Today, Mar. 4, is the birthday of New York MC and Brand Nubian member Maxwell Dixon, better known as his stage name, Grand Puba.

As the frontman for the New Rochelle group Brand Nubian, Puba incorporated reggae and new jack swing influences into the members' socially conscious raps. Their debut album, One for All, dropped in 1991 and peaked at number 34 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The political content of their rhymes only boosted sales and by the end of the year, Nubian had two singles, off their album "Wake Up" and "Slow Down," in the top ten of Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart.

After tension in the group, Puba left Brand Nubian to pursue solo efforts and released his debut solo album, Reel to Reel, in 1992. He followed this up with his sophomore project in 1995 called 2000 which birthed the Billboard charting single "I Like It (I Wanna Be Where You Are)."

By 2001, Puba had mended fences with his former Brand Nubian members and featured some of them on his third LP, Understand This and in 2004, Puba officially got back with the group, lending some verses on their fifth studio album Fire in the Hole.

Happy Birthday, Grand Puba!

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