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.
Public Enemy's Chuck D has suggested the hip-hop scene has ''been dried up'' to the point that ''beautiful'' art is being created as a sort of protest.
Chuck D believes a decline in hip-hop music has rejuvenated the industry.
The Public Enemy icon has described rap music as a ''crumbling artform'' in his 1997 book 'Fight the Power', and previously suggested it shifted from the hands of the artist to possession of the ''corporate'' bosses.
Speaking to Billboard this week, he said: ''It's been culturally strip-mined to the point where the mountain of what the music is isn't being rejuvenated.
Continue reading: Chuck D Says Hip-hop Has Dried Up
Public Enemy, one of the most important and influential hip-hop groups in history, continue their recent output (a new studio album was also released earlier this year) with 'Live From Metropolis Studios'; an album recorded live at a P.E. gig in London back in 2014, in front of an intimate audience of 125 people. With a career-spanning selection of tracks, this high-octane, hugely energetic set shows everything that Public Enemy are about; politically charged, concisely intelligent lyricism and a legendary stage show.
The group are joined by a live band for this show, which brings the energy levels up to an unforeseen height. From the word go, Public Enemy come out swinging, with early highlights 'Rebel Without A Pause' and 'Welcome To The Terrordome' being loud, chaotic and passionate; exactly what the world loves this group for. The album takes you on a non-stop ride, and the depth of Public Enemy's catalogue allows them to maintain their impact. There are a couple of miss-steps though; the long-winded 'Black Steel In The Hour - Do You Wanna Go Our Way' isn't something I'll check for again. I'm sure the headbanging guitar solos and thrashy vibe of the track sounded great for nine minutes in the venue, it's definitely longwinded when listening from the comfort of your home though.
The sound on this live recording is crisp and clear, the power evident on 'Bring The Noise' with in-your-face and punchy drums, raw and aggressive guitars and adrenaline-filled vocal performances, making Public Enemy's performance memorable and animated. The funky rendition of 'Don't Believe The Hype', and the tasteful, simplistic guitar lines and steady drum beat make 'He Got Game' really successful. The transition from record to on stage is seamless; a lot of the tracks on here have so much history and importance, instantly recognisable to any hip-hop head, and for the most part, hearing them delivered live makes the message clearer, and Chuck D's famously powerful voice is authoritative and decisive.
Continue reading: Public Enemy - Live From Metropolis Studios Album Review
The rap legends will be joining The Prodigy as they embark on an arena tour of the Britain and Ireland in November.
Fresh from the chart-topping success of their new album The Day Is My Enemy, The Prodigy have announced details of an arena tour this autumn, and they’ve announced some very special guests as their support act – rap legends Public Enemy!
The dance-rock legends, who helped to define the electronic music scene in Britain in the ‘90s, will be hitting the road on November 24th at Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena before covering major cities in Britain plus the Irish capital, stopping off in Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield, Dublin, Belfast and Birmingham before finishing off at Wembley Arena in London on December 4th.
The Prodigy will going on tour with Public Enemy in November
Continue reading: The Prodigy Announce UK Tour With Public Enemy
Flavor Flav was arrested in Las Vegas on Thursday (21st May) for possession and driving under the influence. This is the third time in less than 18 months the rapper and reality TV star has been in trouble with the law.
Flavor Flav has been arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana and driving under the influence. The 56-year-old rapper was reportedly apprehended by police in Las Vegas on Thursday (21st May). According to reports, he was initially pulled over for speeding but, when officers searched his vehicle, he was found with an opened bottle of alcohol and marijuana in his BMW.
Flavor Flav was arrested in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Continue reading: Flavor Flav Arrested On Suspicion Of Marijuana Possession & DUI
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.
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).
Punk enthusiasts gear up for another slamming year at Chicago's raucous Riot Fest!
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
After a few teaser reunions, this seems like it might be the big one.
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.
Continue reading: Riot Fest To Play Host To The Replacements' Long Awaited Reunion
Rockers Rush draw the biggest applause of a star-studded night
Rush were the undoubted highlight of last night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction at the Nokia theatre. Having been waiting for this moment since 1998, the band was finally invited in to the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by way of people power. For the first time, USA Today reports, fans were invited to cast their vote on who should be inducted and Rush won, hands down.
The band was introduced by an incredibly enthusiastic Dave Grohl – frontman of Foo Fighters and former drummer for Nirvana. “From day one, the band built its following the right way,” said Grohl. “No hype, no (baloney), they did it from the ground up without any help from the mainstream press…Their influence is undeniable and their devoted fan base is only rivaled by the Grateful Dead. Look at you people, all of you people, right here! And their legacy is that of a band that stayed true to themselves no matter how uncool they may have seemed to anyone.” The band’s singer and bass player Geddy Lee thanked their fans for getting them into the Hal of Fame, saying “the most passionate, incredible fan base around the globe …for not only supporting and encouraging our musical progress over the years, but for the insistence of their voices, which has most certainly led us to this evening."
Other highlights from the evening include a performance of I Love LA from Randy Newman and a riotous medley of Bring The Noise, 911 Is A Joke and Fight the Power.
Continue reading: Dave Grohl Introduces Rush To 'Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame'