Monday, December 13, 2010

Public Enemy

One the most influential rap groups to come out of Long Island, New York was the powerful Public Enemy. The ultimate rap group which was established in 1986 and was comprised of a MC by the name of Chuck D, hypeman Flava Flav, DJ Terminator X, and the Minister of Information Professor Griff. Known for their poignant lyrics, Public Enemy, became synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement and their preachings about racial discrimination, inequality, and injustice. You can hear it in their music that their sound was influenced by Gil Scott Heron, Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, Martin Luther King just to name a few. In the song "Party For Your Right to Fight" from the 1988 album "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back", Chuck D, is making references about J. Edgar Hoover and his conspiring acts of COINTELPRO. As we all know by now, Edgar Hoover, was the man behind the take down of prominent organizations and figures, so Chuck D took the liberty to confront his evil tactics against Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. "Power, equality and we're out to get it I know some of you ain't wid it This party started right in'66" Chuck D is saluting the Black Panther Party and their achievements towards racial equality and justice across African-American communities. He also made a reference to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who was the founder of the Nation of Islam and converted the likes of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. Fight the Power from the "Fear of a Black Planet" album and soundtrack of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, is one of my favorite Public Enemy songs of all-time. I vividly remember the first time when I saw the video on Video Music Box and this video was very electrifying and uplifting. "What we need is awareness, we can't get careless You say what is this? My beloved lets get down to business Mental self defensive fitness..." Those few lines are so inspiring because he's telling us to watch out for the evil tactics of men who cogitate for the sake their well beings. "Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps Sample a look back you look and find Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check..." For 400 years African-Americans have been the victims of oppression, brutality, and slavery and they are the reason why this nation has become so world-class. In return, you see no African-Americans being revered for their history in this nation. In the last song "911 Is a Joke" Chuck D talks about the cops and their everlasting history of injustice and brutality towards black people. They are suppose to be leading by example as far as professionalism, courtesy, and respect and yet, they do the complete opposite. "They don't care 'cause they stay paid anyway..." Overall I believe Public Enemy is considered to be one the greatest groups any genre of music because of their powerful voice and messages.

1 comment:

  1. Great overview - your post really makes me realize how much this group sought to preserve the history we've seen this semester for a new generation.