Brand Nubian – The Now Rule Files EP [1989-1997]

Here it is! One Leg Up Records comes through with another batch of unreleased tracks and demo mixes. This time they ran down on Puba for some ill Brand Nubian joints most of us never knew about. I’m typing this in advance so you can get this download asap.

From the snippets, “How Ya Livin'”, “Mind Your Business”(original mix), and “Probable Cause”(original mix) are sounding incredible. “Love Vs. Hate”(alternative mix) sounds basically the same, except Sadat kicks a completely different verse. There might be minor differences with the beat, but nothing that I immediately noticed.

Here’s Haj “4XL” from OLU’s description:

“How Ya Livin’” is a previously unheard of demo recorded prior to “One For All” and it is produced by none other than, the chocolate boy wonder, Pete Rock! The vintage track comes complete with the Soul Brother #1’s trademark cuts as well. “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That” is an uptempo early Nubian joint as well. On this track you hear Puba taking parting shots at Strong City Records and declaring that both his Masters of Ceremony days and style is over! “The Devil” is a conscious record, that was scrapped prior to “One For All”, but serious Grand Puba fans will undoubtedly recognize that the hook and song concept was later revisited for the track “Soul Controller” on Puba’s debut LP, “Reel To Reel”. “Mind Your Business”, as you might recall, was a b-side only track released during “Reel To Reel”. This original version sports a Hall and Oates sample that could not be cleared, prompting Dante Ross / Stimulated Dummies to remix the song for the 12”. Fortunately in 2009, the version that Grand Puba preferred is finally available to collectors. “Where is Puba?” is somewhat of an early version of “Check It Out”. The vocalist that appears on this track was an artist who Puba was recording with before Mary J. Blige. The original version of “Probable Cause” features a different beat then the one that made the final version of “Foundation”. As you might recall, the released version used the Grover Washington Jr. “Knucklehead” sample (best known on K-Solo’s “Fugitive”). This version is a LOT better in my opinion and I have no idea why they changed it? Last but not least, the “Love vs. Hate” alternate version treats us to a completely different Sadat X vocal performance and still maintains to be a favorite from the “Foundation” project.

Thanks to HAJ at One Leg Up for digging up unreleased gems that we actually care about.
If you need to catch up on all of their previous “limited” vinyls, download them all here.


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11 Responses to “Brand Nubian – The Now Rule Files EP [1989-1997]”

  1. Anonymous says:

    the greatest blog on earth. thanks for the dedication.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good lookin' on everything ya'll bring! PEACE

  3. Jaz says:

    Dope, thanks for this Verge

  4. Boothe says:


    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kool Max Power says:

    Thanks, Verge!

    Great EP except for the weak R&B track. Hope, Haj continues his Crispy Nuggets series by releasing unheard stuff from REAL legends (what about O.C. or Organized demos?). In my opinion the first OLU series was overrated, except for the Cenobites ("Slaves OG Mix" single-handedly holds the weight!!!) EP and maybe the Godfather Don bonus LP.

  6. Legal Drug Money says:

    Much appreciated.

  7. Krisch says:

    Again, you are faster than the postal service from the States to Germany:)

  8. verge says:

    No problem, fellas.

    @Kool Max Power- I agree. But I rate the Lord Digga one highly, as well.

    @Krisch- Lol..Yeah, this arrived at my house two days after it was shipped.

    I gotta admit that I'm a little disappointed at the sound quality on the older demos on here, but I guess it is what it is.
    And I gotta add "The Devil" as another one of my favorites off of here.

  9. verge says:

    BONUS MATERIAL: dirtywaters blog posted "How Ya Livin", but with an extra verse:


    I would just direct you there, but I took the liberty of putting the song through a program and improving the sound quality.
    Here you go:

    Thanks to nes from dirtywaters.

  10. jcmoss33 says:

    Thanks!! Just when you think "I'm a big fan," something like this drops to make one wonder how much material of our favorite artists we don't have!!! Great post. GOD BLESS and PEACE

  11. thomasv says:

    I think that this is my favorite one leg up release. too many bangers!

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