Label: Elektra

The odds were stacked against Sadat X and Lord Jamar when their former mentor Grand Puba jumped ship to begin a solo career following the popularity of their debut. Determined to prove to the world that they didn't need Tommy Hilfiger's unofficial spokesman to carry the weight, Brand Nubian delivered one of the rawest albums of the era.

They repped the 5% Nation of Gods and Earths to the fullest on tracks like "Allah U Akbar" (compete with Islamic chants), dissed bitch ass bootleggers ("Steady Bootleggin'") and cops ("Black and Blue"), and capped it off with the all-conquering "Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down," courtesy of Diamond D, far eclipsing the laidback Reel To Reel that Puba released in terms of intensity and focus.