Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
To the East Blackwards
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: X-CLAN Title: TO THE EAST BLACKWARDS Street Release Date: 05/02/1990
No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: TO THE EAST BLACKWARDS
Street Release Date: 05/02/1990
Strong messages, strong group, good music
DukeOfEarl | Phoenix, AZ United States | 09/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was fortunate to find this little gem, an important document from 1990 that will live for quite some time. I am white, but you can be any race and still recognize and respect intelligence and power when you hear it. Just look at the cover and their picture on the inside, where they are dressed up in African leather clothes (not dashikis) and African jewelry and they all look older than 30. I knew I was getting into real black music with a purpose and with power. One would never think of these guys as rappers and hip hoppas by their appearance. But this is what makes X-Clan unique. They kind of take Public Enemy's approach and cause to their music and even take it a step further.
I knew this album was going to be less about the music and more about actually spreading powerful and rude-awakening messages to the black community in America. I said 'Bring It On!' This album here is further proof that hiphop has a purpose, and a testament to hiphop that these strong African nationalists chose to spread their messages through hiphop rather than any other type of music or public outlet. Apparently, they were very visible in many other aspects than just music. One has to wonder if they grew up practicing and living hiphop, or if they studied their ancestry and roots and then decided to spread their knowledge through hiphop.
Even though it's not their primary focus, the music on "To The East, Blackwards" is very entertaining and consistent. 'Grand Verbalizer' Brother J has a very nice flow and obviously is incredibly intelligent and gifted. He spits not only with a purpose, but also with a passion. Even Professor X saying, "This is protected by the red, the black, and the green, with a key, Sissies!" on every single track does not get old. The album starts off strong with "Funkin' Lesson," and "Grand Verbalizer, What Time Is It?" is great too, although it borrows the beat from Eric B. and Rakim's "Microphone Fiend." I don't think they cared too much about having cutting-edge sampling and production here, it doesn't bother me. "Tribal Jam" has some authentic African music backing it, while tracks 4 and 9 both have rock elements suprisingly (both songs are essential). Maybe my favorite track is #10 "Verbs of Power" which starts out with Prof X naming off how many African elements have been stolen by America (most recently, KRS-One's book "Ruminations" elaborates this as well) and Brother J hits home with some of the strongest lyrics he has to offer. This classic album (and document) ends off with a suprising pop-sample ('There's no beginning, and there is no end') on "In The Ways Of The Scales," but it makes since with what they're talking about.
If you haven't yet figured, this album could very well be studied for more than its musical content. It's not THAT overwhelming or in-your-face about its pro-African content. Nonetheless, it's still a classic hiphop album that hit us in one of hiphop's best years (1990). Brother J can suprisingly kick it like few others, and although his arguments and points are quite vague and random at points, his lyrics are compelling and passionate while delivered in a laid-back style. No matter what race you are, it would be to your benefit to pick this album up. I wish more African-American's and rappers would have heeded the gems given here, so maybe we wouldn't have gotten so much of the crap out of the mainstream of rap these last few years (and the biased opionions towards all rap music now). Oh well, if you're reading this, it's not too late for you. Do whatever you can to get this one! Vanglorious..."
One of my old school favorites
T. Snyder | AZ | 01/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"X-Clan's To the East CD is classic old-school pro-black hip hop. It's also one of my old favorite CD's from my hip-hop-only teenager days.
The group was pro-black and very militant in their look and attitude. The militant part doesn't really flow into the songs so much as the pro-Africanism does.
Brother J is a great frontman; a great mc with a great delivery. Professor X was the group's version of a more-educated more-pro-black Flava Flav.
X-Clan was never too popular even in their best days, but it was still good stuff. A personal favorite of mine...this one is better than Xodus, which is still good too."
A lost hip hop classic, fallen from the mothership?
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album fuses every conceivable variant of Afrocentric thinking into a wild syncretic worldview to match anything in the work of George Clinton or Lee Perry. The music is great as well, an infectious mix of elements of seventies funk and disco put to the service of the band's weird spiritual trip. Perfect for the burning of the herbal incense of your choice.The group are pretty much unknown over here in Europe, although I suspect that UK act the Justified Ancients of Mumu own well-worn copies of all their LPs. Their work and that of solo offshoot act Professor X will conduct you through a myriad of bizarre alternate worlds and histories. Apparently, the group did videos as well. I can't even begin to imagine what those must be like. THIS IS PROTECTED BY THE RED, BLACK AND GREEN AT THE CROSSROADS, WITH A KEY . ."