Brand Nubian’s First Concert Shows They Were All For One From The Start (Video)
On December 4, 1990, Brand Nubian dropped their debut album, One For All, on Elektra Records. Six days later, on December 10, they performed it for the first time at the Hard To The Left Rap Party, an artist showcase put together by the label. Shot by none other than “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels, creator of the seminal rap music video show Video Music Box, this is some of the era’s best footage of a monumental Big Apple Hip-Hop event.
Sadat X, Grand Puba, Lord Jamar, DJ Alamo and a troop of energetic dancers give a spectacular performance of some of their best songs off the album, as well as another one that didn’t make the cut. They set it off with “Drop The Bomb,” then move into the almost-title track “All For One” at about the 7:35 mark. At 12:25, they slow things down with one of their most recognizable hits (“Slow Down”) and close out the set with lesser-known gem “The Devil.” That cut would eventually be released on 2009’s The Now Rule Files EP — a compilation of previously unreleased Brand Nubian tracks recorded from 1989-1997.
Thanks to the documentation, Heads can watch a true force of Hip-Hop take shape. Introduced by Doctor Dré & Ed Lover (as “The Brand Nubians”), Puba stands at center, a tribute to his foothold from Masters Of Ceremony. X and Jamar are at his side. The dancers hit the floor, walk it out and more. Look closely in the background on the stage and Heads can see Elektra label-mates K.M.D., including a pre-mask MF DOOM (tka Zev Love X). They performed that night, as did the whole Elektra squad of Leaders Of The New School and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth.
As a note for all the Brand Nu Heads, Sadat X released Sum Of A Man this month, produced entirely by longtime band affiliate Diamond D. The D.I.T.C. O.G. released the LP on his own label.
Complex has also credited this moment as a Rap first.
#BonusBeat: Some cameo-heavy shout outs from that very same night:
A Tribe Called Quest, Funkmaster Flex, Greg Nice, De La Soul, Pete Rock, Dres, K.M.D., Leaders Of The New School, Dante Ross and Lyor Cohen are just some of the folks.