Public Enemy was another band that was particularly important to me as a child – in fact, i had begged my folks to buy me a copy of Public Enemy’s Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black which I played about a million times on cassette. Chuck D will be making an appearance at the Afropunk Festival this weekend and he’s reportedly doing Public Enemy’s seminal album, Fear of a Black Planet live. Along with the Beastie Boys‘ Paul’s Boutique, Fear of a Black Planet is probably one of the most sonically dense, challenging albums in the history of hip hop. In the case of Black Planet a great deal of the production is full of wailing sirens, ambient background noise, gigantic room rattling beats and with Chuck D, roaring with righteous, almost Biblical fury, the album sounds like a post-apoclyptic nightmare. And although Chuck D’s flow is decidedly old school in comparison to some of these cats dispensing empty headed bullshit right now, Chuck elevated hip hop to the level of oratory (along the lines of Malcolm X, MLK, Jr. and others). Check out this amazing live footage of “She Watch Channel Zero” and “Night of the Living Baseheads” shot back in 2008 at the Metro Theatre in Sydney, Australia. 

Advertisements