Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.70) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
The Source - 5 Mics (out of 5).
New York Times (Publisher) (12/16/90) - "...A peculiar merger of sexual boasting, self-promotion and occasional political perspective. The lyrics carom around easygoing pop-jazz riffs..."
Brand Nubian: Grand Puba Maxwell, Lord Jamar, Derek X (rap vocals).
Producers: Brand Nubian, Grand Puba Maxwell, Dante Ross, Skeff Anselm, J. Gamble, G. Dajani, D. Hall.
Released at a time when rap was mired in average lyrics and mediocre beats, Brand Nubian's ONE FOR ALL was the answer to the question: "Is the hip-hop hype dying down?" There were few groups taking over both the airwaves and the underground (markers for the music's progress and popularity), and this debut--featuring the talents of Grand Puba, Derek X (now known as Sadat X) and Lord Jamar--was hip-hop's equivalent of a shiny, new (-school) light.
With the teachings of the Nation Of Islam laid over Roy Ayers' "Everybody Loves The Sunshine," "Wake Up" was Puba's attempt to open the eyes of the black community to self-debilitating issues such as the crack epidemic. But it was the popularity of the summer anthem "Slow Down" that raised Brand Nubian to their lofty commercial perch. "Step To The Rear" is another worthy track that spotlights Grand Puba, previously a member of the Masters Of Ceremony. He also contributed "Who Can Get Busy Like This Man...," a ragamuffin hip-hop track that proved he was capable of flippin' his lyrics with a reggae twist.
Derek X showed that he stands in no one's shadow with "Concerto In X Minor," and the fans quickly took a liking to his unique vocal talent. But lyrics weren't the only factor in Brand Nubian's reign; the album's reverse title track, "All For One," dominated clubs, mix tapes and the entire underground with its jeep-pumpin' production.