Sadat X: Straight Outta Now Rule

By: Todd Davis

The Wild Cowboy is back, after a nearly two year hiatus, and this time the veteran emcee, born Derek Murphy, ain’t playing! Debuting as a member of the legendary Hip-Hop trio, Brand Nubian, way back in 1989, Sadat X has been a musical force to be reckoned with ever since he, along with partners; Lord Jamar & Grand Puba, have had rap aficionados “waking up” and then “slowing down” with their unique, pardon the pun, brand of classic rap music, a sound that was heavily inspired by the teachings of the Nation of Islam. 

Derek X has finally returned with his fifth solo opus, Generation X, and, truthfully speaking, ain’t a damn thing changed… 

Why did you decide to title the album Generation X?

Generation X represents the “grown up generation” in Hip-Hop — My generation that grew up.

Who did you work with on the new project?

I worked mainly with producer Will Tell on this album, and I have Thirstin Howl III and (Boot Camp Clik affiliate) Twanie Ranks on it.

What makes this record different from your others?

I spent more time on this project than the others, really making it right.

It is also the first for indie upstart Affluent Records — What made you sign with them?

I had a prior relationship with Oscar (Sanchez, President and CEO of Affluent) when he worked at Loud Records, so when he offered the one album deal, I was comfortable with it.

Lately you’ve been in the headlines more for your legal troubles than for your music — Is this stuff pretty much all behind you now?

Definitely all behind me — Full steam ahead and totally focused on the music.

When did you first become interested in the pursuit of Hip-Hop?

Music was always played in my house, and I would go to the local rap parties in the Bronx. That is what really got me interested in rap.

Whose music did you grow up listening to?

Some of my strongest influences were Al Green, James Brown, Aretha (Franklin), Cold Crush Brothers, Fantastic 5 — Which not all came out, but they were still influences.

When did you start taking your craft more seriously?

; When Brand Nubian did our first album All for One.

Speaking of Brand Nubian, how did you all even come together to form the legendary trio?

Grand Puba was already out, and there aren’t too many people in town you didn’t know. He linked Lord Jamar and I and from there we got a deal within six months!

What caused the group to break up initially?

We have always been solo artists. Brand Nubian has never parted ways. We are still together.

For those not already knowing, define the style of music that Sadat X creates?

Everything is from the truth and other teachers. We follow the Five-Percent Nation.

Your birthright is Derek Murphy, so how did you come to be known as Sadat X?

Sadat is from Anwar Sadat. (He) was a leader in Egypt. X is unknown. That’s taken from the 5% doctrine.

What has been the inspiration behind your lyrics?

I draw my inspirations from life and what I see around me.

What has been the secret to your longevity?

My voice — And, I have stayed true to Hip-Hop and I haven’t been a “gimmick!”

What are some of your other future goals & plans?

I plan on going back to school, continuing to work with kids, and doing voiceovers and acting.

How has Hip-Hop evolved during your tenure in the business?

Times change, music changes — I don’t hate on it. Wish it was little more rounded out, but Hip Hop/Rap has definitely gained from technology — Worldwide.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

I am a family man. I have a 17 yr old daughter, I play basketball, go to the gym, and (am) an avid reader.

How do you spend your off/free time?

Traveling — Been to Africa, Brazil, etcetera. If it wasn’t for Hip-Hop, I probably would never (have) been to those places.

What do you want for yourself in the years to come?

To be still involved (with music) in some capacity — Maybe producing or owning my own label.

Are you going back out on the road soon?

I am always doing shows and on the road!

What’s to be expected from a Sadat X show?

I perform by myself, and they say I sound just like the record!

And finally, what’s up with Brand Nubian? How’s Lord Jamar & Grand Puba doing?

We are planning another album together, getting the music together now. They are doing real good and continuing their solo careers