Search - Brand Nubian :: Foundation

Brand Nubian
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

Onetime hip-hop representatives for the black boho intelligentsia, Brand Nubian--made up of the core quartet of Grand Puba, Sadat X, Lord Jamar, and DJ Alamo--disbanded in 1990 before reuniting in 1998 for this album. Whil...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Brand Nubian
Title: Foundation
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Arista
Release Date: 9/29/1998
Album Type: Explicit Lyrics
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
Styles: East Coast, Experimental Rap, Pop Rap, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 078221902427

Onetime hip-hop representatives for the black boho intelligentsia, Brand Nubian--made up of the core quartet of Grand Puba, Sadat X, Lord Jamar, and DJ Alamo--disbanded in 1990 before reuniting in 1998 for this album. While all the artists have successfully survived apart, their chemistry together still works wonders. With its odd mix of black-power politics, feel-good party songs, and straight lyrical bravado, Foundation surprisingly emerges as one of 1998's better rap albums. Brand Nubian invigorate everything from dance tracks ("Back Up off the Wall") to underground gems ("The Return"). They even manage to update James Brown's anthem "I'm Black and I'm Proud" while sounding less dated than you'd expect. --Oliver Wang

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CD Reviews

Operation HEAL; Do The Knowledge
DukeOfEarl | Phoenix, AZ United States | 02/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Now, Lord Jamar and Sadat X dropped two excellent albums after Puba's departure from Brand Nubian, but with Puba, Brand Nubian is easily beyond compare. Such a strong group/movement. Suprisingly, eight years later, they hit us with the proper sequel to the debut classic "One For All." This album stands right up there with "One For All," and I can see if some listeners might prefer this one.
Brand Nubian leaves behind most of the religious rhetoric and negative comments toward the "devils," yet this album is all about uplifting and healing the listeners, especially the Black community. For 20 tracks, the album flows quite nicely. There is only one noticable eyesore which is having "Let's Dance" and "Back Up Off The Wall" consecutively, since they are both light dance-type tracks. The former(ft. Busta Rhymes) is acceptable, but "Back Up Off The Wall"(ft. the pre-Bad Boy Loon) is half-assed. Having the two back-to-back definitely cramps the flow of the CD. The only other questionable track is "Too Late," which sounds like it should be on a Faith Evans album or something.
The first half of the album has a nice variety of sounds and vibes. It keeps you VERY attuned. "Don't Let It Go To Your Head" lives up to the hype as a standout track, and "Maybe One Day"(Grand Puba w/ Common) is a stellar song. Kinda sad, but hits home. The best song here is easily "Love vs. Hate," with a chilling beat, and lyrics from the three that might bring you to tears because how beatifully written it is. Here's Grand Puba's verse that started it off:
Now they say we playa hating cause we hate the black on black/
and the fact we can't stand when e act like that/
Self-hate's killing us more than the Po-Po or crack/
I tell my people with the gats it ain't about all that/
We arrived on slave ships, tourtured, chained, and whipped/
400 years of being slaves in the land of the brave/
Have we forgotten? Our ancestors forced to pick cotton/
Women raped and tortured, murdered if they caught ya/
N****s swung from trees like a breeze through summer leaves/
Swaying back and forth failed a chance to make it north/
Millions of people died just so we can survive/
So this knowledge I provide cause these facts can't be denied/
Nowadays, it's new ways, 60's it was the smack/
80's it was the crack, 90's it be the gat/
Time to recognize how uncivilized we got/
Get wise and unify and not fall victim to the plot

The last track, "U For Me," is kind of an update of the "One For All" motto, and one of the better songs of the album. Lord Jamar's verse is one of the best I've ever heard in a Hiphop song. Peep:
We engage the enemy, Arrange the assembly/
Flip through the pages of time, do you remember me?/
Through the ages I existed, only as a memory/
Some of me exists in your biochemistry/
I be the slave that always misbehaves, running for days/
The North Star help me find my way/
I ain't got no time to play, I'm trying to get away/
Blood hounds tryin to track me down/
Trying to bring me back to the town/
If they catch me, they just might axe me/
Won't arraign me, probably just hang me/
But it's freedom or death, exert speed till my last breath/
Can't half step, Whitey's on my trail/
I'm on the underground rail, hiding from the face that's pale/
Me and Harriet, swing low sweet chariot, and take me home/
They wanna break my bones/
and take me where they keep the tombstones.

I'll just put the whole album in perspective:
GREAT songs:
Love vs. Hate
Don't Let It Go To Your Head
Maybe One Day(ft. Common)
U For Me
GOOD songs:
Shinin' Star (good postive anthem)
The Return (fat DJ Premier beat)
Sincerely (believable sensitive track to the females)
The Beat Change (harder beat; short track, no chorus, just rhyme slingin')
I'm Black and I'm Proud (acceptable update, positive verses)
Probable Cause (less serious track about biased policemen)
Straight Outta Now Rule
Brand Nubian
Let's Dance (ft. Busta Rhymes)
Back Up Off The Wall (ft. Loon)
Too Late

This is an album every Hiphop head needs to have, even though it's out of print. I found this used, and in the wrong section of the store, luckily! It has nice and modern production, and like I said, a wide variety of (fresh) sounds. I agree with a previous reviewer: Sadat X seems to ramble off on irrelevant things at points. He does drop some solid verses, but usually it's Jamar or Puba carrying the track. Puba's insight and wittiness was welcomed back ("Make more chips than Frito Lays when I spit the phrase that pays"), but Jamar's excellent contribution throughout gives him the title of THE essential Nubian who's been down all along (IMO). When I think of Brand Nubian, first one that comes to my mind is Lord Jamar from now on. Get this album by any means necessary, and let the Nubian brothers heal and enlighten you today. PEACE."
The original roster reunites for fourth album!
HipHopFanatic | New Jersey | 10/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Brand Nubian released this fourth "reunion" album after a four year hiatus where all of their members were doing their own things. Lord Jamar did production work and Sadat X dropped "Wild Cowboys". This album features the original Brand Nubian roster: Grand Puba, Lord Jamar, Sadat X and DJ Alamo. They show they still have the chemistry they had when they first started, and can still balance street songs with positive "Native Tounge" themed songs without coming across as hippocrites, but where they are lacking in this album is where a lot of MCs are messing up nowadays; with trying to sound like the trendier artists. There are two songs like the cheesy "Let's Dance (w/ Busta Rhymes) and "Back Up off the Wall (w/ Loon from Harlem World) where they seem more interested in generating something radio friendly than in staying true. But don't get me wrong, those two songs are the exception to the rule on this album and would be 5 stars without them. There are a lot of awesome songs on this album; the single "Don't Let it Go to your Head" features each of the three mcs telling their own story about people/events where people went in too deep, "The Return" is an ill collabo with DJ Premier, fans of Gangstarr and DITC will definitely like this release. DITC reps hard on this album on the production tip, as Diamond, Buckwild, Lord Finesse and DJ Ogee all contribute great beats to this album. Definitely recommended but not as great as their first three albums which are virtually flawless."
Epoch | 10/07/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album is all that. It has beats, rhymes, and flows that make sense and dosen't just fill songs with something extra. This is another classic that will rank up there with L-boogie(Lauryn Hill), and Tribe Called Quest. If you don't have it, get it now because it's worth it. Favroite songs are: don't let it go to your head, shinin star, foundation, let's dance, too late, love vs. hate, sincerly, and back up off the wall."