On this day, March 17th, in hip-hop history…

2006 – Many hip-hop fans will identify with Professor X, not Charles Xavier who leads a group of superheroes called the X-Men. If you were familiar with rap in the 1990s, then you may have heard one or more songs by Professor X and his New-York-based crew X-Clan.

Lumumba Carson, whose outfit were behind classic records such as “Funkin’ Lesson” and “Fire & Earth (100% Natural),” cemented themselves in hip-hop history. Carson was best known for advocating afrocentrism and activism over funky beats. Similar to the politically-charged minds of Public Enemy, him and the Clan were not afraid to represent their culture. Often times, you spotted them wearing Afrocentric grab, African medallions and more.

The Clan released two critically lauded albums. Their 1990 debut, To the East Blackwards, and their follow-up, Xodus, were well-respected in hip-hop. Although X, who was the son of Civil Rights activist Sonny Carson, didn’t rhyme like his partners Brother J and Paradise, he provided some memorable ad-libs. There was “Vanglorious” that took tracks to a whole new level, as well as his signature catchphrase: “This is protected by the red, the black, and the green, with a key…Sissy!”

Professor X passed away when he succumbed to spinal meningitis. Seven years ago today, XXL pays homage to one of the game’s fallen soldiers.