JOVM’s William Ruben Helms belatedly celebrates Tom Morello’s 58th birthday.
Public Enemy’s legendary frontman Chuck D. has addressed Trump’s policies and rhetoric over the past several years with through his work as a solo artist and with Prophets of Rage. Recently Chuck D. reunited with Flava Flav on the DJ Premier-produced single “State of the Union (STFU).”
Sonically, the track is dope, golden era hip-hop: DJ Premier’s soulful yet tweeter and woofer rocking production paired with Chuck D and Flav spitting righteous (and necessary) fire. And unsurprisingly, the track is an unflinching statement on the destruction and divisiveness the current administration has unleashed on the country, its people and the rest of the world. Continuing the act’s long-held reputation for speaking truth to power, “State of the Union (STFU)” urges the listener to fight against racism, injustice and oppression with their voices — and most importantly their vote. (If you’re not registered to vote, your informed vote is needed to get rid of this administration. Please register and then vote like your life depends on it — because it does.)
“Our collective voices keep getting louder. The rest of the planet is on our side. But it’s not enough to talk about change. You have to show up and demand change,” says Chuck D. “Folks gotta vote like their lives depend on it, ‘cause it does.” “Public Enemy tells it like it is,” added Flavor Flav. “It’s time for him to GO.”
Shot in a gorgeously cinematic black and white, the recently released, David C. Snyder-directed video was, according to Public Enemy was shot “in secret, in the dead of the night.” It’s split between footage of the members of Public Enemy — Chuck D., Flavor Flav and DJ Lord — in an abandoned factory space, and on the streets; DJ Premier doing this thing; and of course recent imagery of riots and unrest and division.