Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Features,In The Trenches,Interviews
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Originally run in Modern Fix magazine #54:
Considering that by the time you read this, Sadat X would have commenced serving a nine-month bid as a result of an “off-day” towards the end of last year, I imagine that on the morning I called him up to talk about his latest release he would have rather been doing just about anything other than fielding questions from some jerky. His record label dude had requested that I didn’t dwell on his legal woes too heavily, which was fine with me since he covers that subject on many of the tracks from Black October anyway – even going as far as detailing the entire incident at the end of the LP. Here’s what Breeze Brewin from the Juggaknots had to say about the great Dot X: “He’s bugged, man. He’s a real artist. When we was doing the record…just his taste in beats and his approach was very professional but still very artistic. His flow has gotten more complex as time had gone on – more intricate – and you can tell how he’s messing with patterns and different things…there’s definitely an artistic agenda there”.
Robbie: Is it fair to say that the new album was recorded in a limited time?
Sadat: Yeah, I had to do it kinda fast ’cause of the situation I was in. I had to basically get it done.
You’ve got a few new producers on the latest album. How do you pick your beats?
A lotta producers…some of ‘em give me a CD, or some of ‘em make something tailored to me. I just take it from there.
How’d you hook-up with the P Brothers from England?
The P Brothers I’ve known for a minute. They’ve always looked out for me, so they had some beats for me and they called me up and I did it from there.
Do you do any production these days?
Not really, man. I used to do it before, but I don’t have any equipment, so it’s kinda hard. I do have input on my beats though.
That hidden track at the end of the new album called “Why?” was cool. Was that something you or a friend had gone through, with a chick trying to crack onto their broad?
That was just something different, man. I try to be different on my songs. I don’t always have the same flows or the same topics – I just try and do something a little different. It’s just something to change the monotony of hip-hop and to just change it up a little bit.
I liked that track with Greg Nice. Is he coming back with some new material?
Greg is coming with some new material, he just blessed me with that track. He had it and he said “Do you wanna use it?” and I said “Yeah!” and he just threw it to me.
It was good to hear new stuff with Jamar and Puba.
Yeah man, well you know, I’ve definately gotta include the brothers. That’s my family, so I gotta have them down with me.
You said on the last album that New York dudes shouldn’t be following what other people are doing. Do you feel that situation has improved since you said that?
I dunno, man. That remains to be seen. I’m seein’ a lotta dudes from New York coming back again with some new, strong tracks, so it just remains to be seen.
Are there any new guys that you’re checking for?
Well not really. I do a lotta stuff with Money Boss – they’re my peoples – so I just kept it family-wise. They’re my peoples so we just kept it on that thing.
I hear there have been a few park jams and Zulu Nation parties happening in the Bronx. Have you gotten down to any of those?
Not really, man, ’cause it ain’t really been too much Zulu stuff, and then when they did have stuff I wasn’t around, so I never really caught any. But when I’m around I definitely go to Zulu parties and all that.
Are there plans to do an Omen album [his group with Diamond D and Camari still happening?
I don’t know, that remains to be seen. We’ve talked about it, but nothing concrete has come yet. But Diamond is a personal friend of mine so we always gonna hook-up.
Are you still in contact with Shawn Black?
I ain’t really seen Black in a minute, man. He’s my man, but I haven’t seen him.
Did you get a good response to the “Experience & Education” LP?
Yeah I did get a good response, it’s just unfortunate that Studio One had to close down after the release of the album, so distribution got kinda screwed. But I got a good response from it, so I was glad.
That first Brand Nubian album was heavily bootlegged, wasn’t it?
Oh yeah, we was one of the first people that was hit hard with the bootleg, and that kinda hurt us. I felt like without that we would have probebly done a lot more sales, but it’s good that people still got the album and were still receptive to it, so we were still satisfied.
Are there still guys selling CD’s on card tables in the street? Or has that died off?
Kinda, man. I guess the times, man, people aren’t really doin’ it like that no more. It’s a lotta the older guys. Now it’s the CD stuff [instead of bootleg casettes], but it still gets around.
Not my greatest interview ever, but it was still good to speak to dude. If you’re wondering what’s been happening since he began his sentence, I just found this over at the NobodySmiling.com blog – Sadat’s first journal entry discussing life in the bing:
What’s up world? I’m one month into this bid on Riker’s Island. Slowly but surely, I’m adjusting. The transition from the free world to this environment has been startling, to say the least. I’ve been assigned a job in construction. It breaks my day up, so I really can’t complain. We are paid $20 a week. That’s the figure — you read it right. I use that for my phone time. I sleep in a dorm surrounded by 60 men. Real wack! The 6 building is basically a sentenced building — meaning most of us will be home in a year or less. I’ve met people of many races, classes and denominations. There are Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Gods, Muslims, to name a few.
The food is straight ass. Whoever the city jails gave the food contract to is dead wrong. I’ve been doing my little workout to keep my physical in tact. I’ve continued my reading, which really keeps me sane. It’s been easy, so far, but I have seen it jump off and leave a nigga leaking. I’m just coming from chow. A captain and a C.O. were having a heated exchange, and the whole mess hall wanted the C.O. to duff the captain. So you can see what type of temperament it is in this place.
I’ll be hitting ya’ll again soon.
Hold it down Sadat.
Sadat X – “Come On Down (Remix)”
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