Brother J - X-Clan
-- by General Baker, October 2006  

  "You said you were in 207? 'Cause I knocked on the door and no one answered."

"Yeah, it should be," Brother J replies from his hotel room in the atrium of the Holiday Inn in Lawrence, KS. "Hang on… …my bad, brother its 407."

"It's all good."

I'm standing in the lobby and I can seem peering over the balcony now from his fourth floor hotel room and I take the stairs up. He greets me at the door with a hand gesture, patting an open palm to his chest.

Inside the dimly lit room lies a few open beverages, an assortment of luggage and papers, and some new children's clothes scattered around the bed. Noticing me look at them he tells me, "They're some new clothes for my son."

Brother J is a very dynamic individual. He has a different energy about him that a newer artist wouldn't possess. He represents a lot of history in hip-hop as well as in America and simultaneously represents a distinct tendency of hip-hop music. Alongside the history of Brother J is the black student/black consciousness movement of the late 80s/early 90s, Sonny Carson, Yusef Hawkins, etc.

I grew up on X-Clan's music. My Mother bought me their second album in 1992 titled Xodus and, needless to say, I loved it. I loved the cultural dress, the jackin'-for-beats sound, and the repetitious braggadocio that was their signature style. I loved Professor X's sign-off, "Vanglorious! This is protected by the red, the black, and the green, with a key, Sissyyyyyyyyy!"

I have an overwhelming feeling of confidence in proclaiming that no other American white kid took them as seriously as I did. I was sold on pork-chop nationalism. I rocked the kufis, dashikis, and even converted to Islam. Now, X-Clan, in and of themselves, certainly do not bear the responsibility for such a complete makeover, but that era, that movement, and its music—and X-Clan representing for me the mature outgrowth of my white, alienated, afrocentric radicalism—perpetuated my angst of the mundane existence that was white America.

>> continued...




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