Sadat X & Pete Rock’s Cold Collab Is Just The Tip Of An Album Iceberg (Lyric Video)
After a career that spans more than 25 years, classic singles, 5 mic reviews, and key collaborations, celebrated MC Sadat X is preparing his latest solo album. The Brand Nubian co-founder’s latest release is July 15’s Agua, his first venture with Tommy Boy Entertainment. A concept 18-track LP (themed around the Spanish word for “water”), the LP features appearances from R.A. The Rugged Man, A-F-R-O, Rhymefest, Rahzel, Black Sheep Dres, and the return of the Cella Dwellas, among others. Production is handled by an elite roster of Sadat’s contemporaries, including Pete Rock, Da Beatminerz, Diamond D, DJ Scratch, and Easy Mo Bee.
Today, the Bronx, New Yorker premieres first single (and first album song) “Freeze” with Ambrosia For Heads. Produced by Pete Rock, the song features Sadat X chronicling his first trips to P.R.’s famed Mount Vernon, New York “basement,” the Elektra Records connection, and overlapping ties to Grap Luva and Grand Puba. Pete comes with some far-reaching World music vocal samples, hard scratches, and a warm arrangement that’s as dynamic as X’s trademark delivery. The single debuts in the form of a stylish lyric video:
Additionally, AFH had a chance to speak with Sadat about his new label situation, and one of his most exciting LPs since Wild Cowboys.
Ambrosia For Heads: We noticed how this album features multiple mentions of Tommy Boy. Your biggest solo albums, critically and commercially, have been with established labels (Loud, Fat Beats, etc.). How important is it for you to be back in a brick-and-mortar staffed label, especially one with so much history?
Sadat X: Its important for me to be at Tommy Boy [Entertainment] because Tommy Boy is an established label and you know, they got a staff in place, as opposed to sometimes when you do it independently you don’t really have [that]. It might be you and somebody else or, you know… you and a couple of people but, with that staff in place, that knows what they’re doing, that also have contacts already, that makes it a little bit easier.
Ambrosia For Heads: Agua, especially in its title track, is built around a concept. At this juncture, what can you tell fans about the theme of this LP, and if any world or personal events particularly inspired it?
Sadat X: The theme of this album—[which is] “water” is just actual facts. I’m talking about daily things that happen to the majority of the people, the masses. The majority of the people… they don’t live that life…. It’s good music, but a lot of people don’t get that life. This is for more of people that maybe have a regular job and raising kids and letting them know ‘Man, it’s nothing wrong with that,’… plus you know, just giving out good music.
Ambrosia For Heads: You have a dream-team of producers, especially for fans of 1990s East Coast Hip-Hop in Pete Rock, Da Beatminerz, DJ Scratch, Diamond, Easy Mo Bee, Nick Wiz, etc. Tell us about how you worked with your peers to create a cohesive sound that respects the past, but goes forward in your own sound and messaging.
Sadat X: It was good to work with the people on the album man, because these are the people that I know and trust… Pete Rock, [Da] Beatminerz, Nick Wiz, [DJ] Scratch, [Easy] Mo Bee, Dres, Fokis, Edo G., the God [Lord] Jamar, Shabaam [Sahdeeq] and anybody else that I missed. Those people are people that I respect and that was willing to help me… we go back and forth a lot of times, so you know, that was very important.
The tracklist to Agua by Sadat X:
1.) “Freeze” (produced by Pete Rock)
2.) “The City Never Sleeps” f/ Wordsworth (produced by Dub Sonata & The Extraordinary Gentlemen)
3.) “Taken” (produced by Will Tell)
4.) “Industry’s Outcast” f/ R.A. The Rugged Man & Thirstin Howl III (produced by Will Tell)
5.) “Head Shot” (produced by Diamond D)
6.) “Aqua” (produced by Will Tell)
7.) “Cut & Dry” f/ Lord Jamar (produced by Will Tell)
8.) “Tell ‘Em Again” f/ DV Alias Khrist (produced by Nick Wiz)
9.) “The Return Of The Dottie” f/ Milano & Shabaam Sahdeeq (produced by Ide)
10.) “Imagine” f/ Rhymefest & Jabar (produced by Will Tell)
11.) “The Bass Player” (produced by Da Beatminerz)
12.) “Murder Soundtrack” f/ A-F-R-O & Rahzel (produced by Will Tell)
13.) “Same Shit, Different Day” f/ UG of Cella Dwellaz (produced by UG)
14.) “Da’ Hustle Don’t Stop” f/ ED O.G. & Fokis (produced by Fokis)
15.) “Maybe It’s Me” f/ Dres (produced by DJ Scratch)
16.) “Tommy Is My Boy” (produced by Will Tell)
17.) “We Strive” f/ Dres (produced by Easy Mo Bee)
18.) “Nobody” f/ LoVel (produced by Will Tell & Nick Wiz)
The single is available now, with pre-order of Agua.