Public Enemy is a hugely influential hip-hop group from New York.
Public Enemy: Breakthrough & Music Career
Initially, Chuck D and Flavor Flav were both MCs in a band called Spectrum City. The pair released a record, 'Check Out the Radio', which would turn out to be an influence on Beastie Boys and Run DMC.
In 1986, Bill Stephney joined Def Jam and was immediately set the task of signing Chuck D, after Rick Rubin had heard Chuck D's song 'Public Enemy Number One', which had been played to him by Dr. Dre.
With Hank and Keith Shocklee and Eric Sadler on production duties and Flavor Flav and Terminator X added to the line-up, the group Public Enemy came into being.
Public Enemy's first album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show came out in 1987. The album was a hit with the music press and was swiftly followed in 1987 with It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. This second album contained the singles 'Black Steel in The Hour Of Chaos' and 'Don't Believe The Hype.'
Continuing with their political protest songs, in 1990, Public Enemy released Fear of a Black Planet, which was selected for preservation in 2005 in the Library of Congress. Examples of their political outcries are '911 (is a Joke)' - about the poor response times of the emergency services in black communities - and 'Fight the Power', which was chosen as the theme tune for Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing.
Public Enemy's next full-length release was Apocalypse '91. The Enemy Strikes Back. Released in 1991, Edward Furlong wears a Public Enemy t-shirt throughout the entirety of Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
Public Enemy was an influential and groundbreaking group in many ways. They are widely considered to be the first group to make entire albums available in an MP3 only format. They were also one of the first groups to define the 'rap-metal- genre, when they collaborated with the heavy metal band Anthrax on 'Bring on Tha Noize'.
The Bomb Squad, the Public Enemy production team, has produced records for a number of hugely successful artists, such as LL Cool J, Paula Abdul, Sinead OConnor and Peter Gabriel.