Wednesday, July 14, 2021

X Clan - Xodus LP

X Clan - Xodus LP

Polydor (1992)

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 twenty-five plus 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.

X Clan is a group that I've always had a special fondness for.  I first discovered them on Yo! MTV Raps when they started playing the video for "Fire & Earth."  The beats are what grabbed me first, then there was the powerful flow of Brother J, who holds down the majority of the rhyming.  He has a deep, gruff voice that comes off as authoritative, but still musically savvy. 

Then there's Professor X.  He is definitely the most polarizing part of X Clan.  The best I can do to describe him is something of a cross between Flavor Flav and Emo Phillips.  He has a bizarre, sing-songy cadence like Emo and primarily acts as a hype man during intros, outros and breakdowns.  Almost every song on this album ends with him shouting "Sissy."  Some people love his style, while others hate it.  I'm somewhere in the middle.  There are songs where he's a benefit, but there are other instances where I listen to a song and think that I probably don't need to listen to X Clan again anytime soon.  He's a bit much sometimes.

But what cannot be denied is how incredible the production is on this album.  It's serious, beat heavy, old school hip hop.  The title track "Xodus" stands out in particular.  It uses the bass line from "Call Me D-Nice" as a foundation and just keeps adding more layers to it as the song progresses.  Plus, Brother J is just on fire the entire time.

X Clan probably isn't going to be for everyone, primarily because of how outlandish Professor X sounds. But there's a lot to like about them.  This is their second LP and the one I am most familiar with, but I've been eyeing up their debut on Discogs and plan on adding that one to the collection at some point as well.

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