Artist: Public Enemy
Album: Fear Of A Black Planet
PE first impacted on me in '91, with the hard-hitting singles Shut 'em Down
and Can't Truss It
, with hard beats and fronted by Chuck D's super-serious baritonal flow, and they were probably the second rap act I was really drawn to (after De La Soul). It was another year or so before I actually started buying hip hop records (beginning with Beastie Boys), and probably another couple of years before I picked up any Public Enemy.
This is the median of PE's classic trio of albums, though probably my least favourite of the 3. The Bomb Squad's production style involves absolutely filling the soundscape to bursting with backing tracks and samples, and song after song of this can become a bit overbearing. I think it's also to do with the sound quality of the album - it seems to be recorded a bit quiet and could really do with a remaster to clarify the manifold elements.
It's still a great album, though, and there are a few heavy hitters including Brothers Gonna Work It Out
, Welcome To The Terrordome
and Burn Hollywood Burn (feat. Ice Cube & Big Daddy Kane)
. I really like Revolutionary Generation
and War At 33⅓
, and the Flavor Flav-fronted 911 Is A Joke
and Can't Do Nuttin' For Ya, Man!
, too, but as an album, it just doesn't quite have the impact of Nation of Millions or Apolaypse 91.
The winner, though, predictably enough... Top Song
: "Fight The Power"
- click for video