- Released: September 18, 2001
- Label: Elektra / WEA
- 1.All For One
- 2.Feels So Good
- 3.Concerto in X Minor
- 4.Drop the Bomb
- 5.Wake up (Reprise in the Sunshine)
- 6.Slow Down
- 7.Brand Nubian
- 8.Slow Down - (Pete Rock's Newro mix)
- 9.360 (What Goes Around) - (with Grand Puba)
- 10.Mind Your Business - (with Grand Puba)
- 11.Allah U Akbar
- 12.Love Me or Leave Me Alone
- 13.Punks Jump up to Get Beat Down
- 14.Hold On
- 15.Punks Jump up to Get Beat Down - (remix, featuring Diamond D)
- 16.Don't Let It Go to Your Head
Brand Nubian: Grand Puba Maxwell, Lord Jamar, Sadat X, DJ Alamo, Sincere Allah (rap vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Diamond D.
Producers include: Grand Puba Maxwell & Brand Nubian, Diamond D., Lord Jamar, Chris "CL" Liggio.
Compilation producer: Barry Benson.
Includes liner notes by Reginald C. Dennis.
Digitally remastered by Pat Kraus (Warner Brothers).
Personnel: Dwayne Banks (keyboards).
Audio Mixers: Dave Kennedy; Grand Puba Maxwell; Geeby Dajani; John Gamble; Dante Ross; Brand Nubian.
Audio Remasterer: Pat Kraus .
Audio Remixer: Diamond D.
Recording information: Chung King, New York, NY; East Hill Recording Studios; Marathon Studios; Power play Studios; The Hit Factory, New York, NY.
Photographers: Mario Castellanos; Mark Seliger; Darius Anthony.
Arranger: Brand Nubian.
Politically controversial in their time, Brand Nubian doesn't sound like the dangerous, Afrocentric militants they were originally made out to be in some quarters. Maybe it's because their jazzy, post-Native Tongues music is so ingratiating; maybe it's because Grand Puba has such a playful, easygoing presence on the mic; maybe it's just that, in the new millennium, politics are no longer the way rap groups ruffle feathers. Whatever the case, Rhino's The Very Best of Brand Nubian is an essential summation of the uncompromisingly pro-black, often very positive group's career. Grand Puba, clearly their most inventive lyricist, departed after their excellent debut, One for All, and was definitely missed on subsequent albums. So instead of trying to balance the picture, the compilation wisely leans heavily on One for All, from whence come seven of the 16 tracks (eight if you count the Pete Rock remix of "Slow Down"). We also get two Grand Puba solo singles and one track from the group's latter-day reunion with Puba, "Don't Let It Go to Your Head." That leaves three tracks from In God We Trust, just one from the coolly received Everything Is Everything, and another hard-to-find remix (of "Punks Jump up to Get Beat Down"). One could make the case that "Step to the Rear" and "Who Can Get Busy Like This Man" should also have made the cut from the debut, instead of the two remixes, but then again, there had to be a decent reason to buy this comp, even if all the post-One for All material included here is worth rescuing. As for the group's politics, the "white devil" fixation on "Drop the Bomb" and "Wake Up (Reprise in the Sunshine)" can sound paranoid to non-believers. But really, it shouldn't detract from the group's numerous strengths, which make The Very Best of Brand Nubian an extremely high-quality listen. ~ Steve Huey