Bring the Noise (3:47)

Cover of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

From It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and 41 other releases

“Bring the Noise” is a song by the hip hop group Public Enemy. It was included on the soundtrack of the 1987 film Less Than Zero and was also released as a single that year. It later became the second track (and the first actual song) on the group’s groundbreaking 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The single reached #56 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

The song’s lyrics, most of which are delivered rapid-fire by Chuck D with interjections from Flavor Flav, include boasts of Public Enemy’s prowess, an endorsement of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, retorts to unspecified critics, and arguments for rap as a legitimate musical genre on par with rock. The lyrics also have a remarkable metrical complexity, making extensive use of meters like dactylic hexameter. The title phrase appears in the chorus. The song includes several shout-outs to artists like Run-DMC, Eric B, LL Cool J and, unusual for a rap group, thrash metal band Anthrax, allegedly because Chuck D was flattered about Scott Ian wearing Public Enemy shirts while performing Anthrax gigs.

The song’s production by The Bomb Squad, which exemplifies their characteristic style, features a dissonant mixture of funk samples, drum machine patterns, record scratching by DJ Terminator X, siren sound effects and other industrial noise.

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