves me listening to the music and getting a feel for it. Then, writing to it.”

TODD E. JONES: “When creating a track, do you have a set theme or idea first or the music first?”

SADAT X: “My creation process varies. Sometimes, I have lyrics floating in my head. Sometimes, I write to a piece of music.”

TODD E. JONES: “Da Beatminerz produced the song, ‘On The Come Thru’. How did you hook up with them? What was that collaboration like? How are they different than other producers?”

SADAT X: “I’ve known Da Beatminerz for a while. We have reached out to each other in the past. They have a feel for my style.”

TODD E. JONES: “How did you meet Puba and Lord Jamar, and eventually form Brand Nubian?”

SADAT X: “I met Puba and Jamar in New Rochelle, New York. Puba was trying to get myself and Jamar a deal.”

TODD E. JONES: “Musically, what else have you been working on?”

SADAT X: “I’ve been musically stagnant right now due to my incarceration. I find myself writing in spurts whenever I get the feeling.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you think that success and credibility are mutually exclusive?”

SADAT X: “I think success and credibility are exclusive. You can be musically successful and forfeit your credibility.”

TODD E. JONES: “What solo song are you most proud of?”

SADAT X: “I am proud of all of my solo songs. To pick one is like choosing from amongst my children.”

TODD E. JONES: “Spirituality has always been an element of Brand Nubian’s foundation. When and how did you get enlightened?”

SADAT X: “I was enlightened into The Nation Of Gods & Earths in the early 90’s.”

TODD E. JONES: “What was the last dream you remember?”

SADAT X: “The last dream I remember was of myself, taking a hot bath with my girl.”

TODD E. JONES: “Who are some artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?”

SADAT X: “I would like to work with Eminem, Gza, Vast Aire, Kool G Rap, O.C., and A.G. Basically, some of my favorites.”

TODD E. JONES: “On the ‘Black October’ LP, you have a song called, ‘The Post’ and on the ‘Experience & Education’ album, you have a song called, ‘The Daily News’. On both tracks, you take elements from the newspaper and implement them in your rhymes. Were these songs done in one take? Were they free-styled or written first?”

SADAT X: “The songs, ‘The Post’ and ‘The Daily News’ were taken directly from the articles in those papers on the said dates. The songs were all done in one take.”

TODD E. JONES: “Will you create a new news/freestyle song using The New York Times or a different publication?”

SADAT X: “There will be a Spanish newspaper version done.”

TODD E. JONES: “How did you get the deal with Female Fun Records?”

SADAT X: “I got the deal with Female Fun Records and Riverside Drive Records through a personal friend, Peter Agoston.”

TODD E. JONES: “I feel that the Brand Nubian album, ‘Everything Is Everything’ did not get the deserved credit, or the airplay. How do you feel about that album compared to the other Brand Nubian LPS?”

SADAT X: “On ‘Everything Is Everything’, I feel that myself and Jamar tried to expand on different genres of music and people weren’t ready for it.”

TODD E. JONES: “Please, tell us, in detail, about the incident that led to the arrest. What was the charge?”

SADAT X: “I got into a money dispute with some Dominicans on Broadway over some money. They were adults, not kids!”

TODD E. JONES: “Please describe first day of incarceration.”

SADAT X: “Rikers Island is a jail, not a prison. My first day in jail was basically getting used to my surroundings and letting it sink in that I was here.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is the key to survival in prison?”

SADAT X: “There are 3 keys to survival in here. First is to obey the rules. You don’t want to get the C.O.’s against you. Second, mind your f*cking business. Don’t be M.L.K. in here. Let the C.O.’s do their job. They are getting paid for it. Third, stay busy. Make the time. Don’t let it make you. Don’t watch the clock or calendar.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is a typical day like for you inside?”

SADAT X: “A typical day for me is 5:30 AM wake up for work. My work is construction from 6 AM to 1:30 PM. Then, rest. Then, the yard, exercise and walking. Chow. Watch a little TV, the news. Lights out at 11 PM.”

TODD E. JONES: “Obviously the show “Oz” is purely fictional, but what are some of the most glaring aspects of prison that the show lacked?”

SADAT X: “There is not the freedom to roam around in jail like it is on ‘Oz’.”

TODD E. JONES: “What LPs have you been listening to before you went inside?”

SADAT X: “I always listen to oldies R&B and rap.”

TODD E. JONES: “Guns have been a prevalent part of your music, but you always handled the topic with realism and honesty. What kind of gun did you get caught with?”

SADAT X: “I was caught with a 40 caliber gun, heavy fire.”

TODD E. JONES: “In your opinion, what is the most reliable firearm?”

SADAT X: “The most reliable gun to me is a revolver because it doesn’t jam.”

TODD E. JONES: “Final words to end this first part?”

SADAT X: “The rest of this will be done shortly. Pardon the delay. My property was just returned to me.”



Interview by Todd E. Jones aka New Jeru Poet

NOTICE: This interview is property of Todd E. Jones and cannot be duplicated or posted without written permission.

Female Fun Music:
The official Sadat X MySpace page:

Video for “Throw Tha Ball”:

Black October Tracklisting
1. Black October
2. Throw the Ball
3. The Post
4. If You feat. Boss Money Playas, Big Meg, and Tommy Gibbs
4. X is a Machine
5. Interlude
6. Million Dolla Deal
7. Untraceable
8. My Mind feat. Greg Nice
9. Eternally Yours
10. Chosen few feat. Lord Jamar and Grand Puba
11. On The Come Thru
12. Who You Rollin' Wit

"Black October" by Sadat X - release date: ..

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