At first, I HATED this album... Lord Jamar especially [angered me].. but through time and many listens, I learned to LOVE IT!!! It's hardcore... It's East-coast 5% gangsta hiphop.. Smoked-out revolution... SADAT X steals the entire lp!!!! Every verse of his is memorable... The beats are PANCAKE fat.. produced by Lord Jamar, Buckwild and co-produced by Sadat X..Guests are all unknown except for Busta Rhymes in the extremely violent and raw "Alladat". The only songs I'm not feeling too much are "Nubian Jam" and "Hold On" which uses the simply Red loop.. The best songs are "Word Is Bond"
"Straight Off Da Head" ( a freestyle joint with a live band)
"Down For The Real", "Alladat" f/Busta Rhymes, "Lik Dem Muthafukkaz", "Step Into The Cipher" Some songs have live instrumentation like "Nubian Jam", "Straight Off Da Head", and "Down For The Real" and also "Claimin' I'm A Criminal"...
1. Word Is Bond (single... funky bassline, guitar, and horn along with live piano keys. This is a full song. Sadat X gets real ghetto and funky on this one.)
2. Straight off da Head -(freestyle improv with live band. Dope!!! Sadat X steals the show.. They have skills on the mic and this song proves it!)
3. Weed Vs. Weaves (Interlude) -(skit about spending money on weed instead of your girlfriend's hair)
4. Nubian Jam - (lame, smoothed out commercial attempt. the beat is soft too. RnB hook that goes no where. The song is about nothing really.)
5. Alladat (f/Busta Rhymes) - (DOPE!!! Sadat X solo produced by Buckwild and Busta is on the hook. This is a wild track.. made to [anger someone]. One of the best Dotty X tracks ever!)
6. Step into da Cipher (f/Maestro Manny, Snagglepuss and others) - (this posse cut uses Black Moon's scratched hook "In the cipher with my boys, you know we get busy". This is a dope track with a dope jazz guitar loop)
7. Sweatin Bullets - (sinister track with a hypnotic bassline.. it's about shooting people.)
8. Lookin' at God (Interlude) - (Farakhan speech)
9. Lick Dem Muthaphuckas [Remix] - (incredible!!!! The beat pounds. It's pancake fat. Real sinister, Sadat X gets wicked and the scratched hook is dope using Redman's voice.. "No matter who you are, you still catch a bullet scar!")
10. Another Day in the Beast (Thoughts from a Criminal) - (answering machine message from jail)
11. Claimin' I'm a Criminal - (slow and sad song about prison, jail and being arrested. Sadat X gives a very sad verse. Singing comes in too but it's well done because it sets up a very somber and serious atmopshere without being corny. Chuck D's vocal sample from "Black Steel" is used in the hook. Good track but very serious.. a little too long but still good.)
12. Gang Bang - (this is kind of lame and trite. It uses FREDDY'S DEAD sample. This is about police. The hook is chanted "Gang bang! Gang bang! Po-lice ain't nothing but a gang bang!")
13. Down for the Real - (DOPE!!! Slow, jazzed out live instrumentation with a West Coast feel to it. Sadat X is incredible. He tells a very vivid story. One of the best verses he ever made.)
14. Return of the Dread - (Lord Jamar solo.. The beat is dope.. very thick and 'pancake fat'. I like Dorry X more but this is decent.)
15. What the...? - (sinister and jumpy-type thick beat. There's no real hook on this except for them saying 'What the fukk this all about?" once before news clips about people getting shot. IT's dreary and sinister. Lord Jamar talks aboutb killing your mother. It's a good song but not one of the best.)
16. Hold On (f/Starr) - (ahh.. lame... Simple Red's "Holding Back The Years" is used. It's as blatent as Puffy's "I'll Be Missing You". They loop the beat AND the hook is the same except it's sung by some guy named Starr. "I keep holding on..."... It's a message to young black men to hold on. Lord Jamar says "You think you're mighty but whitey got your head sick. Sadat X steals the show with a cool verse. That's the only good thing about this song.)
The slices and scratches by Sincere are done well too.. especially in songs like "Step Into The Cipher" and Lik Dem Muthafukkaz" which uses Redman's line "No matter who you are, you still catch a bullet scar!" This album is severely slept on... Most people who like Brand Nubian didn't like this album.. I hated it at first It is DIFFERENT for Brand Nubian.. It's ANGRY, it's raw but at the same time, it has a smoothed out feel in some tracks musically. (This is around the time "Ready To Die" came out..) On this lp, Busta Rhymes does the hook where he yells "Fukk dem ni99az over there who think they all a dat! They think they all a dat!" and on the FOUNDATION lp, Busta Rhymes does the hook where he yells "Let's Dance! I know you got the feeling!"... It's a whole different vibe... Where IN GOD WE TRUST was angry and raw and revolutionary, it was a little more religious. EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING is much more sinister and less religious.. even though the 5% nation is represented here.
It's a dope slept on album. There is a west-coast vibe to some of the tracks too.. If you like Sadat X, get it! It is different from Brand Nubian's "One For All" and "Foundation". If anything, it's more like a mellow and more sinister "In God We Trust". Sadat X is incredible on this lp. Every single verse by him is memorable. Lord Jamar looks like a fool next to him. The lp really grew on me. Like I said before, I used to hate the lp.. but now, I love it. 8.75 out of 10