Blatantly Blunt interviews Sadat X “Rappers are a lot less fearless today”
With a deep rooted legacy in the golden era of hip hop. Sadat X is one of the few rappers who can claim to still be working with some of the best in the game. Having made his name as one quarter of Brand Nubian alongside Grand Puba, Lord Jamar and DJ Alamo. Sadat X has recently dropped a dope new album ‘Agua’ which is out now on Tommy Boy Records. In this interview with Nick Russell and Ethan Saunders he discusses a range of issues, from how he got his name, how he ended up working with B.I.G and who he rates in today’s hip hop game.
Q1: The name of the new album is ‘Agua’, literally ‘water’ in Spanish. What’s behind the concept, and why is it so important to you?
Sadat X: Yeah the album is called ‘AGUA’ literally water in Spanish, because if you notice, most of the world, most of this earth, is covered by water. Water is still the greatest trade route. You know water when healthy can nourish you, when bad, can give you dysentery. You understand? So this album is just like water for your brain, you know – to make you think.
Q2: You have a dream team of producers on the new record, for those long time fans who’ve been down since ‘Wild Cowboys’, can we expect a re-collaboration between you and legendary producer; Minnesota anytime soon?
Sadat X: Well yes Minnesota is my man – understand that; Bronx location, Money Boss Players, so Minnesota is always in effect in my mind and I’m definitely going get back with him in the near future.
Q3: You have one of the most distinctive voices in hip-hop how did you develop that and how important is a rapper’s voice over and above their lyricism?
Sadat X: Well, I don’t know how this voice came. It’s just something I was naturally gifted with, which I do think that over the years has helped me separate myself from other MCs. I tell a lot of MCs coming up nowadays; you have to have a separation factor. It has to be something that separates you from everybody else being that this field is so saturated now.
Q4: Are there any plans for a Brand Nubian reunion record in the future?
Sadat X: There are plans for a Brand Nubian album, you know, we’re in the works now trying to sit down and get it together, get everything going, you know. It needs everyone’s schedule coinciding with each other, but we do plan on having a Brand Nubian record in the future.
Q5: Is your stage name, Sadat, taken after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat? If so how did that initially come about, and is the X a reference to Malcolm X?
Sadat X: Well actually it’s not. I took Sadat as a name from the 5% nation. It wasn’t really about Anwar Sadat even though he is a great man and you know, he worked for peace out there in the Middle East. I wanted to take something that was different; that I hadn’t heard a lot and that was one name. The ‘X’ is for unknown. When I reach that path maybe I’ll remove the ‘X’ But the X is unknown.
Q6: How did the feature on ‘Come On’ with Biggie come about? He mentioned you in the verse, so despite the fact it was a posthumous track he clearly gave you props – was he someone you were tight with?
Sadat X: For the feature ‘Come On’ with Biggie I was contacted by Puff (Daddy). You know I was definitely contacted by Puff to do that. Me and Puff was in Mt. Vernon at the time that I was in New Rochelle, and me and Puff had a real good relationship. At the time you know I was going out with an actress called Regina Hall, and he was a big fan of her also. You know, (Myself and) BIG, we did that song in the studio live, they remixed it and the original version which I like better was done by Lord Finesse, but we were right there in the studio. BIG definitely referenced me in the song, and he was a great dude, man I miss BIG.
Q7: Your friend, fellow artist and ex Brand Nubian member Lord Jamar has done some excellent and provocative interviews – some of which you’ve been involved with, why do you think so few people in hip hop are as outspoken as Jamar? Why aren’t rappers fearless like they used to be?
Sadat X: Well I think rappers are a lot less fearless today because they don’t wanna get shut down. In this politically correct time everything you say is weighed against you and I don’t think certain rappers have the moxie to stand up against criticism. Jamar has that moxie where he can go debate with you all day if necessary. I don’t think that a lot of these kids coming up today are up to that. They’re definitely not as worldly as we were coming up. By worldly I mean, they don’t know politically pretty much what’s going on in society around them nowadays. It’s basically just talking about getting some money some girls or having fun you know? Nobody’s really talking ‘bout the long term aspects of this thing.
Q8: Which of the new breed of rappers and/or producers would you like to get in the studio with to work with on a collaboration, and why?
Sadat X: Well, you know, it’s a lot of new rappers I like, it’s just so many of ‘em, that I don’t know ‘em all you know? The ones I do know, like I know Dave East, I like his stuff, SchoolBoy Q, You know. I like Chance the rapper, Kendrick Lamar, so there’s rappers that do catch my ear some of the young boys I just don’t know them all being that there’s so many of ‘em.
On that note, I’mma sign out. Sadat X, peace. Go pick up the album! Pick up the Brand Nubian sneakers at www.triplethreat.com or pick up the True Wine Connoisseurs wine uh that’s at www.bedvine.com, ya know what I’m sayin’, get that wine. See the episodes on YouTube ‘True Wine Connoisseurs” pick up the album ‘AGUA,’ Peace!
Purchase the new album from the links below
iTunes – http://smarturl.it/sadatxagua / Spotify – http://spoti.fi/29HEqc / Rhapsody – http://bit.ly/29JG40v / Amazon – http://amzn.to/29JFHDe / Google Play – http://bit.ly/23geVFF / Beatport – http://btprt.dj/2a3FRYe / Juno – http://bit.ly/29ArM3H / Traxsource – http://bit.ly/29IirIl