Public Enemy is an American Hip Hop group formed in Long Island, New York in the late 1900s. The original members were Chuck D (original name Carlton Ridenhour, born on August 1, 1960 in Queens, New York), Flavor Flav (original name William Drayton, born on March 16, 1959 in Long Island, New York), Terminator X (original name Norman Lee Rogers, born on August 25, 1966 in New York City, New York), and Professor Griff (original name Richard Griffin, born on August 1, 1960 in Long Island, New York). While developing his talent as a young MC with Flavor Flav, Chuck D delivered furniture for his father’s business. After few days in the Studio, Chuck D put out a tape to promote WBAU Radio Station. He called the tape, Public Enemy #1. Because he felt like he was being persecuted by people in the local communities.
Public Enemy first gain popularity by doing opening acts for the Beastie Boys. Over the next few years , their debut album, “Yo! burn Rush The Show” was released in 1987. The album sold only roughly 300,000. However PE’s second album, “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back”, in 1988, was widely praised by critics and eventually went Platinum selling over a million copies. Including singles like “Don’t Believe The Hype” and “Bring The Noise”. The album boosted their popularity and they was taking over. The group continued their to release hit records like “Fear of a Black planet” and “Apocalypse 911”.
Hip Hop of coure existed before the come up of public Enemy. However, Rappers was afraid to respond to the ruthless treatment in the black communities, knowing that the Civil Right movement was reaching it climax. Instead they rap about fancy cars and expensive parties. After Public Enemy released their first album everything changed. in the single ‘Party For Your Rights’ they included lyric like “Power, Equality.. And we’re out to get it. . i know some of you aint with it.. this party started right in 66.. than at the hour of twelve some force force out the power”, sending direct message to the government. They use rap music as a way to critize the government, Calling for power to the black communities.
The Afro-American music in the eighties was greatly influenced by the disco sound. Public Enemy music is a great example of disco influence in Hip Hop music. New technologies like Rhythm machines, Scratch and Sampling were introduced, and Public Enemy found them-selves in the mix of this culture. By taking the technology of ‘Sampling’ (cut of pieces of already existing songs changed to make a new sound), Public Enemy created another traditional form of Rock-And-Roll. In their music, they included pieces of political speeches, News broadcasts, police siren etc. Group Member Chuck D believed, “rapping is the most effective method if you wish to express yourself on the microphone”.
Public Enemy made contribution to Hip Hop world with political, Social and Cultural content, which generate itself in skilled and poetic rhymes. Before Public Enemy, Hip Hop was defined to few rappers like Ice-T and Grandmaster Flash. Public Enemy developed a strong pro-black political stance. they was one of the first Hip Hop group to do well internationally. they also changed internet music distribution by releasing MP3 only albums. Recently artists, poets, movie directors etc, all uses sample from Public Enemy’s songs. Video games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2-4-5-6, Scarface-The World is Your, and Thrasher featured songs from Public Enemy. in the UK, channel 4 used ‘Harder Than You Think’ on advertisements for it TV coverage of the 2012 summer Paralympics. The movement never stop as Public Enemy released their twelfh studio album “The Evil Empire of Everything” on Oct 11, 2012. And recently they was added to the Rock-And-Roll Hall of Fame (2013).
They are An Example of a legendary Band and Hip Hop culture. Public Enemy influenced rap music and promoted the civil rights movement. “They were great musical icons of the sixties, no matter if they belong to the black cultured heritage” said Marvin Gaye. Public Enemy used their talent to act as a voice for the black community. They never stop giving their fans color, rhythm and sound. Public Enemy is currently working on their 12th album, However they still enjor being idol to young rappers.
Top 10 Songs in my opinion
1. By The Time I Get To Arizona (Apocalypse 91)
2. Welcome To The Terror-dome (Fear of A Black Planet)
3. Fight The Power (Fear of A Black Planet)
4. Louder Than A Bomb (It Takes A Nation of Millions…)
5. He Got Game (He Got Game)
6. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos (It Takes A Nation of Millions…) 7. Burn Hollywood Burn (Fear of A Black Planet)
8. Give It Up (Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age)
9. Rebel Without A Pause (It Takes A Nation of Millions…)
10. 911 Is A Joke (Fear of A Black Planet)
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Marxist, 7 Jan. 2013. Web. 10 Jan. 2013.