- Audio CD (August 21, 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Traffic (The Orchard)
- ASIN: B000TXZ2GA
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,998 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Time's Running Out
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Brand Nubian formed after Grand Puba's original group, Masters Of Ceremony, split up. Their first single "Brand Nubian" dropped in 1989 and their debut album, "One For All", was released in 1990. Critically acclaimed, the album drew fire for militant rhetoric on tracks like "Drop the Bomb" and "Wake Up." The video for the single "Wake Up" was also banned from MTV. The singles "Slow Down", "All For One" and "Wake Up" all became hits on Billboard's Hot Rap Tracks chart in 1991. After pursuing individual careers, Grand Puba, Lord Jamar, Sadat X and DJ Alamo reunited in 1997 after contributing a song to the "Soul in the Hole" soundtrack, titled "A Child Is Born" as well as releasing the underground single "Rockin It." The success of both songs propelled the group to record their second album with all four original members. Most people believed that the album entitled "The Foundation" from 1998 was their reunion album, but it is in fact the "Time's Running Out" album, unheard and shelved until now that would lead the quartet back into the recording studio to recapture and reclaim the iconic sound of the "One For All" album. Featuring production handled by Puba, Jamar, Alamo with help from DITC legend Lord Finesse and Slick Rick producer/DJ Vance Wright, this is must have for Brand Nubian and the vintage Hip Hop collectors in general.
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"Time's Runnin' Out" has the classic Brand Nubian feel without really sounding like Foundation. All four members produce tracks, and except for one track, the production is handled entirely by the group members. There are no guest appearances, and this makes for a veery focused work. The production has the vintage mid-90s east coast underground sound, with a clean, upbeat polish and horn instrumentation. In relation to their other 1990s recordings, this is notably less sociopolitical, conscious, and militant; it has a lighter feel more akin to Puba's solo albums. They spend much more time bashing sucker MCs and celebrating the music than they do challenging social issues and religion. The lyrics stay strong and their flows sound tight as ever, youy basically know what type of artistic passion to expect from Brand Nubian. The overall feel is pretty happy, upbeat, and artistic, and the album has a lot of great tracks on it. "Time's Runnin' Out" is one that the Brand Nubian fans should not hesitate to pick up, and I highly recommend it to fans of the 90s east coast genre.
After the intro, the album opens with "Seen Enough." Over a dope, vibesy beat by Jamar, all three MCs drop strong verses starting the album on a nice note. "Girls, Girls, Girls" uses the same chorus and concept that Jay-Z would later use for his song of the same name, this song has a really artistic and intimate vibe. "One Time" is simple and appealing, and "Scientists of Sound," which Lord Finesse co-produced with Puba is excellent all-around, with a perfect beat and some of the album's best rhymes. The phenomenal title track follows, a true highlight and one of the LP's finest. It's songs like this that make it so hard to believe that this album could have been shelved, this has a real classic ring to it. The ultra-funky and upbeat "Brand Nu Hustle" is another really great song, and "Once Again" is thought provoking and musically very nice. "Rockin' It," which was supposed to be a single, is another standout track. Very upbeat and funky, this has the clean and upbeat polish that might make it likened to the Camp Lo track of the same name (from the same year, no less). It's a really fun party-type jam. "I Wanna Hear It" is anchored by some unique and really appealing production that is sure to induce some serious head-nodding. By far my favorite song here is "A Child Is Born," a song that I seriously can't get enough of right now. With a sick beat and a classic-sounding chorus sampling Grandmaster Flash, Nubian kicks some of their most thoughtful, grabbing rhymes I've heard. This song is among their finest and it's awesome. The cool "Right Here" precedes "Enjoy Yourself," a joyful and feel-good cut. "Go Hard" and "Somebody Told a Lie" close the album nicely with two solid tracks.
This release hasn't received any press, and I'm not sure of the details surrounding its being shelved and unreleased. In any event, this is a worthy Brand Nubian album that ranks among the group's better recordings. Brand Nubian is one of the East Coast's most underrated hip hop crews, and on this album it's easy to see why. It's one of my favorite releases in a while. Those looking for new recordings from Brand Nubian should pick up Sadat X's recent solo LP Black October. "Time's Runnin' Out" showcases one of hip hop's dopest trios in their prime, and it's a sure pickup for the hip hop heads.