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Retrieved October 17, Archived from the original on December 5, First-hand experience of racialized contempt, along with a rich education from civil rights activist parents, sparked a righteous ire in Chuck that would burn hot and bright in the following years. Two years later, the group caved and signed with the label.
Bum Rush the Show and a package tour with Run-D. The music was boldly gritty, if a touch late to the party, scooped by advances in landmark singles by Big Daddy Kane and Eric B. It was black power theater. It shocked American audiences cold.
Concerns about P. In retrospect, Yo! Bum Rush the Show was a blueprint. What came after it was the work of a well-rehearsed unit keenly aware of its purpose and capabilities. More on that later. Nation teemed with a didactic social consciousness too. Nation found a way to expound on the explosive soundscapes of the debut without exhausting listeners or cluttering the mix.
The Bomb Squad built beats like ships in a bottle, delicately stitching tiny pieces of black history into layered blasts of sound. Public Enemy looked and sounded a fright to the uninitiated, but careful attention showed every piece of this black radical machine moving in perfect concert.
Chuck sent early copies of the album out west to Dre and Ice Cube , and N. After the ominous siren and Professor Griff 's declaration, "London, England, consider yourselves warned! Public Enemy's international ambitions and focus on live performance were just two reasons why, even as they gave me a passion for hip-hop, they always felt bigger than hip-hop.
Leapfrogging rap's usual emphasis on local identity, they saw the bigger picture and couched it in suitably omnivorous music. Chuck D describes Public Enemy as an "information portal": a dry term but an accurate one. Nation of Millions is so jammed with data, both musical and lyrical, that I'm still finding new clues and resonances 20 years later.
Their goal was broad — to "teach the bourgeois and rock the boulevards" — and so was their frame of reference. The pun on the latter is just one example of Chuck D's unparallelled flair for phrase-making. Even the lineup celebrated heterogeneity: the discipline and command of Chuck D, the goofball looseness of Flavor Flav, the turntable drama of Terminator X, the tumultuous beats of the Bomb Squad and the stern authority of Professor Griff, whose addled anti-semitism fortunately doesn't make it on to the record.
Public Enemy came across as, simultaneously, the last gang in town they were conceived as a hybrid of Run-DMC and the Clash , a sports team Chuck D once aspired to be a sports commentator and a political party with roles modelled on the Black Panthers.