In 1990 the New York Hip Hop crew Brand Nubian made their breakthrough. This came at a time when there was more space for the more socially-conscious, Afroncetric Hip Hop as the Jazz Rap and Political groups had become a strong force in the genre, and so they managed to fit right in as a sort of compromise between the Tribe Called Quests and Public Enemys of the time. "All For One" finds Grand Puma leading Sadat X, Lord Jamar, DJ Alamo and DJ Sincere for the first of many occasions.
1. "All For One"
They get things going in a big way with one of the most impactful tracks of the album with the titular track, it has them showing the unity between them. It has Puma laying down some of the flyest rhymes to get things going as they sample a little James Brown and do their thing in a jazzy manner to get it going.
2. "Feels So Good"
You find that with this one you get a significant lift in the way things are done with a light sample leading them through as they all come with joint rhymes which show more of the connections between the MCs as they get down to it throw down some funky flows which have them dealing with the girls for an engaging early tune.
3. "Concerto In X Minor"
Following a fairly lengthy introduction, you see that with this one you have them getting down to one which takes full use of the DJs to help them show how strong their role in the music is as they come with some flows which continue what Public Enemy initially hoped to do with their first albums with some rough political rhymes.
As they jump on top of a little from The Gap Band, you see that here you find them bouncing back towards the general style of Hip Hop at the time as they get into something funky and moving back away from the rhymes which may put some off. It is a feel-good recording and really pulls you into the album to show that it won't all be of a conscious nature.
5. "To The Right"
Using more of James Brown's "Funky Drummer" break, you see that here they get down to one of the heaviest jams on the whole of the thing as they get down onto a bouncy tune which really sounds to be typical of this Golden Age with a fun joint which has them playing around with the rhyme sand showing just how well they can use them to express what they need to.
6. "Dance To My Ministry"
With a little Disco from Earth, Wind & Fire, you get something which you really wouldn't expect to get from this group as it contrasts from their purist sound, and with the erratic break which they take on, you see that the MCs come with spoken word done in an off-beat manner to do things in a rather straight-forward manner as they do one which is generally a dark one, but the Trouble Funk "Pump Me Up" samples and James Brown grunts mean that it makes it much more than this.
7. "Drop The Bomb"
Here you have them getting right down into the heavy 5 Percenters rhymes with this one as they burst through with some impactful breaks and beats to show what they aimed to do with this album. It is a rough one, and lives up to expectations of the group, and the militant Hip Hoppers of the late eighties to this point.
8. "Wake Up"
You get some more of the hardcore Funk being thrown on to this one and I felt that this meant that you could get over their typical Nation of Gods and Earths raps. It is a one which gets you taking into their ways and forces you to feel all that they have to offer (especially Grand Puma) as they do their job at 'educating'' the listeners.
9. "Step To The Rear"
This one appears to get them moving back a bit as they lay off the intense rhymes and choose to get back towards something which is a lot more able to connect with a larger group of people with the general way in which they get down to the fresh flows which have them bringing some of the humorous work to break it up a little.
10. "Slow Down"
This classic jam from them is possibly their most well-known (from this album especially) and it has them getting down to things in a manner which you can't help but get down to as you see that they move towards the much more well-developed material which has them taking on all of those who clearly need to sort out their lives.
11. "Try To Do Me"
This is one on the album which I would have to say sounds rather unlike what you would expect to get from such an alternative act, but it appears that they aren't too bothered by this and are willing to break expectations by kicking a love-based jam which has them on New Jack Swing beats to get you swinging along to them.
12. "Who Can Get Busy Like This Man..."
It seems to take another big change as with this one they clam things down significantly with a track done in a low pace, and one which also sees them exploring other musical influences as they choose to toast and do things in a style which suited the emerging Dancehall scene in Jamaica as they turn towards the girls again with the raps.
13. "Grand Puma, Positive & LG"
As Grand Puma is joined by Posikive K here, you see that we are in for a bit of a switch up here as they come with a heavy joint which has them getting down to a powerful tune which gets you bouncing along to their throwback Hip Hop ways. It is amongst the best here, and is so because of the heavy beats and funky breaks.
14. "Brand Nubian"
In a self-entitled track you see that here they just get down to a party joint as they get down to some of the most impressive Funk from the likes of Parliament, Slave and Cameo. It takes you right into their ways, and lets you know exactly how they get down and what kinds of things excite them the most.
15. "Wake Up" (Reprise)
This has them making much more out of an earlier track from the album and showing what they can pull out of it by using new production (including Roy Ayers' "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" and increases the Funk of the music to make sure that they make sure that they get their messages through to the world.
Ending off this classic album, you see that they perform one which has them throwing in one which has them letting everyone who they enjoy in the Hip Hop world and who inspired them as they grew. I felt that it was a nice way to finalise it and with a style which takes from the opening tune, it rounds it off nicely and reminds you of where it came from.
This is a killer album from the group and it has them performing in a manner which allows them to show just how well the Political Hip Hop can be done how the implementation of Funk means that it is simply irresistible to all.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 All For One
2 Concerto In X Minor
4 To The Right
5 Dance To My Ministry
6 Drop The Bomb
7 Wake Up
8 Step To The Rear
9 Slow Down
10 Try To Do Me
11 Who Can Get Busy Like This Man
12 Grand Puba
13 Positive And LG Dedication
14 Feels So Good
15 Brand Nubian