Brand Nubian: Where Are They Now?

In the golden age of hip-hop, Brand Nubian emerged as a powerful and influential force, blending socially conscious lyrics with a distinctly soulful sound. In the 1990s, the group, with founding members Grand Puba, Sadat X, and Lord Jamar, actively soared to prominence by delivering thought-provoking messages layered over booming beats, resonating with fans, and occasionally sparking controversy. With classic albums like One For All and In God We Trust, Brand Nubian’s impact on shaping the culture and the genre is undeniable. However, as time has marched forward, the whereabouts and endeavors of this trailblazing trio have become a source of curiosity for fans. Here’s a brief look into where the trio have been in recent years.

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Grand Puba

Since the final collaborative days of Brand Nubian, Grand Puba has navigated a versatile solo career, showcasing his distinctive flow and lyrical prowess. As a solo artist, he released five studio albums, with the most recent venture being 2016’s Black From The Future. Grand Puba’s solo work often delves into socio-political themes, mirroring the conscious lyricism that defined Brand Nubian. Unfortunately, these political messages have led to controversy for the group, as many fans consider the pro-Black rhetoric explored on Brand Nubian records analogous to Five-Percenter talking points. Critics often characterize the Five-Percenter movement as antisemitic, with prominent figures like Louis Farrakhan frequently facing criticism for promoting hateful conspiracies in the name of Black separatism.

In recent months, Grand Puba has taken to social media to promote musical ventures from both his son and daughter, who perform under the stage names Stunna Gang and Pretty Hoopz, respectively. Puba has also reunited with his Brand Nubian cohorts for viral performances on web series’ such as Live On The Front Porch.

Sadat X

Brand Nubian In Concert - Brooklyn, NY

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 15: Sadat X of Brand Nubian performs at 5 Spot on April 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Sadat X has maintained a prolific solo career both during the height of Brand Nubian’s fame and in the years after the group disbanded. As a solo artist, X has released a staggering 12 full-length LPs, with the most recent record Science Of Life premiering in 2022. The rapper also holds a prolific place as a community leader in his home of New Rochelle, New York. Outside of rap, Sadat X has taught in elementary school and coached children’s basketball. The “Slow Down” vocalist has also received training as a firefighter, with the intention of volunteering when the community calls on him.

As a solo act, Sadat X has also appeared in prominent placements on tracks such as “Show Business” by A Tribe Called Quest, “Come On” by The Notorious B.I.G., and “Stay In Ya Lane” by Marley Marl. The rapper faced firearm possession charges in 2005, but the legal battle fortunately did little to tarnish the respected MC’s reputation. The hip-hop iconoclast is also a noted wine connoisseur, as evidenced by his creation of the web series True Wine Connoisseurs in 2009.

Lord Jamar

YO! MTV Raps 30th Anniversary Live Event

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 01: Lord Jamar attends the YO! MTV Raps 30th Anniversary Live Event at Barclays Center on June 1, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Lord Jamar, the Brand Nubian rapper with the most clear-cut and unambiguous ties to the Five-Percenter movement, has experienced a significant amount of controversy in his career. His debut solo album, released in 2006 is titled The 5% Album, as a clear nod to his political leanings. In 2013, the rapper received backlash for releasing the Kanye West diss record “Lift Up Your Skirt” which many fans perceived to be homophobic. The track contained lyrics such as “Instagram Black man looking half a f**, with the blazer and dress, I’m just amazed at the mess. Pioneer of this queer sh** is Kanye West” and “I rebuke all this gay sh**, some are scared to say sh**.

The Brand Nubian rapper has also made a number of polarizing comments on his podcast Yanadameen Godcast with cohost Rah Digga. On the pod, Lord Jamar has made claims that white rappers such as Eminem are guests in hip-hop culture and that Black Lives Matter does not adequately represent the needs and desires of the black community. In December 2020, Lord Jamar unequivocally expressed his disbelief that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. During an interview with Rizza Islam, Jamar stated “Check the records: There wasn’t even six million Jews in Europe at that time. There was about 500,000 over there, in Germany, in Europe, there was no six million, so what are we talking about? Stop it.”

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