In remembrance of the recently deceased Professor X the Overseer, I decided to up some unheralded X-Clan/Blackwatch Movement stuff. No, not anything from PX’s solo albums, because those were fucking terrible. But from Isis’s solo album, Rebel Soul and from Xodus. I’ve always been of the opinion that Xodus is a tauter, more conceptually developed album than To The East, Blackwards. More people would agree if the crew didn’t jack-for-beats throughout the entire album. Nowadays, mixtapes can win album of the year but back in ’92, you couldn’t really release an entire album with other people’s beats (e.g. “Holy Rum Swig” uses the “Still #1” beat then switches to “Big Ole Butt” and back).
Yesterday, I wrote on Emil’s blog that:
too often what passes as intelligent in hip hop is fundamentalist Abrahamic bullshit or it’s shameless, hoary Marxism, conspiracy theories, and atavistic black Nationalism or it’s some crazy space shit that don’t make no sense.
Please believe, X-Clan was militantly of all that. Not to mention homophobic and millenarian*, two common qualities of so-called intelligence in hip hop that I forgot. However, even at their most dour point (i.e. Professor X), they retained a sense of humor. Most importantly, aside from the fucking hip house that ruins much of Rebel Soul and the Professor X solo albums, the music was fucking top-notch shit all the way through.
X-Clan – Rhythem Of God
Not sure why they misspelled “rhythm.” Fucking ibid.
I only included this song because it has, by far, the best actual verse ever laid down by Professor X. Oh and the ever-timeless Brother J: “I don’t like Duke and I don’t like Bush.” Take that, dimple-chins.
Isis – Rebel Soul w/ Professor X
Isis – Great Pimptress w/ Queen Mother Rage and Professor X
Like I said above, much of Rebel Soul is a testament to the scourge that was hip house in the early nineties. A lot of wigs got split, a lot of innocent artists got hit. One track from the album, “Face the Bass,” is notable for being the only time Professor X, a spaced-out black nationalist mystic leather fetishist Cadillac-afficionado hypeman, ever looked foolish on record (“I am impregnated with bass”). About these songs: they don’t sound like Ya Kid K so they win.
* Can someone explain this to me: They made a few ominous references to 1995 as, perhaps, the date of some kind of racial armageddon (“1995 is coming, 1995 so get runnin'”). What was supposed to happen then? Did it actually occur? I’m guessing not.