Editor’s note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.
Sadat X notched his place in hip-hop history as part of the Brand Nubian crew who coined the tail-end golden-era classic One For All. Since then he’s also dropped a string of fine solo projects, including ’96’s under appreciated Wild Cowboys and Love, Hell Or Right, which dropped late last year. Here’s the rapper formerly known as Derek X dropping knowledge on his Twitter timeline, which includes gym etiquette, playing Sega with A.G., and 9th Wonder’s mom’s pies.
@sadatx Trinity cd is dope! Just what i needed! Thanx
— Spook-1 (@Killskillz2k) March 26, 2013
You released the Trinity project this week, which involves you teaming up with A.G. and DJ Jab.
It’s a concept album. We did it kinda a while ago, it’s not really new. I’ve been working with my man A.G. and it’s a little more conceptual.
Can you remember the first time you heard A.G. rhyme?
Yeah, no doubt. I think it was in Rucker Park and I think he was with [Lord] Finesse. I’d been hearing about him ’cause we lived right down the block from him — A.G. was in the Patterson projects and my family was in Melrose-Jackson [Houses] — and my cousin would always tell me about this dude Andre The Giant. I remember hearing this little demo and then I seen him one day in the park and I was expecting to see some big dude! It was cool from there. I know A.G. from a long time back; we used to play Sega back in ’90, ’91.
Was A.G. any good at Sega?
Yeah, he was nice, definitely.
Went to 9th wonder crib his mama made a pie I still remember!!!! Bless her
— Sadat X (@SadatX) March 26, 2013
You’ve also been reminiscing over a pie 9th Wonder’s mom makes.
Yeah! My mother lives in Raleigh, and 9th Wonder’s peoples is from down there and one time I called him up — I think it was a holiday like Easter — and he was like, “Come on over to the crib.” I remember it was pies and cakes everywhere! This pie was some type of pie that was frozen — you ate it cold. [Pauses] Ah, man! To this day I remember that pie, no question.
Do you know any other rappers’ moms that make great pies?
Besides 9th’s mom, that’s about the best one I’d say.
@snaggapusss , Snag!!!!!!!
— Sadat X (@SadatX) March 25, 2013
You gave a shout-out to Snaggapuss, who you worked with on Brand Nubian’s “Step Into Da Cipher.”
Well I’ve known Snaggapuss for a long time now. He was down with the Bounce Squad with my man Doo-Wop. He got caught up in a little thing and had to go away for a minute, but he’s a good dude and hopefully he’ll get his due soon.
What did you think when you heard him rap in that cartoon voice?
It was different. It was nice. It was like, “Who is this dude?” At the time it was really different, ’cause everybody was just boom-bapping it and he came with that off-pace style. That’s what made him one of the biggest characters in the Bounce Squad.
— P-100(@UpperDefSideNYC) March 22, 2013
What project is the “Born To Rise” song with Kurious going to be on?
Well, you know, Kurious and I have worked together for 25 years. I’ve known him since 1989. Also a good dude. I used to stay on Amsterdam [Avenue] near around 106th and he was not too far over so I always just connected with him.
You tweet a lot about going to the gym.
No doubt. Usually I get up and I’m there by 6 a.m. I like to go and get in early ’cause at that time it’s not too many people there. What I use my workout for, besides getting my physical right, is getting my mental right. Being that I’m from the 5% Nation, that’s one of the things that the Father left us, that you need to be mentally as well as physically strong. So in the morning I’m combining those two things and from that it gives me the level to go out there and teach. A civilized man’s goal is to go out and teach and I try and teach something every day.
Do you have any tips for anyone who finds it hard to get motivated to go to the gym?
Yeah, I used to be that person until I would say the last few years. Before that I’d go for a while then stop. The main thing when people go to the gym, it’s like they go to the gym for two or three weeks and expect to see something. The main thing people have to understand is that you got to work for it and you got to have that discipline. Going to the gym is basically discipline. You have to have no excuses — you can think of any reason not to go, but when you see that gut come out after a couple of years and it don’t go down… ‘Cause I tell people the stomach is the hardest to lose. So you got to have the discipline to keep going. And you might need someone to go with you who knows what they’re doing ’cause if you don’t know what you’re doing you’re not gonna see no growth.
What exercises are in the Sadat X regime?
You know, I like to play on the bar. We use the pull-up bar. That’s a foundation. You can go to the gym and just use the pull-up bar: I know dudes that just do pull-ups, dips and push-ups and don’t even touch the weights. But I like to combine that and move into cardio on the treadmill. Some days I like to just do legs today. A lot of people go to the gym and don’t do legs but you got to understand legs is your core. I’ve seen big muscle dudes get knocked out ’cause their legs is weak; somebody hit them and they couldn’t stand up ’cause their legs was weak. The legs is your core so do legs today. Other days, do arms and chest. Vary it.
When you’re on the treadmill what sort of music do you listen to?
Ah, man, I listen to a lot of things like I might just listen to Frank Valli, I swear to God. Or I might go to the Wild Style soundtrack or I might feel like that day listening to M.O.P. I’m a ’70s baby so I came up in the soul music era.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 27, 2013