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Grand Puba

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Grand Puba
Grand Puba performing, 2014.
Grand Puba performing, 2014.
Background information
Birth nameMaxwell Dixon
Also known asGrand Puba Maxwell
Grand P
Born (1966-03-04) March 4, 1966 (age 58)
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
GenresHip hop
  • Rapper
  • record producer
Years active1985–present
Labels4th & B'way/Island, Elektra, Arista, Koch, Babygrande
Member ofBrand Nubian
Formerly ofMasters of Ceremony

Maxwell Dixon (born March 4, 1966),[1][2] known professionally as Grand Puba, is an American rapper and record producer, best known as one of the members of the group Brand Nubian from New Rochelle, New York.[3] He was formerly a member of Masters of Ceremony .

Early life[edit]

Puba was born on March 4, 1966[4] in New Rochelle, New York. During the late 1970's, Puba first got into hip hop after purchasing cassettes of his favorite artists such as The Cold Crush Brothers, T-Connection and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.[5] Puba attended the Remington Boys Club in New Rochelle. While at his club for boys, a DJ by the name of Grand Mixer DXT would send out cassette tapes at his club, to where Puba would learn to rap and write rhymes. His first cousin by the name of Dr. Who (Tod Dixon),[6] that would later form a group with Puba as Masters of Ceremony, would bang on tables, spitting rhymes with each other. Puba himself was also a breakdancer. He began making beats on cassettes of his own, around in New Rochelle where he grew up. When he was finally known, he started DJing at clubs after his popularity grew. His first rap group was called the "Tray Bag MC's".[7]


He made his debut as Grand Puba Maxwell with the group Masters of Ceremony in 1985.[8][9] It's album Dynamite (1988) was hailed by critics, but because of lack of sales the group soon disbanded and Puba became the lead emcee of Brand Nubian after working out a deal with A&R Dante Ross and signing to Elektra Records.[7][9] After their debut album One for All (1990) — covering areas from reggae-influenced hip hop music to new jack swing — Puba left the group after disputes and began a solo career.[9] He released his first solo album Reel to Reel on Elektra Records in 1992, alongside with DJ Stud Doogie and DJ Alamo who was previously a member with Brand Nubian. In 1992 Sean "Puffy" Combs tapped Grand Puba to collaborate with up & coming R&B singer Mary J. Blige on her debut album "What's the 411" The title song in which Puba co-wrote was the first time Blige incorporated her own rap technique which proved to be very successful. This was a rap/r&b hit record that went to number one on the R&B charts in the early spring of 1993. He released his second album 2000 in 1995. Around 1997 he rejoined the group, recording a few tracks for various soundtracks leading up to the full-length album Foundation in 1998. Puba's states in an interview with Billboard, saying "I never did go, i just wanted that experience and it was a good thing".[10] In 1999, Grand Puba and Sadat X performed on the track "Once Again" on Handsome Boy Modeling School's concept album So... How's Your Girl?. After following Brand Nubian's 2004 record Fire in the Hole, Grand Puba appeared on tracks with Beanie Sigel ("Bread and Butter", also featuring groupmate Sadat X), Missy Elliott ("My Struggles", featuring his onetime collaborator Mary J. Blige), and Ugly Duckling ("Something's Going Down Tonight").

He released his third album Understand This in 2001 on Koch Records.

In 2009, Grand Puba released his fourth solo album, Retroactive, featuring production from Q-Tip, Large Professor, Kid Capri as well as fellow Brand Nubians. Puba also appeared on the heavy posse cut "Fresh" together with Cormega, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Red Alert and PMD.

In 2016, he released his fifth album Black from the Future.

Personal life[edit]

Puba's son, Sonny Dixon, who goes by the name,”Stunna Gang” is also a rapper.[11]


Studio albums[edit]


with Masters of Ceremony[edit]

  • Dynamite (1988)

with Brand Nubian[edit]


  1. ^ "Grand Puba". IMDb.com. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  2. ^ "Grand Puba | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "Brand Nubian | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "Happy 55th Birthday To Brand Nubian Founder Grand Puba!". thesource.com. March 4, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2024.
  5. ^ "The Godcast Episode 173: Grand Puba". Youtube.com. May 1, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2024.
  6. ^ "Masters of Ceremony: DJ Shabazz, Grand Puba Maxwell, Dr. Who, Don Barron". nmaahc.si.edu. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  7. ^ a b "Sadat X on how Brand Nubian started, his Hip Hop heroes, & being a Five Percenter Juan EP is Life". Youtube.com. March 4, 2023. Retrieved June 3, 2024.
  8. ^ https://nmaahc.si.edu/object/nmaahc_2015.132.45
  9. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 178. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  10. ^ Oumano, Elena (1998). Billboard Top R&B Albums. Billboar Magazine.
  11. ^ "Grand Puba's Seed Sonny Dixon Drops Lyrical Heat On A Statik Selektah Beat – "God Body Tendency"". insomniacmagazine.com. Retrieved June 4, 2024.

External links[edit]