Public Enemy


Public Enemy is a hugely influential hip-hop group from New York.

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.

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Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Planet/It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back Album Review

In terms of hip-hop's game changers, Public Enemy, along with NWA, must be the Beatles and The Stones of the genre, rewriting the rule books and forever altering the course of popular music. As part of the celebrations for Def Jam's 30th anniversary, the label are reissuing two of Public Enemy's biggest albums. The group's breakthrough album 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back', and its seminal follow up 'Fear Of A Black Planet', have been substantially enhanced with many added tracks, remixes and rare or unheard versions.

Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Planet/It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back Album Review

Both albums are politically charged, unflinching, challenging and innovative pieces of work. This is not the misogynistic, homophobic blinged up cribs and cars obsessed hip-hop that has come to dominate and define the scene over the ensuing years since Public Enemy's halcyon days. This is hip-hop with a voice and an attitude that was, and still is to a large degree, hard to resist and even more difficult to hold back. The themes of many of the songs may have centred around the disparity present between black and white communities in the US, racial tensions, media coverage and the wider frustrations of black youth in America, but the music, lyrical content, attitude and potency presented by PE meant that the songs found resonance across the world.

PE's debut album 'Yo! Bum Rush The Show' set the band on the way but it wasn't until the follow up in 1988 that they would really come to the attention of a much wider audience. With the release of 'It Takes A Nation...' PE truly arrived with tracks that included the critically acclaimed and much loved 'Don't Believe The Hype'  as well as the PE anthem 'Bring The Noise' (4 versions of which can be found on this re-issue).

Continue reading: Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Planet/It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back Album Review

Picture - Flavor Flav and Public Enemy... Glasgow Scotland United Kingdom, Wednesday 30th July 2014

Flavor Flav and Public Enemy - Flavor Flav and Public Enemy perform live at the O2 ABC Glasgow - Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom - Wednesday 30th July 2014

Picture - Flavor Flav - Public Enemy... Dublin Ireland, Monday 2nd June 2014

Flavor Flav - Public Enemy - Day 2 at Forbidden Fruit Festival 2014 at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland - 01.06.14. - Dublin, Ireland - Monday 2nd June 2014

Riot Fest 2013 Brings Classic Punk To Chicago This September

Tags: The Pixies - The Replacements - Blink 182 - Fall Out Boy - Violent Femmes - Rancid - Blondie - AFI - Public Enemy - Joan Jett - Taking Back Sunday - All Time Low - Motorhead - Bad Brains

Riot Fest Poster

It's time to start making preparations for one of the loudest festivals of the year: Riot Fest 2013 featuring headline sets from the likes of Pixies, The Replacements and Blink-182.

Taking place in Chicago on September 13th - 15th 2013 at Humboldt Park, Riot Fest is set to be possibly THE hottest punk festival of the year having been staging some of the biggest rock legends since its inception in 2005. It's bigger and better than ever before and there isn't just live music to enjoy either; there's an array of carnival rides and Lucha Libre plus a massive range of meal choices suitable for everyone.

Continue reading: Riot Fest 2013 Brings Classic Punk To Chicago This September

The Rolling Stones, Public Enemy And Elvis Costello Bring Worthy Farm To It's Knees: Glastonbury Day Two Round-Up

Tags: Glastonbury Festival - Rolling Stones - Mick Jagger - Keith Richards - Public Enemy - Ronnie Wood - Charlie Watts - Elvis Costello - Michael Eavis

After decades of failed attempts, Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis finally managed to book the biggest rock group of all time for the world-renowned UK festival, and with an absolutely riotous set that had the huge crowd off their feet for the full 2+ hours set, The Rolling Stones managed to show just why they are still the biggest band on the planet.

Ronnie Mick Keith Glasto
The dinosaurs rockers proved their worth on the Pyramid Stage

Their headlining slot on Saturday (June 29) night proved to be the icing on the cake to what had already been an absolutely triumphant day two at the Somerset festival and after a hit-filled set from the Arctic Monkeys during the Friday headlining show on the Pyramid Stage, followed by the huge set from the Stones last night, the pressure really is on for Mumford and Sons to deliver when they take to the stage on Sunday (June 30) night to close the festival. Good news for people at home (in the UK) too, because the group did show some of their performance on the BBC afterall (an hour of it at least), despite saying otherwise prior to the set. Checking off such classics as '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction,' 'Gimme Shelter' and 'Paint It Black' during their set, they may have been together for half a century, but Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood managed to grab hold of the audience like few other bands on the bill would be able to.

Continue reading: The Rolling Stones, Public Enemy And Elvis Costello Bring Worthy Farm To It's Knees: Glastonbury Day Two Round-Up

Riot Fest To Play Host To The Replacements' Long Awaited Reunion

Tags: Dinosaur Jr. - Best Coast - The Replacements - Blondie - Public Enemy - Fall Out Boy

After an absence spanning nearly two decades, The Replacements are giving performing another go at this year’s Riot Fest in Chicago, Denver and Toronto. While the band’s last show was in 1991, they technically haven’t performed together since 2012, when the band got together in the studio to record Songs for Slim, a charity EP to raise money for guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke last year, Rolling Stone reports.

Despite the sad occasion, the reunion apparently felt so good that the band felt they should try the performing thing once again. "After two or three hours, my voice was shot, but we were rocking like murder for a while," vocalist Paul Westerberg told Rolling Stone last fall.

With the summer festivals in full swing, the could hardly have picked a better time for the reunion. The Replacements have been named as headliners for all three legs of Riot Fest. Westerberg and Stinson, sans drummer Chris Mars, will join Dinosaur Jr., Best Coast, Rocket From the Crypt and others on the bill August 24th-25th in Toronto. The Replacements head a lineup that also features Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, the Violent Femmes, Motörhead, Rancid, Blondie and Public Enemy September 13th-15th in Chicago. They'll top a bill including Blink-182, Iggy and the Stooges, Rancid, Public Enemy, Guided By Voices, Flag and the Dismemberment Plan September 21st-22nd in Denver. The full lineup and all other information is available on the official Riot Fest website.

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Despite Stevie Wonder, Hip-Hop Will Rule At Hangout Festival, Gulf Shores

Tags: Kendrick Lamar - Stevie Wonder - Kings Of Leon - Tom Petty - Macklemore - Drake - Public Enemy

The Hangout Musical Festival returns to Gulf Shores, Alabama, this weekend with a pretty varied line-up including Stevie Wonder, Kings Of Leon and Tom Petty as well as a number of notable hip-hop acts. Though the headliners will no doubt draw sizeable crowds, the lies of Kendrick Lamar and the outstanding Public Enemy are the most interesting performances on offer.

Lamar, hip-hop's current golden child, hits the stage on Saturday (May 18, 2013) playing tracks from his critically acclaimed major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city. Watch out for singles Swimming Pools and Poetic Justice (with Drake) and the superb Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe. 

Legendary group Public Enemy, who were recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will take to the stage rather early on Saturday (1.30pm). The hip-hop outfit are still a live force to be reckoned with and you shouldn't miss these. 

Continue reading: Despite Stevie Wonder, Hip-Hop Will Rule At Hangout Festival, Gulf Shores

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