One for All is the debut studio album by American hip hop group Brand Nubian, released on December 4, 1990 by Elektra Records. The album was highly acclaimed for its politically charged and socially conscious content. Sales never matched the wide acclaim — the album has only sold 350,000 copies as of May 2013[citation needed] — but it has remained in print since its 1990 release. The album is mainly produced by Brand Nubian, but it also features production by Skeff Anselm, Stimulated Dummies, and Dave “Jam” Hall. The album’s production contains many motifs of hip hop’s golden age including James Brown-sampled breakbeats and funky R&B loops. The album is broken down track-by-track by Brand Nubian in Brian Coleman’s book Check the Technique.

The song “One for All” featured in the soundtrack from the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” from the in-game hip hop radio station “The Classics 104.1” and the song “Brand Nubian” featured in the soundtrack from the video game “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” from the in-game hip hop radio station “Playback FM”.


Commercial performance

One for All charted at number 130 on the U.S. Billboard 200, spending 28 weeks on the chart.[2] It also reached number 34 on the Billboard Top Black Albums chart, on which it spent 40 weeks.[2] Alex Henderson of Allmusic writes of the album’s commercial performance, “In black neighborhoods of New York and Philadelphia, [One for All] was actually a bigger seller than many of the platinum gangsta rap releases outselling it on a national level.”

Critical response

Professional ratings

One for All was a critical success upon its release. Los Angeles Times writer Steve Hochman called it “an impressive debut” and commended “the power of the lessons delivered with style and creativity”, stating “There’s a playful ease to this record recalling the colorful experiments of De La Soul, and there’s as much sexual boasting as Islamic teaching.” Jon Pareles of The New York Times described the album as “a peculiar merger of sexual boasting, self-promotion and occasional political perspective.” J the Sultan of The Source gave it the publication’s maximum five-mike rating and wrote that it “overflows with creativity, originality, and straight-up talent. […] the type of record that captures a whole world of music, rhymes and vibes with a completely new style.” In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau gave One for All an A− rating, indicating “the kind of garden-variety good record that is the great luxury of musical micromarketing and overproduction. Anyone open to its aesthetic will enjoy more than half its tracks.” He commented that “most black-supremacist rap sags under the burden of its belief system just like any other ideological music,” but quipped, “This Five Percenter daisy-age is warm, good-humored, intricately interactive—popping rhymes every sixth or eighth syllable, softening the male chauvinism and devil-made-me-do-it with soulful grooves and jokes fit for a couch potato.”

It has since received retrospective acclaim from publications such as AllMusicRolling Stone, and ego trip. AllMusic editor Alex Henderson complimented the group’s “abstract rapping style” and stated, “On the whole, Nubian’s Nation of Islam rhetoric isn’t as overbearing as some of the recordings that other Five Percenters were delivering at the time.” In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), music journalist Peter Relic stated, “they had a sobering lyrical style equally effective whether promoting African-American consciousness (‘Concerto in X Minor’) or telling hoes to chill (the Edie Brickell-sampling ‘Slow Down’)”. Trouser Press writer Jeff Chang praised the group’s “marriage of party groove and polemical grit” and cited the album as “a high point of East Coast hip-hop“.


In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source‘s 100 Best Rap Albums and its lead single “Slow Down” was featured on the publication’s 100 Best Hip-Hop Singles of All Time list. One year later, Rolling Stone placed it on a list of the Essential Recordings of the 90’s. It was additionally ranked #2 on ego trips 1999 list of “Hip Hop’s 25 Greatest Albums by Year (1980–98)”.

Track listing

#Title Songwriters Producer(s) Performer(s) Sample(s)

1″All for One”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand NubianGrand PubaSadat XLord Jamar

2″Feels So Good”
(CD Bonus Track)M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand Nubian,
Dante RossSadat X, Grand Puba,
Lord Jamar

  • “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel
  • “Sing a Happy Song” by War

3″Concerto in X Minor”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand NubianSadat X

  • “Walk Tall” by Cannonball Adderley
  • “Niggers Are Scared of Revolution” by The Last Poets
  • “Run, Nigger” by The Last Poets
  • “When the Revolution Comes” by The Last Poets
  • “New York, New York” by The Last Poets

4″Ragtime”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. Dechalus, S. AnselmSkeff AnselmGrand Puba, Sadat X,
Lord Jamar

5″To the Right”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand NubianGrand Puba, Sadat X,
Lord Jamar

  • “Funky President” by James Brown

6″Dance to My Ministry”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand NubianLord Jamar

7″Drop the Bomb”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand NubianGrand Puba, Lord Jamar,
Sadat X

8″Wake Up (Stimulated Dummies Mix)”M. Dixon, D. Ross,
J. Gamble, G. DajaniStimulated DummiesGrand Puba

9″Step to the Rear”M. Dixon, D. Ross,
J. Gamble, G. DajaniStimulated DummiesGrand Puba

  • “Just A Friend” by Biz Markie
  • “Oh Babe” by Cannonball Adderley
  • “Tramp” by Lowell Fulson
  • “Plantation Inn” by Mar-Keys
  • “Smooth Operator” by Big Daddy Kane

10″Slow Down“M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. Dechalus, K. Withrow,

E. Brickell
J. Houser, J. Bush,
A. AlyBrand NubianSadat X, Lord Jamar,
Grand Puba

11″Try to Do Me”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. Dechalus, D. HallDave “Jam” HallGrand Puba

12″Who Can Get Busy Like This Man…”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand NubianSadat X, Grand Puba

  • “Popcorn with Feeling” by James Brown

13″Grand Puba, Positive and L.G.”M. Dixon, A. Arrington,
C. CarterBrand NubianGrand Puba, Positive K

14″Brand Nubian
(CD Bonus Track)M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand Nubian, Dante RossLord Jamar, Sadat X,
Grand Puba

15″Wake Up (Reprise
in the Sunshine)”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand NubianGrand Puba

16″Dedication”M. Dixon, D. Murphy,
L. DechalusBrand NubianGrand Puba


Credits for One for All adapted from Allmusic.

  • Skeff Anselm – producer
  • Carol Bobolts – design
  • Brand Nubian – producer
  • Geeby Dajani – mixing, producer
  • John Gamble – mixing, producer
  • Grand Puba – producer
  • D. Hall – mixing, producer
  • Dante Ross – executive producer, mixing, producer
  • Mark Seliger – photography




^ Coleman, Brian. Check The Technique: Liner Notes For Hip-Hop Junkies. New York: Villard/Random House, 2007.

^ a b “One for All – Brand Nubian”. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2011-09-05.

^ a b c Henderson, Alex. “One for All – Brand Nubian”. AllMusic. Retrieved September 5,2011.

^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.

^ a b Hochman, Steve (May 5, 1991). “Rating the New Rappers”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 5, 2011.

^ a b Relic 2004, p. 102.

^ a b J the Sultan (December 1990). “Brand Nubian, One for All (Elektra Records)”. The Source (16): 56. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2011.

^ a b c Christgau, Robert (February 26, 1991). “Consumer Guide”. The Village Voice. Retrieved September 5, 2011.

^ Herrmann, Brenda (February 22, 1993). “Religious Rappers”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 5, 2011.

^ Pareles, Jon (December 16, 1990). “‘Radical’ Rap: Of Pride and Prejudice”. The New York Times. sec. 2, p. 6. Retrieved September 5, 2011.

^ Christgau, Robert (October 15, 2000). “CG 90s: Key to Icons”. Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-09-05.

^ a b “Acclaimed Music – One for All”. Acclaimed Music. Archived from the originalon 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2008-08-30.

^ Chang, Jeff (March 7, 1997). “Brand Nubian”. Trouser Press. Retrieved September 5, 2011.

^ “The Source 100 Best Rap Albums”. Retrieved 2008-08-30.

^ “Brand Nubian One For All CD”. Retrieved 2008-08-30.

^ “One for All – Brand Nubian”. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Credits. Retrieved 2011-09-05.

^ “Brand Nubian Chart History (Billboard 200)”. Billboard.

^ “Brand Nubian Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)”. Billboard.

^ “Brand Nubian > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles”. Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2008.

List of hip hop albums considered to be influential


Relic, Peter (2004). “Brand Nubian”. In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.

External links

One for All at Discogs

One for All — Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide

One for All — Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs

New Music Preview – Brand Nubian — Spin

“One For All” – Brand Nubian Official Video

This is Hip Hop Raised Me The Blog!!!
Where is about The Knowledge, The Culture, & The Lifestyle!!! Where we celebrate the 47 years of the youngest genre of music which is Hip Hop!!!

Posted based on the “fair use” statute/ act. Strictly for Non-Profit and entertainment purposes only.  Subject to copyrights( writing and teaching purposes

#hiphopraisedme #hiphopraisedmeblog
#blogging #vlog #blogs #news #reviews #journalism #entertainment #author #literature #music #fashion #modeling #culture #education

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *