Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Brand Nubian - In God We Trust 2xLP


Traffic/Elektra (2004, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for 25+ years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

In God We Trust was the second Brand Nubian record and their first after the departure of Grand Puba.  Despite losing their best lyricist, Brand Nubian was able to to pump out two pretty strong records during a very competitive and innovative era of hip hop.  It speaks volumes about the talent of Lord Jamar and Sadat X.  They really stepped up to the plate when the spotlight was shone directly on them.

The main single from this album was "Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down" and it was a staple on Yo MTV Raps in '92 and had some different verbiage in the final verse than the album version has.  Putting aside some ill advised slurs, it is a song with a solid beat and strong vocal interplay between the two MCs.  It's the song that made me buy the album in the first place and I still have nostalgic feelings towards it despite some problematic verbiage that hasn't aged well.

The rest of the album is strong when it's upbeat.  Even though this is the shortest of their first three albums, it still feels like it goes a little too long and probably could have benefited from a slightly shorter track list.  I know I would be fine with cutting a few of the interludes.  After All For One, this is the second strongest Brand Nubian release as a whole album.  Even though my favorite Brand Nubian song is from their third album, that's the one where things started to move in directions I wasn't into as much.

Brand Nubian - In God We Trust (Full album playlist):

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