Underrated: "They Basically Stole Their Record & Went W/ It"

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 1:55AM

Written by SOHH for Talib Kweli

[Each week, SOHH asks two entertainment personalities to name who they feel is the most underrated emcee in hip-hop. After Nature gave himself the title, Talib Kweli crowns X-Clan's Brother J SOHH Underrated.]


I would say Brother J from X-Clan is one of my early and underrated influences. As far as underrated, Brother J from X-Clan. My bigger influences were KRS-One, Q-Tip, Ice Cube but I don't think they were underrated.

Brother J and people like that, they were underrated. I think it boils a lot more down to your marketing and promotion. Chill Rob G, for instance, was respected and seen locally as an emcee. He was seen in the clubs and really known and then when The 45 King made that record "Power," but then that German group Snap! basically stole their record and went with it.

That kind of halted Chill Rob G's career. He's still respected but he got dealt the bad hand in the music business. That record was stolen. I think they got paid for it but it was hard for him to make another album after that people were checking for.

The Brooklyn-based rapper earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. His travels around the globe as one of rap's most in-demand performers combined with his conversations with political activists and his genre-straddling work with Idle Warship and others caused Kweli to realize that he was limited in a sense, a prisoner of sorts of his own success as one of the world's best rappers with something significant to say.

Check out Brother J's music:

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