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Sadat X – Experience & Education

As part of the power trio Brand Nubian, Sadat X (also known as Derek X) and his signature voice delivered powerful messages and tight lyrics over hype tracks. As a solo artist, once considered one of the tightest MC’s on the microphone, he showed just as much care on 1996’s Wild Cowboys. Now, one of music’s most underrated and low-key personalities is back again to set the record straight. Years of teaching school and coaching inner city basketball has made the 5 Percent Son the perfect voice for his Female Fun Records’ debut Experience & Education.


With the bulk of the production coming from the infamous Diggin in the Crates alum Diamond D, and spots hyped up by guests from the reunited Heltah Skeltah and New York staple Edo G., Sadat has delivered a well-conceived album. You won’t find the Top 40 sensibilities of Nubian cohort, Grand Puba, or the theatrics of Lord Jamar, but you will find straightforward lyricism about real life and real love.

The sonically-charged DJ Spinna helmed opening track “God is Back in Town” sets the proceedings off like a rocket ship, allowing Sadat to introduce himself to the unannointed. This is followed briskly by “What Did I Do?,” a love song of sorts, where melodic samples and pulsing drums allow room for Sadat’s revealing lyrics, all encased between lush vocals. “The Daily News” is the type of song that perfectly compliments Sadat’s delivery and matter of fact realism. As the title suggests, it covers headlines you might read in any newspaper or see on a typical newscast; life stories from around the way. “Back to New York” is some grimy, ghetto grunge that pays homage to the Big Apple, while the rumbling and raucous “Come on Down” showcases Diamond D’s production at its best. The eerie “Creep” is impressive in its dark music and ill subject matter.

This is an album that you’ve got to have some experience to understand, and some reverence for education to appreciate, hence the title. If you’re looking for something shallow and superficial, just turn on the radio. If you’re looking for some pure, unadulterated rap from one of the games elder statesman, then step on up and enjoy the speech.


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