Concerts

Public Enemy Turns Revolution Into a Terrordome

Two decades ago, Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet was one of the most dangerous listening experiences possible. Big, fat fingers point at Chuck D's thunderous proclamations on "Welcome to the Terrordome" and "Fight the Power" and Flavor Flav's venomous "911 Is a Joke," but this album was also a definitive rap production moment prior to the draconian regulations of sample clearance, and few acts took this creative freedom further. Public Enemy's early albums are just as much, if not more, about picking apart the dozens of funk, soul, and jazz (and Public Enemy) snippets than internalizing the revolutionary rhymes set betwixt them. God help "the man," because this group was dumping twice as much shit upon him. As the mixtape fast becomes the only place to lace beats that would cost millions of dollars to clear, these documents that were grandfathered into the mainstream look more and more like precious artifacts. Even if there's nothing precious about "Burn Hollywood Burn." Once Public Enemy runs through Black Planet in its entirety, Revolution might never pound this hard again.

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Reed Fischer
Contact: Reed Fischer