Saturday, March 18, 2006

RAPOBIT: Professor X

The death of Professor X, former member of the X-Clan.

Professor X, born Lumumba Carson, was the son of civil rights leader Sonny Carson; he founded The Blackwatch movement, as a counterpoint to the Zulu Nation proposed by Afrika Bambataa. A loose affiliation of ideas and hip hop acts, the movement included Queen Mother Rage, Isis, Daddy-O (who went on to be part of Stetsasonic) and, of course, X-Clan).

Formed in 1990 from within the Blackwatch, the X-Clan came together as a response to what was seen by some young Brooklyn blacks as a time of revolution, driven by a sense of injustice. "We were the one group" explained the team's Brother J, "to address [police brutality and racism] through music and still remain rhythmic enough to be entertainers."

Following on from two albums for Island (To The East Blackwards and Xodus), the Clan moved on in 1997, when J started to concentrate more on his side project, the Dark Sun Riders. Attempts to reunite the group for a new album last year proved somewhat patchy.

The Blackwatch Movement itself started to drift, giving way to, and being overtaken by, the gangsta rap attitude, which dropped the politics and cultural awareness in favour of cars, guns and girls.

Professor X died on Friday. He had been suffering from meningitis.

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