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Public Enemy

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Public Enemy, also known as P.E., is a seminal Golden Age era Hip-Hop group known for their densely layered production and politically charged lyrics demonstrating their interest in the concerns of the African American community.

PE formed in Long Island, New York, in 1982 around a WBAU radio show as Spectrum City. After one less-than-successful single, they regrouped and signed to the still developing Def Jam record label after Rick Rubin heard Chuck D freestyling on a demo. Their debut, ‘Yo! Bum Rush The Show’, was released in 1987 to mild critical acclaim, although the Hip-Hop climate changed dramatically due to sampling during the time of release. As a response, they went on to release the revolutionary ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ in 1988, which performed better in the charts than their previous release, and included the hit single ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’.

Slightly less militant than their previous releases Public Enemy’s, ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’ was officially recognised as being the most successful and influential of the Public Enemy recordings when, in 2004, it became one of 50 recordings, chosen that year by the Library of Congress, to be added to the National Recording Registry. Sales-wise it was the most successful of any of their albums to date. It included the powerful and controversial singles ‘911 is a Joke’ (which criticized emergency response units for taking longer to arrive at emergencies in the black community than those in the white community), and ‘Fight the Power’, which is considered by many to be the group’s premier self-describing anthem.

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  • anonymousca4

    Their political messages are a bit more clear on their more recent works, but musically they've kind of fell off, in addition to their messages seeming a bit repeated and harder to take seriously. iTaNoMtHUB and FoaBP are classics of the genre.

    19 Dec 5:12am Reply
  • vittuviladunaa

    always found them to be a bit overrated.

    18 Dec 9:09am Reply
  • dirtyeastwood

    BUAUHAUHA da horasáporra!

    23 Nov 2:10am Reply
  • VadiushaKomarov

    Хип хоп что надо. Возможно лучший, есть подозрения на этот счет.

    16 Nov 10:31pm Reply
  • cabeza_cuadrada

    "Brothers and Sisters, I Don't Know What this World is Coming to!”

    11 Nov 1:57am Reply
  • afterjamz

    Wow, rap music with iffy politics? Strange occurrence, this shoutbox might be onto something here

    1 Nov 7:40am Reply
  • SkinneeJay

    lol @ accusing Elvis of racism.

    12 Oct 4:51pm Reply
  • SkinneeJay

    Terminator X and the Bomb Squad are the best thing about this group. Can anyone justify the occasional racism and homophobia?

    12 Oct 4:51pm Reply
  • rysiek310

    The band that came to me from overseas. YO! MTV RAPS hit me Shut'em Down. Since the 90s, it took some time and had aged, but Public Enemy is for me the most important band ever experienced. Anyway, it's not just the band, is the successor of Martin Luther, Malcolm X. They came to me from across the ocean, shook and changed forever! You are Louder than a Bomb! (my favorite is JMJ Telephone Tap Groove from Greatest Misses). Mam nadzieję, że wasi bohaterowie trafią na znaczki. Dzięki

    14 Sep 10:18am Reply
  • Phonophobe

    racist and homophobic but i still love the music

    7 Sep 1:34pm Reply
  • Carpe4Diem

    Постоянно не доходили уши до них, вникаю в данный сабж и думаю - я грешил, что не слушал.

    28 Aug 6:27pm Reply
  • joehemmings68

    My Uzi weighs a ton!

    25 Aug 10:00pm Reply
  • TylerSymes

    It's time for yoohoo & friends

    1 Aug 6:48pm Reply
  • Nakkinak

    YEAAH BOIIII

    22 Jul 10:43pm Reply
  • Candy_Umbrella

    they was, are and always will be the best hip-hop team

    18 Jul 9:50am Reply
  • Bas_VIII

    нет лучше группы в истории хип-хопа. [3]

    10 Jul 5:31pm Reply
  • impronen

    Saw them last summer at a festival, so the length cannot be determined on that. But it was cool. I'm not an hiphop expert or anything but I liked it. Old school, back to basics type of thing. The Security of the 1st world guys (or whatever those dudes in green army type clothes are called) were quite silly with they're salutes and pushups. But good fun.

    6 Jul 11:17am Reply
  • nothingbutflesh

    Hey, shoutbox, how good are public enemy live these days?? They're coming to my town, but its slightly more expensive than i expected, so any word on how long they play and how memorable it is??

    3 Jul 8:05am Reply
  • Nakkinak

    i love chuck d

    9 May 6:51pm Reply
  • rhayader18

    Fear of a Black Planet is the most perfect collage record and the greatest hip hop album I've ever heard. Love PE.

    3 Apr 9:49pm Reply
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