When the world first heard The Brand Nubians 1990 debut album "One For All", notorious for being praised with the much hyped five mics rating in The Source, few would think that Derreck X would be the artist out of that trio to have the highest profile and largest catalouge in a few years. In fact "One For All" treated Lord Jamar and Derreck X as Grand Puba's back up band, and didn't even appear on half of the album. But sometimes the tables turn, through hard work and dedication Sadat X (as he soon after changed his name to) crafted a unique style with an unmistakable voice with lyrics that often dealt with personal feelings and surviving in a world where friends and lovers often turn out to be willing to stab you in the back when you least expect it. The only problem was that he might have started to put quantity over quality a little too much in the last ten years or so.
It's been a long time since I've been really excited about an X album, though I did like his "Love, Hell or Right" album from 2013. Now the New York artist is back with "Agua" sporting a pretty damn impressive cast list of guest producers and emcee partners. How about Pete Rock, Diamond D, Da Beatminerz, Nick Wiz, DJ Scratch, Easy Mo Bee, Fokis, Dub Sonata and Will Tell? What about Lord Jamar, Dres, Edo G, A-F-R-O, Rahzel, Cella Dwellas' UG, Milano, Shabaam Sahdeeq, RA The Rugged Man, and Wordsmith? That's a lot of features and producers and as I haven't had the time to listen yet I'm not sure how cohessive the X-Man has managed to make it sound but one thing's for sure, there's bound to be several real bangers on here to cherish. Probably more than any Sadat X albums in ten years or so. Released on Tommy Boy, the album is available for purchase in both physical and digital form now, and can also be streamed and purchased (both digital and on CD) in full via X's official Bandcamp. One thing though, the last I heard from Sadat X was that he's working on a full-length album entirely produced by Diamond D, and as usual we get one track to show for it. Well, I for one hope it's still coming. But what the hell, with Pete Rock, Da Beatminerz and Nick Wiz I sure as hell can complain. I also wasn't a fan of Will Tell on some earlier X albums, but the single/video "Murder Soundtrack" (above) with AFRO and Rahzel has convinced me has stepped his game up big time. You can also cop the physical from UGHH where you can also see the credits for each track. TURN IT UP!