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 After reuniting in 1998 with his Brand Nubian brothers on the under-appreciated Foundation, Sadat X resurfaced last year with two collaborative gems; “1-9-9-9″ f/ Common, and the previously vaulted “Come On”, which was one of the few highlights from Biggie’s disappointing posthumous release.

While his solo-debut, Wild Cowboys, failed to strike a chord with the masses, Sadat shows signs that he may yet establish himself as a solo-vocalist with The State of New York vs. Derek Murphy. To his credit, Sadat still possesses one of the industry’s most distinctive voices, and he enlists a few familiar (Diamond D , Minnesota ), and new (A Kid Called Roots , Dart La ) contributors to update his sound here; a revision that is gratuitously bouncy, but light in substance. Sadat basks in the glow of Diamond’s sublime guitar riffs on the divine “You Can’t Deny”. But it is the lesser of their two groupings that has supplied Sadat a taste of the commercial success that has alluded him, with the Funk Flex endorsed “X-Man”. Though Sadat stumbles awkwardly on the jiggy “Ka-Ching”f/ Hy Tymes , he gets hostile, over a sinister Kid Called Roots burner “Cock It Back”– “blame my check being late for this rage/blame child support for making me beat on the mailman/I got a cold hand these days/and no heart/you believing that bullshit baby/please don’t start.”

While The State is remarkably short-winded (six-tracks), this EP setting is more conducive to Sadat’s unorthodox style, as it manages to evade the monotonous feel his solo-debut conveyed.

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