My monthly issue of Vibe just came and I was perusing the pages for all the latest news in the entertainment world. Granted, most of it really isn't news anymore since the mag only comes out once a month. However, every now and then, I'll come across some nuggets that I wasn't aware of. This was one of those instances.
As a member of X-Clan, the group stood as a stark contrast to the west coast gangsta rap that reigned at the time. They may not have been a huge commercial success, but they were a staple among hip hop connoisseurs of the early 90s. This is back when there was still such a thing as conscious hip-hop and the artists were genuinely interested in educating while entertaining at the same time. X-Clan preached Black Nationalist philosophy in their rhymes and encouraged Black pride and cultural awareness.
X-Clan had always been and remains to be to this day one of my favorite hip hop groups of all time. They only released two albums in the short span of their career which were "Blackwards" in 1990 and "Xodus" in 1992. Those two remain still remain classics. Their timeless and poignant lyrics transcend the era which they came from much as Carter G. Woodson's "Mis-Education of the Negro" remains relevant decades after it was originally published.
Professor X's role in the group could almost be considered as a hype man sans the yelling and screaming. Brother J would lay down the impactful lyrics and X would interject periodically with his words of wisdom. Both of them had just the right vocal inflections that lends itself to good hip hop.
The group would eventually disband shortly after their second album. They announced a comeback in December 2005 that to date, doesn't appear to have ever happened. It's a shame too because they still remain one of the best things to ever happen to hip-hop.
Unfortunately, X-Clan is no stranger to tragedy. Soon after the group disbanded, group member Sugar Shaft passed from complications related to AIDS.
Despite the fact that he may have borrowed the name of one of the most famous X-Men of all time, I will always remember the contributions X provided the music world. X-Clan's music still blesses my Zen to this day. Too bad hip-hop today couldn't still be as relevant as it was when they were still vainglorious.