Twenty years ago, X Clan dropped their seminal debut, To the East, Blackwards. Comprised primarily of Brother J, Professor X the Overseer and Grand Architect Paradise, the group made a name for themselves as lyrical activists that actually backed up their rhymes with real action. In fact, Professor X, born Lumumba Carson, was the son of Civil Rights activist Sonny Carson.
Although P.E. covered similar pro-Black terrain, X Clan’s Afrocentric garb and image wasn’t as digestible to mainstream audiences. Still, that didn’t mean the Brooklyn-based squad wasn’t delivering quality music. Both To the East, Blackwards and their 1992 follow-up, Xodus, peaked at No. 11 on the Top R&B/hip-hop album chart.
Brother J and Paradise held down the funky rhymes and rhythms, respectively, while X provided memorable oration. He was best known for adlibs like his ever-present “Vanglorious,” but X’s true calling card was his catchphrase: “This is protected by the red, the black, and the green, with a key…Sissy!”
Four years ago today, though, Professor X’s voice was forever silenced as he succumbed to spinal meningitis. In honor of his passing and X Clan’s often-overlooked contribution to hip-hop culture, XXLMag.com pays homage to one of the game’s fallen soldiers with a few memorable recordings from his catalog.
R.I.P. Lumumba “Professor X” Carson
August 4, 1956 – March 17, 2006
Professor X – “Definition of a Sissy”
X-Clan – “Funkin’ Lesson”
X-Clan – “Heed The Word Of The Brother”
X-Clan – “Xodus”
Professor X – “Years of the Nine”