Sadat X is one of Hip Hop’s legends. He was part of the revered Brand Nubian group alongside Grand Puba and Lord Jamar. He is now back on the scene after a hiatus, so check out what he had to say when Alex Humphrey caught up with him for a few words.
You are currently in the U.K with Diamond D as part of a world tour, what do you think of the UK and what are British crowds like?
Sadat X: It is good to do the shows and I was out back in September and they were receptive and hopefully they will be with Diamond.
Have you heard much UK hip-hop and if so how does our scene match up to the US?
Sadat X: I can't really say I have heard and can't say I have a comparison.
Where is the favourite place to play live and why?
Sadat X: Bar club type settings – the crowd is closer to you.
Your career in rap now spans nearly three decades, how do you think hip-hop has changed and has it changed for better or for worse?
Sadat X: Now there is more technology, the internet allows you to be more accessible but also makes it watered down.
What first got you into rap growing up and what were your early musical influences?
Sadat X: Seeing it done outside in the parks and recreation centers – my influences were Bam Bada, Jazzy J, Puba, etc.
How did you get involved with Grand Puba and Lord Jamar in the forming of Brand Nubian?
Sadat X: I moved from the Bronx to New Rochelle – Puba was already doing his thing, Jamar was on the other side of town and he was producing both of us and we got on a track one day together and went from there.
Are there any plans for another Brand Nubian reunion in the future?
Sadat X: Definitely, in the near future.
Do you prefer rolling solo or as part of a group?
Sadat X: My allegiance is to the group but I do like solo as well.
Your sixth solo album Brand New Bein' is out this year, can you give as a sneak preview of what to expect?
Sadat X: A lot of those songs were recorded when I first got home from being incarcerated and I put all of them together to make the album.
Out of the many many tunes you’ve done which one song are you most proud of and why?
Sadat X: "Slow Down" cause it was the last song we did on original album.
A few years back you spent some time in Riker’s Island on a gun charge. How did that experience influence your life and your music?
Sadat X: It slowed me down, not a big thing, just put me on pause for one year and made me more careful.
The UK has a rising problem with gun crime especially within the young. What are your opinions about guns and their affect on society?
Sadat X: They are all over – TV to movies, etc. They are constantly being seen and people want to act out what they see.
In the past you worked as a teacher’s assistant. Do you think its possible to educate through music and should more hip-hop have a message behind it?
Sadat X: Its not for me to say what hip hop should have… it has messages sometimes and then sometimes you just rhyme to rhyme – but you can educate through it.
I also read you have coached kids basketball and are qualified as a fire fighter. What job would you love to do if you weren’t in the rap game?
Sadat X: Teaching or coaching, working with youth.
As a solo artist you have worked with an amazing list of rappers and producers. Who are your favourite collaborators to rap with and to rap over?
Sadat X: Diamond D and Brand Nubian as a group.
Last question, you sometimes go by the name of the X-Man, if you could have any superpower what would it be?
Sadat X: To be visible to everyone all over the world.
Thank you very much.
By: Alex Humphrey
Sadat X is performing at the Jazz Cafe with Diamond D on the 6th May.