Fear of a Black Planet is the third studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy. It was released on April 10, 1990, by Def Jam Recordings and Columbia Records, and produced by the group's production team The Bomb Squad, who expanded on the sample-layered sound of Public Enemy's 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Having fulfilled their initial creative ambitions with that album, the group aspired to create what lead rapper Chuck D called "a deep, complex album". Their songwriting was partly inspired by the controversy surrounding member Professor Griff and his dismissal from the group in 1989. Fear of a Black Planet features elaborate sound collages that incorporate varying rhythms, numerous samples, media sound bites, and eccentric loops, reflecting the songs' confrontational tone. Recorded during the golden age of hip hop, its assemblage of reconfigured and recontextualized aural sources preceded the sample clearance system that later emerged in the music industry. Fear of a Black Planet explores themes of organization and empowerment within the black community, social issues affecting African Americans, and race relations at the time. The record's criticism of institutional racism, white supremacy, and the power elite was partly inspired by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing's views on color. A commercial and critical hit, Fear of a Black Planet sold two million copies in the United States and received rave reviews from critics, many of whom named it one of the year's best albums. Its success contributed significantly to the popularity of Afrocentric and political subject matter in hip hop and the genre's mainstream resurgence at the time. Since then, it has been viewed as one of hip hop's greatest and most important records, as well as being musically and culturally significant. In 2005, the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry. In 2020, Fear of a Black Planet was ranked number 176 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.Wikipedia
I’ve listened to this recently as part of a resurgence in interest of classic rap. This is a quality album. Each song flows with the aggression and urgency against the system that it’s lyrics highlight.
Before Nirvana exploded in 91 and what came in their wake pretty much took over my musical world, I was more into hip hop -mostly via music videos. Public Enemy really stuck out to me then and was perhaps my favorite group from this era. I am much more partial to their politically centered music than the gangster rap that came to dominate the genre shortly thereafter. Their previous album "It takes a nation of millions..." usually gets the highest praise as it was their breakthrough (and I love it too) but I think this is their best album and easily one of the best hip hop albums of all time. I love chuck ds voice and his contrast with flavor flav is wild but I think it really works to temper the tone of the album so that it isn't overbearing. This album is relentless in so many ways, from the sheer power of chuck ds voice, to the weight of his message, to the dense layering of the music, to the pacing and BPMs... I feel like this one flows nearly perfectly as an album, interludes and all.
Ho-ly. SHIT. This album is aggressive and angry as fuck. It still resonates today especially with 2020's BLM movements. Production is tight and reminds me of early NIN, a shed load of samples and turntablism (from the sound of it) expertly crafted. This album is powerful. 10/10
“Hey fellas, I’d like to get a band together. I want the drums to Sound like I am banging someoen‘a head against the curb until they die while I talk about 400 years of oppression to my people. While I am doing this I want a skinny guy with gold teeth and a giant clock around his neck to encourage me. I would like to add heavy metal guitar over much of the music and if we play live I’d like to have military grade weapons in most of our hands Sound like a plan?” - chuck D
As relevant today as when it came out. The anger is righteous and palpable. 911 is a joke - echoes to the present day. A listenable, danceable, seminal album.
Chuck D delivers as always. Flava Flav is at the top of his game. Every track is a heater. It's rowdy, rude, and in your face. It's also one of the most culturally influential albums of all time. This one is an all-timer. Best track: Fight the Power
I knew of Public Enemy but never knew who they were or what they were about. Political rap and media commentary samples contextualize this nicely.
Kind of reminds me of Sting, Kind of reminds me of Mumford and sons. Will have to listen again to pick my favorite track.
Powerful album with tons of cultural significance. Lyrically strong and deep with a lot of innovative sampling of sound bites interspersed throughout. My only criticism is that the songs seem to run together musically, but Public Enemy was always more about the lyrics than the music.
As ever, there's nary a milisecond of respite, but the relentlessness comes from a life-giving and life-affiriming variety rather than single-speed tempo. There are skits, sound effects, smooth moments, funny as fuck moments, soulful songs, rebel-rousing songs. But it's non-stop because they aren't neatly parcelled like that. From the first beat you never know when you'll be thrown in a different direction. Sometimes the skits stands alone, sometimes a breakbeat interrupts a skit, sometimes the song interrupts a sample, somtimes a sample becomes a song. The permutations are endless. And for all Chuck's verbal artillery and bombastic oratory, nothing assays the necessary resourcefulness of militancy as that. Use every last scrap of what you can lay your hands on to fight your cause. It's an ethos that imbues everything from the explosive found-art approach of the production to Flava Flav's diatribes. It's a constant and unpredictable clash of ideas. In a word, dialectics. Hence why the simpletons phoning in on Incidient At 66.6 FM can only respond to PE's multifarious ideas by reducing them to "They're bad because they have guns on stage". But even that track subverts expctations, giving the ignormai a coolly propellent and pleasant bedding track whose levity not only ridicules the callers but shows how casually acceptable it is to air such views. Something similar goes down on Pollwannacraka, where Chuck fully embraces the preacher quality of his voice. Likewise, the "black man, white women, black baby..." sample that starts at 00:53 of the title track and doubles down on creepiness because the speaker is so convinced of their rightness. Finally, shouts to when Chuck fluffs his line "Ain't how that God planned it" on the title track. It makes the music sound more than ever like a demonstration, where even the more powerful orator can trip over their words.
Anger channeled, proof positive that this vital emotion leads to vital art when honed to a bleeding edge. It struck me how prescient it seems, then struck me again how it only seems prescient because it sees its present so clearly, and because so little has changed.
Public Enemy does not sound dated at all - so many (too many) of the lyrics and topics are 100% as relevant today (30+ years later holy hell). Yet what makes this album (and PE's other early (pre~1994) albums) especially fantastic isn't just the lyrics/topics but the kickass music - judicious samples and hard beats; if the music isn't any good, the message isn't going to be heard - and the music is great. Chuck D was never better than on this collection - "Welcome to the Terrordome" and of course the huge hit "Fight the Power" are standouts. "Burn Hollywood Burn" might be the best of them all - the beat is intense and high-paced, and guest verses from Big Daddy Kane and Ice Cube make this catchy as hell. I'm unlikely to ever give a perfect score for a PE album because of Flavor Flav's songs (I like him well enough as a sidekick but as a sidekick alone) - him taking lead on a song mostly kills the vibe for me but on this album he is thankfully more limited and he hits a little differently - "911 Is a Joke" had a huge impact and actually had something to say. Fear Of A Black Planet also works so well because it is truly a complete *album* rather than a smattering of tracks here and there - in some ways (it's a reach, I'll admit) it's not unlike The Who's Sell Out in terms of there being "connecting tracks" ("Incident at 66.6FM" "Reggie Jax" "Leave This Off Your Fn Charts") that work as a path from one "proper" song to the next. In other words - you lose a ton if you listen to some of these songs on a mix... listen to this from tip to tail for the full effect. And admittedly even though it is a dense album you do have to listen to it as a complete collection and worth any effort - it also gets better upon multiple spins. If it's not the best hip-hop album ever made it has to be in the conversation.... 9/10 5 stars.
YESSSSS I've been waiting for some true hip hop classics, this is a great place to start. Public Enemy is such an enigmatic duo to me. I grew up knowing Flava Flav from reality TV, but here he's the hype man for Chuck D, one of the most politically motivated rappers ever. This album is a bold political proclamation from front to back, but it's also extremely listenable and danceable. You can hear how easily these beats would turn a club up in the '90s. The sampling is really impressive, so many samples on here that appear throughout hip hop history. To name two, I heard a sample that appeared on Illmatic in '94, and a sample that appeared on Tribe's album from 2016. I also loved that Ice Cube was featured on a track, and it made me realize how similar Chuck D and Ice Cube's rap styles are. Cube is definitely indebted to Chuck D. This is a fantastic album. Favorite tracks: Fight the Power, Welcome to the Terrordome, Burn Hollywood Burn, Brothers Gonna Work It Out. Album art: This is a great one. I don't think it's as iconic as their prior album, but I like this one better honestly. Public Enemy's crosshair logo is incorporated into the black planet, the title is presented in Star Wars scroll-text fashion. Excellent colors, and I love the chyron across the bottom. 4.5/5
I've never been that much into hip-hop, but this late 80's/early 90's tracks by Public Enemy do bring some nice memories back. Love the production, all the layered samples and the flow on top of it. Those were nice times to innovate with this approach.
Chuck D and Flava Flav are wholly underrated in the pantheon of Hip Hop. The true voice of late 80s brooklyn, So New York that Spike Lee had them be characters in "Do the Right Thing". This is the anger boiling beneath the surface. Anger at the police for fixing broken windows and not broken streets. Anger at Hollywood. It's been 30 years, do we still fear a black planet? I don't know. Butt regardless, we should fight the power
On my Hip Hop education tour last year, I listened to this and their older album in full. While I liked their earlier album more, this one isn’t bad. You can see the influence these guys had on so much hip hop going forward not just stylistically and lyrically, but in samples as well. I heard “Dis Generation” on Revolutionary Generation which was sampled on the most recent Tribe album. My favorite song on the album is Fight the Power probably because that’s in the opening of Do the Right Thing. I hope their first album comes on this list as well but I’m glad this one did too. There are also some great interludes about people calling into the radio and complaining about Public Enemy and other types of bigotry that sadly still ring true today. They are saying so much with just their album cover alone, and the title. People who just want to be treated equally are often looked at as a “public” enemy and showing this black planet with someone in the cross hairs merging with earth really does invoke that fear of a “takeover” that so many are still unfoundedly afraid of today.
A great album for Black History Month. This is the genesis of truly radical hip hop that would go on to influence all the best hip hop records to date. Terminator X provides the hard-hitting production that keeps the music memorable, Chuck D's presence is unmatched, and Flav is...there. Not a perfect album, but still a one worth listening to for it's history alone.
I got two Public Enemy albums in a week. “Nation of Millions” earned my respect and this is even better.
I do really like Public Enemy. The lyrical flow, the emotion, the message, the delivery - all excellent. However, I'm not a always a fan of the constant repetition of short samples that backs the majority of the tracks. Sometimes it works great, other times it can become a bit monotonous. The whole album also feels a bit long. Regardless, this is a classic from the golden era of hip hop and, due to tighter restrictions on the use of samples, records in this style will probably stay resigned to the past. (3.7)
definitely influencing the genre.
Relentless, crushing beats and noise, and wave after wave of sounds and noise and drones. Dizzying panning and cutups, sonic bombardment, a cavalcade of voices and slogans
Huge credit for cultural, social, and political relevance. Also a gateway and a huge jump in production and quality between 80s and 90s hip hop. The whole thing runs a bit long but the message and concistency holds up. Chuck's delivery is also one of the best. Terrordome is probably the best track even if 911 and fight the power are more popular and relevant.
This was a great listen. Full of energy: poetic, politically-charged lyrics, bouncing bass-dominated rhythms, a cacophony of percussion, noodling electric guitar: it sounds like it was recorded in a party house in Brooklyn back in the day.
A really good album. There's definitely a lot to like here. Chuck D is great as to be expected. Flavor Flav has his finest moment in "9-1-1 is a Joke" and Terminator X supplies some great beats. However, there are some hiccups. Pollywanacracker has some weird vocal fry stuff that just grates on me. I can't stand it. I feel like the album loses some steam starting with "Can't Do Nuttin For Ya Man" they're not bad songs but the real greatness doesn't come back for me until the closer, the classic "Fight The Power" Overall it's a really good album, it's just not quite as good as "It Takes A Nation..." Still very much worth listening to.
‘Fear Of A Black Planet’ is relentless. It’s harder, angrier, more intimidating, and full of even more samples twisted beyond recognition than on ‘It Takes A Nation of Millions…’. It starts and finishes phenomenally well, but the middle sags as the record almost buckles under the weight of its political message and the dense and brutal nature of its beats. It’s still a great album, and you can’t question its legacy or influence, it’s just exhausting to listen to all the way through.
Public Enemy was that tiny bit too old by the time I started listening to music that wasn't in the top 40 (metal, rap, punk etc). Even though it was only about 1992-93, Public Enemy was already a thing of the past. I knew who they were, but no one was listening to them. It was all about much more "gangsta" shit by that point, or Cypress Hill - thinking about it, there was an almost instant shift away from PE's style. Not sure what the catalyst was, would be interesting to know. But out with the socially-conscious lyric stuff, in with the street life and weed themes. That may also just have been a regional Australia thing and limited to my own experience, can't say for sure. But it's weird to realise that PE were releasing albums that sounded this good right up to the changing of the guard. It's not like they were washed up or anything and needed to pass the torch. In any case, I do really like this style. The sampling and drum beats etc float my boat much more than the later "bassline + drum machine" formula that became the norm. And Chuck D's voice is genuinely cool. I'd listen to him read the phone book. This is an easy 4/5 - I'd give it a full 5 but it's over an hour and some of it (eg. "Pollywannacraka") was filler.
Among the religious traditions of India, Asia, and Africa, certain deities are sometimes invoked for the purpose of destruction. They are portrayed in iconography as real bad asses, physically imposing, fiercely armed. But their purposes are not considered evil. Rather, the destruction they practice is actually designed for the elimination of things that are an impediment to one’s ability to be fully self-realized- the destroying of unhealthy behaviors and attitudes, everything from a bad cigarette addiction to a bad temper. Public Enemy is a band of destruction, with their sights on unjust systems and a biased status quo that present major obstacles to the realization of a more fully developed human consciousness. So, yeah, they’re unapologetically aggressive, and not especially interested in necessarily being your friend. (That said, P.E. should be commended for its consistent respect of black women, and criticism of the misogyny that exists among the male members of the black community.) Given all this, is it any surprise that the general lyrical content of 'Fear Of A Black Planet' is received fearfully among whites? ‘Elvis was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me, you see, straight up racist that sucker was, simple and plain. Motherfuck him and John Wayne.’ Whoa, who shines whiter among whites than Elvis Presley and John Motherfuckin’ Wayne? Follow up lyric: ‘I’m Black and I’m proud. I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped. Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps. Sample a look back you look and find nothing but rednecks or 400 years if you check.’ – ‘Fight the Power.’ Invoking destructive powers, though, can be dangerous business because of the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as in P.E.’s unfortunate running feud with Jews witnessed on ‘Welcome to the Terrordome.’ But this LP is so aggressive, so offensive (I mean that in the sense of advancing, not insulting) that there’s bound to be some ricocheted verbal ammunition. And Chuck D is the voice for these lyrics with his commanding and passionate baritone, ringing out like a hammer on anvil, hard and loud and proud. Along with Terminator X’s infectious scratching, and the Bomb Squad’s always lively producing, 'Fear Of A Black Planet' comes, literally, with lots of bells and whistles… and sirens and gunshots. It’s fast paced and busy, instrumentally and verbally, with multi-layers of samples. This’ll raise your blood pressure, whatever race. I say all this as a long-time fan of P.E, and this LP being one of my two favorites from their body of work. Sure, they come with conditions, and some I don’t particularly espouse myself of a troublesome theological and ethical nature. The listener will do well, though, to acknowledge that while both John Wayne and especially Elvis are deified among many American whites, they too come with their own moral shortcomings. This lyric from ‘Pollywanacraka’ is important to consider in an overall assessment of P.E.’s position: ‘The devil splits us in pairs and taught us white is good and black is bad, and black and white is still too bad.’ Remember to whom Chuck D is claiming ultimate allegiance- God, and not the devil. And as such, he’s promoting tolerance among both whites and blacks when it comes to interracial relationships. Thus, an interesting question posed to frightened whites on the title track, putting the ball in their court: ‘What’s wrong with some color in your family tree?’ ‘Now we are ready if you are ready,’ Chuck D challenges the African American community on the first song following the intro. ‘Brother’s gonna work it out.’ Sadly, over thirty years later, there is still much left targeted but untouched for demolition.
The definition of a mixed bag. I do not like Flavor Flav's schtick, I feel it totally waters the entire politically charged messages which I think are pretty good, I like Chuck D's delivery. From reading about Public Enemy it seems like Flavor Fav is sort of a hype-man for the group so I get it, it probably made sense and made them more popular, but in terms of the general "art" his inclusion drags it down. Welcome to the Terrordome, Brothers Gonna Work It Out, Contract On The World Love Jam - Instrumental, and obviously Fight the Power are the standout tracks.
Public Enemy come out with a record that emphasised the mood of the time: anger. As many felt their world was under fire (and indeed it truly was for othres), Public Enemy guides you through the emotional rollercoaster in this time. Strong themes of social justice exploring racial injustice, stereotyping, and feminism; this is a record that truly speaks it's mind.
The social commentary is the real star of this album. Public Enemy muses on the plight of black Americans like: feeling less than marginalized (911 Is A Joke), mistreatment of women (Revolutionary Generation ), and being stigmatized (Who Stole The Soul). There are also several songs with positive messages like: black men should help each other out (Brothers Gonna Work It Out), interracial relationships are acceptable (Pollywanacraka), and black pride (Fight The Power). Musically however, there isn’t much to point to on this album. The vocalists are not great. I get that it’s hip hop, but their voices are not good even with the style being more spoken word than singing. The music screams early 90s, and that’s not a compliment here. The sound is dated. There aren’t any terribly interesting hooks, samples, nor beats. This rating is based solely on the apt social exposition. I remember that Public Enemy pissed off a bunch of the white establishment. Of course the white establishment twisted the focus onto the “vulgarity” of the music by doing some of the very things Public Enemy was protesting against on this album. Unfortunately, too much of the message is still relevant today.
Listened to a few tracks. Not feeling old school hip hop these days. Will revisit
I expected a more tunes than vocals
I don't usually listen to hip hop, but it was pretty solid Some of the tracks were pretty catchy, but I didn't feel a connection to it
I guess it's OK. It didn't really annoy me, but it didn't really interest me in any way either, so I stopped midway through because it's on the long side.
Encore un album de hip-hop au bout duquel on a le sentiment d'avoir écouté la même chose pendant plus d'une heure (les albums de ce genre musical durent en moyenne une heure quarante-cinq). J'ai envoyé une carte postale à Robert pour avoir davantage d'explications, sa réponse devrait arriver dans une poignée de jours ouvrables, je vous tiendrai informé.
i'm sure it's an "important" entry, but it's not for me. purportedly socially conscious rap containing homophobia and antisemitism might be clever if done ironically, but i don't think they were smart enough for that. i think it's genuine in its crudeness and cruelty. hot garbage
Incredible album, innovative instrumentals, great pen game. Chuck D is an all time great
I enjoyed. Hip hop / sampled beats
YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THIS SHIT GOOD ASF
Some wicked beats with important social messages
Strong hip hop from start to finish.
My first time getting into a Public Enemy album. It’s good shit, hip hop that came before my time.
Amazing album. Their best.
Oh rap. Flava flav.
Loved the production and beats on this album.
Solid album, obvi Faves were Can't do nuttin for ya, man and war at 33 1/3
Shifts and mutates like it’s working stream-of-consciousness
Sick beats, sick lyrics. I loved this album and I thought that the commentary was scathing and also still poignant. My favorite tracks were 911 Is a Joke, Fight the Power, and Power to the People, but I liked all the songs (instrumentals included).
Iconic! And still just as relevant today as it was back then.
Great album -- great music that really pulls me in, and the lyrics are always worth a listen. Right album by the right group at the right time.
Public Enemy is the greatest rap group of all time. This isn’t their best record, but it’s close
Badass, can we get hip-hop like this again?
An absolute game changer. PE dropped a classic with this one. "Burn Hollywood Burn" is a favorite of mine, but a lot of these songs are trailblazers.
The first thing that hits you in the face is that these beats are peak early hiphop. They are just so damn tasty. Then you start listening to the lyrics and are forced to confront the depth of the social commentary on display here. Chuck D and Flavor Flav are on the very top of their significant game with this album. It's intense. It's rowdy. It's aware. It's brash. It's fun. But it's also surprisingly balanced in the way that it approaches racial issues while staying angry that there are still issues. I get that, Public Enemy. I feel that anger and hope still, 32 years later.
Easily the best of the three Public Enemy albums we’ve had so far. Just fantastic scratching - some of the best use of sampling I’ve ever heard. Politically active lyrics and minimal yeaaaaaa boiiiiiiiiii’s (thank god) Fave tracks: “Welcome To The Terrordome” “Burn Hollywood Burn” “911 is a Joke”
Just as relevant now as it was when released 31 years ago. Sooooo good.
Ferocious and powerful album. I remember being amazed by it at the time it came out and am still amazed by it now. Lyrically it is peak Public Enemy and the beats behind the raps take on a new level. In comparison, It Takes a Nation of Millions sound stripped back. It is an uncomfortable listen at times and the length of the album made it an impossible task to listen to in one sitting. Worth it for the amount of top tracks on here, 911 Is A Joke, Welcome To The Terrordome, Burn Hollywood Burn and Fight The Power all as relevant as the day they got released
Great, great album Not familiar, again, to the genre, but very approachable "Welcome to the Terrordrome" is quite memorable Great use of sampling
Of a time and also very relevant today. Public Enemy sounds focused in their messaging with great delivery over excellent sampling.
Eu descobri q na real eu gosto bastante de hip hop 5/5
this was really great! i liked the production more than the other public enemy record we listened to
Great album. I liked this one more than the prior good blend of rap hip hop and other instrumentation
I remember watching Do The Right Thing and hearing Fight The Power for the first time - by proxy through Radio Raheem's boombox, and falling in love with the track, not fully appreciating the political nature of the record. 911 Is A Joke, Welcome to the Terrordome, Brothers Gonna Work It Out, Fear of a Black Planet, Can't Do Nothing for Ya Man and Fight the Power are the standout tracks for me - and Public Enemy show that a statement can be made without resorting to profanity (in the main) and still be as effective 30 years later.
Ovo nije it takes... Ali i dalje je jebeno
It's still got it. It's a thrilling, important, inspirational record. Basically perfect
This and 'It Takes a Nation of Millions' are my favourite rap albums. I love the production, the flow, the attitude. The claims of anti-semitism are concerning - but I don't hear them here.
Amazing album. The layering of music and sounds, talking, sound effects is intense and tells a story.
I'm a huge fan of rich and complex sounds. In Public Enemy's follow-up to It Takes a Million, they really spam sample after sample into a working mess, only a few months before the sample clearance system put hip hop into chaos. Chuck D is still as strong as ever, preaching socially conscious issues that tackle different issues about race, censorship, and public perception, not repeating themselves much at all. Flavor Flav once again makes his return as the best hype man in history, with supportive and even comical contributions which balance out Chuck D's aggressive nature. It's fast, powerful, and exciting, which changes in vibes but never slows down for more than a second. Funky enough to have you consistently raising your fist to the music, 95 or 22. This can be a bit draining for an hour-long album, but it carries the energy and sense of urgency of the album, making it an incredibly coherent and focused listen. I'd probably just cut it down by a few songs, but really none of them were obvious picks to remove. They were all fine. I think more shorter tracks like "Reggie Jax" dispersed throughout would be more digestable.
Still blown away by the cacophony of samples and Chuck D’s powerful voice. Noise rock bands wish they could be as visceral as peak PE sounded
I've enjoyed it. It gave me the desire to shot a cop in the face and round together wit' ma community for defending black wome'
Lot of noise when this came out about how the production was too dense to listen to. No, sounds fantastic. Had to check my vinyl and yes there were 20 tracks, 1 hour long, on it, so may have in fact been the mastering. The music is excellent, the hi points among their very best.
5/4 rhymes rhythmed
amazing 90s rap that never gets old
Such a great sounding album! Old git here, but this is how rap music should be produced. Still sounds dangerous and abrasive, and sad how the "controversial" stuff like the call-in sampled on Incident At 66.6 FM resembles the golden age of radio compared to the shit nowadays on Fox News etc. Fight The Power pushes this to a 5 easily
Seminal classic, should be taught in schools.
Classic slice of hip hop! Political stuff that resonates today.
wasn't expecting all the instrumental/light lyrical content, classic tenant in hip hop, fight the power indeed
I've seen Public Enemy and always thought of them as slightly preachy. This album makes me think less "preachy", more "passionate". At certain points, the songs can run kind of long, but the instrumentals are fucking awesome and the energy truly never dies. Favorite tracks: "Fear of a Black Planet", "Burn Hollywood Burn", "911 Is a Joke"
Fedt album men kunne godt være lidt kortere
Enjoyable rap album! I am not a very avid rap listener (although I am a huge fan of Kendrick Lamar and Eminem), but I found the suggested album to be a very nice surprise.
It’s no nation of millions
BRING THE NOISE
Better than expected
Fight the power!
fittyleven samples coheres into one funk groove
Favourite so far of albums. Can see why this is important album, was relatable then and still relatable. Fav song - burn Hollywood burn - completely correct about black film roles
I wanted to give this five stars. This was an iconic album of my youth. Probably the most anticipated one. But you can’t separate the people from the music. The homophobic and anti-Semitic lyrics and comments by Griff… I can’t see past them. The fact that this still gets 4 stars is a testament to how bloody good this album actually is.
Solid album, still relevant, still sounds fresh.
I like Chuck D. This album is varied, strongly written, and is a blast to play loud. Flavor gets on my nerves a bit, but he lets it loose in the right places.
Classic west coast hip hop, better lyricism than I expected
Commanding, authoritative, and sadly every bit as relevant today as it was when it was released. Fave track - I really like "Can't Do Nuttin' for Ya Man" but it feels slightly wrong to pick the goofiest track on the album, so I'll go with "Burn Hollywood Burn" instead!
Less Flava Flav is a big plus, liked this one much better than "it takes a nation of millions".
Este disco me recuerda el bombazo que fue la película "Do the right thing". Hipo-Hop que se hizo popular en los 90 y saltó a primer plano mundial. "Brothers gonna work it out", "911 is a joke", "Welcome to the Terrordome" y por supuesto "Fight the power".
All time classic. This was a formative album of my childhood, when I thought I was the most woke revolutionary kid in my southwestern Ontario farming community.
Fight the power
This will be interesting b/c rap isn't really my thing. Great listen. Love the flow.
Excellent - poignant lyrics and great tunes.
I like it a little less than I used to -- over the course of the runtime it just wears me out a little bit. Feels like there's not quite enough variety in the production to sustain a full hour of this. Without that fatigue it's good though. I actually really like 911 is a Joke, goofy as it is, cause it stands out compared to a lot of the other music. It's a 3.5 that's hard to round off either direction, but I like Chuck D enough to push it to a 4 I guess.
Whoa! Loving this. I honestly don’t know much about Public Enemy - but Chuck D spits fire; and I also have more respect from Flava Flav.
The album that ushered in the new hip-hop tracks of the 90's! This was a snippet of the evolution of hip-hop music during this time. This album features a collage of samples, scratches, high-tempo beats, and lyrical genius within their rhymes. Public Enemy's most famous album was a joy to listen to.
Good album, long to listen to all at once
The background opening puts the song at 4- right at the start. Kudos for the lyrics being unproblematic and while keeping flow and still talking about issues. Pollywanacraka is Lyrical hilarity, same for can't do nuttin for you man. The mixes are new to me, love this. Fight the Power. 4/5
Really solid, personally find it to be a lot more upbeat and energetic than n.w.a and contemporaries, the beats are more creative and social issues are also better explored in this album
Fantastic Hip-Hop / Rap album. Strong lyrically and musically. As relevant today as it was back in 1990.
Fantastic sampling and classic 90s rapping. Plus that cover just rules.
Really good listen. I find it more accessible than Millions, but with no song as immediately bracing as Don't Forget the Hype. I don't know how to judge good hip hop vs.not so good. UT I know what I like and I like this album 4 stars
Das oldschool baby, waarbij den dj nog belangrijk was. Ik vind het niet het beste beste dat ik ooit gehoord heb maar je hoort wel dat modernere hiphop hiervan veel heeft genomen
Deze vond ik leuk, de naam kwam me bekend voor maar wat een leuke old school vibe
Not sure how I never got around to appreciating this the way I did their first two albums. The production crackles, Chuck D is forceful, and Flav is used just enough. 4.5.
I liked it a lot. I liked the messaging
Classic jams! ...I didn't listen all the way through though.
I liked it. Bunch of good stuff in thete
A great album with a lot of well known songs. The message still rings strong today.
This was immensely enjoyable.
that was a fun album, I’ll give it an 8/10.
Rich and varied, enlightening, and angry and suspicious. Required listening.
Generic 80's rap
man, I can do none for you man
Classic. Very distracting music lol
30-years after it's release, and in the context of a George Floyd world, the album had more punch to me than it might have. A solid album. Really enjoyed listening to it, and really paying attention to the lyrics. Added.
True 90s hiphop
I know I said rap from this era was all the same, but Public Enemy was doing it different. 4.5/5
not even 75 albums in and i already got all public enemy albums lol
911’s a Joke and Fight the Power are anthemic and I found myself bopping to a lot of this album.
Hip hop is not my thing, but I’ve heard about Public Enemy in the past. Never listened anything from them before… After the first round, must confess that this album is all killer no filler! Excellent content, clean delivery, enjoyable, engaging… a big surprise! Adding some classic rap to my music mix, for sure
Really good. Flav has more songs than I realized and they’re better than I expected
Classic hip hop album.
Alger andstæða við Aphex Twin að því leyti að hér hef ég þroskast og finnst þetta oftar en ekki ansi skemmtilegt, ólíkt því sem mér fannst í gamla daga. Mjög hress cacophónía á köflum og beitt. En er ekki titiltextinn á umslaginu ósymmetrískur?
Fan ta den vita mannen FR
It took me a while after this was released, but it is a stone cold classic. Powerful and angry.
As always I feel ill equipped to critique hip hop, but I was really struck by the diversity in this album, unified by humor, wit, and anger.
A am familiar with some Public enemy songs but had never listened to an album in full. It's pretty full on. A lot of anger at the world. Is the planet any better now than what it was for Public Enemy back then? I'd say not. It's a good album.
Za pierwszym razem było ciężko, ale drugim razem jak odpaliłem to mi się słuchało całkiem nieźle, bity bardzo przyjemnie "funky" i wesołe
This album was sick, had me dancing around the grocery store. Awesome beats, unique sampling, great rap. I’m so glad I got this album today, I’d never heard of this group and feel like I’ve discovered a secret gem. This is a very strong 4/5 and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Amazing social commentary, powerful and compelling lyrics.
Solid rap from the era. Feels like a 3.5 to me, but rounding up because of the direct confrontation of white supremacy and leaning into the way media of the time talked about and tried to belittle issues they brought up
I always sort of dismissed Public Enemy because Flavor Flav came across as such a clown. This album is pretty good throughout, and I’m disappointed I’ve missed out. Good rap rockin beats - will listen to again. 4.5 stars and rounding down for the clock-pendants and matching Elton john glasses.
Took me ages to find the explicit filter settings to give this a proper listen.
A timeless album really. It's just so urgent and chaotic and really does feel exciting and dangerous even over 30 years later Also the guy talking about men in cages on Incident at 66.6FM sounds like Ben Shapiro
This is a solid old-school rap album, great flow, great beats, the "skits" are all pretty funny and there aren't too many of them. Very focused on racial themes among different systems like hollywood, policing, government, and society as a whole. Great album, it's a long one at 20 tracks, but didn't feel like it. Chuck D has excellent delivery and lyrics. Flava Flav is up and down, luckily he's not as prevalent on the album. Can't do nuttin for ya, man! was probably the lowest point of the album, but there was a lot to like in here. So much of the message is still relevant 30 years later; which is depressing to think about.
Not much of a rap or hip hop guy but I thought it was pretty cool !!
Another giant project, another great Public Enemy performance. There really is no one that sounds like this band. The recordings here sound like they're getting played out of a dumpster: I dig it.
Classic rap. Fight the Power is powerful and amazing. It does get a little monotonous in sound and message but a classic none the less. 4.5 🌟
Solid. Has all the musings of a good early 90s rap album. Found myself bobbing my head to the beats.
It's one of my favorite hip hop albums. I have a black and white t-shirt of this album cover. The songs are weirdly jamm-y and have big instrumental gaps, and yet also have a smattering of lyrics about slavery and race issues on top of music that is fun and energetic. It's a crazy sound.
Raw, political, aggressive and loud. Very loud. There's so much going in the music - so many layers of samples - that it can be hard to focus on anything sometimes. But when it works, the energy is unlike anything else. I also think the songs are better the louder you play them. This was designed to be played at maximum volume. Chuck D's flow hits really hard and doesn't sound as dated as a lot of other hip-hop from this era. "Welcome to the Terrordome" stood out to me as a good example of his rapping. Other highlights: “911 is a Joke,” “Burn Hollywood Burn,” “Power to the People,” “Fear of a Black Planet,” the beat on “Reggie Jax,” “Fight the Power”
I may have said this in a previous review but whenever I listen to '90s hip-hop I like it a lot more than I expect to. Definitely want to check out some more of the genre
Golden Age of Hiphop? More like Golden Age of Sampling. That was my first impression about this album. It's not bad. And I know that sampling is one of the foundations of most great hiphop sounds. The opener is a beautiful sound collage of samples. I heard some familiar tunes and some soundbites. This is basically the entire album. Samples. In the so-called Golden Age of Hiphop, they can sample as much music and soundbites as they want without getting sued. Public Enemy did a great job using these samples to create a rich sound. They aren't like other rappers/producers who stack up layers of samples and beats like it's lasagna, but they painted every note with a piece of sound to push the overall atmosphere. It's one hour of dense beats, deep lyrics, and complex commentaries. That being said, it's dense. It's a pretty demanding listen. I didn't enjoy most of it, especially the second half, where it became monotonous. But I respect it. I like the popular singles, and how the samples are used. Apparently, they used jazz, soul, and R&B - elitist music - without leaving their humble roots. I know Public Enemy transformed rap from a fad to something revolutionary. Something that even requires social consciousness. This album really proved it for me. A classic from the Golden Age of Hiphop.
Yet another brilliant album from innovative artists.
Got this one on vinyl. Definitivno je ovaj album u to vrijeme bio jako potreban. Ma i sad je....Album koji je dosta "raznolik", ali tema je tu, politika, black people, prava. Nije mi iskreno čista četvorka, ali tu je.
Really liked this. I love the drum beats they use. Plus Flavor Flav wore lots of massive clock necklaces so that's a good thing.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was hoping the generator gave everyone "Born In The USA" on July 4th, just to be clever. Chuck D was a hero to many, but he never meant shit to me. That's not a diss, sort of like how the Elvis line in "Fight The Power" wasn't a complete diss. I just didn't know shit about Public Enemy until I was exposed to Rosie Perez dancing to "Fight The Power" during the opening credits of "Do The Right Thing". What an introduction to the world for Rosie Perez! Director Spike Lee says he got the inspiration to open Do The Right Thing from Ann Margaret singing and dancing in Bye Bye Birdie. Rosie outdoes the legendary Ann Margaret in her iconic dance sequence. Ann Margaret is forever linked to Elvis, and because of Chuck D's infamous line in "Fight The Power", so is Public Enemy. Chuck D is my favorite rapper. I just love his voice. Flavor Flav is probably my least favorite. But Chuck D's voice is so powerful it makes Flavor Flav's impact on me a non-factor. But I always go back to Rosie Perez owning that moment, dancing and shadowboxing to "Fight The Power" to let us know that "Do The Right Thing" is no ordinary movie. Fight The Power was the result of Spike Lee reaching out to public enemy to create a song for his film. It's just the perfect marriage of music and film. And this album proves that one can appreciate both Elvis and Public Enemy. Maybe this was the most appropriate album for the 4th of July after all.
Some absolute classics here, with a bit of filler. Claustrophobic and in your face. I have the cd.
I liked it
Urgent, angry, relentless beats, powerful lyrics. Exceptional
I really liked the high energy, samples and lyricism. First half was a little stronger than the second. Favorite: Burn Hollywood Burn
Classic fight the power and other interesting tracks
No rest for the listener in this fast-paced rush of an album. Culturally significant, lyrically poignant, and catchy as hell, this is some great hip hop. I can easily see why this blew up and made such big names of the band members.
4.2 - I prefer this one to “It Takes a Nation…” The beats are better, the rhymes and cadence more relentless and the focus more devastating. Great use of news soundbites and snippets from political speeches. The brief DJ vignettes between tracks add to the overall flow. Highlights: “911 Is A Joke”, “Welcome to the Terrordome”, “Fear of a Black Planet”, “Fight the Power.”
- Funky - Anti-authority but with some powerful messaging - Agree or disagree they don't hold back on their views - Musically fun
This album is probably Public Enemy’s best and confronts how they are portrayed in media while making a larger statement on the Black experience in America. Chuck D’s lyrics are insightful and are an incisive criticism on American society and media. His delivery is methodical and deliberate, the perfect complement to Flavor Flav’s more energetic rapid fire style. The only thing about this album that wore on me was its length. Perhaps I just need to listen to it again, but unlike some other albums that run over an hour, I definitely noticed it.
Hip hop is not really my thing but the album was interesting to listen to. Plenty of attitude and each track is punchy.
Great album and a true pioneer of sampledelica. At times it does feel a bit anxious or overwhelming due to the insane combination of samples utilised, however this is made up for incredible songwriting and social commentary that is unfortunately still relevant 30 years later. Favourite Tracks: - Fight the Power - Welcome to the Terrordome - 911 is a Joke - Fear of a Black Planet - Revolutionary Generation - Power to the People - Who Stole the Soul? - Burn Hollywood Burn Overall Grade: 4/5 (A-)
Solid album. Standout is "Fight the Power" but the whole album is a good listen. Can now understand how this album was so important for future hip hop.
Brilliant, both musically, and lyrically......
I got two Public Enemy albums in a week. “Nation of Millions” earned my respect and this is even better. (prior listen)
I liked it a lot. My criticism is that most of the time there’s so much going on with the music it’s overwhelming.
Listened at low volume, but enjoyed. Worth another listen at higher volume, I think.
not well served by orpington
Angry rap. The best kind.
first listen i appreciate this album but probably won’t be revisiting it
Never listened to much Public Enemy before, but this album was awesome
This is definitely a landmark album in Hip Hop. I don't enjoy it quite as much as "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back", and its bombastic, production can be a bit too jarring at times, but it does an excellent job of getting Public Enemy's message across. I've always felt that P.E. channelled their anger much more effectively into their music than N.W.A. It's a challenging album to listen to and they are guilty of the occasional homophobic or sexist lyric, but nothing anywhere near what turned me off "The Chronic". It helps that they actually have a clear political message to convey, and don't waste time metaphorically waving their dicks around like Dre and Snoop!
foundational and transitional. Illmatic is my nominee for best rap album but nothing sounded like this at the time.
Legendary, raw, and energized. Chuck D can make you follow his every word and emotion- I'm ready to flip a cop car. This record rightfully played a part in fathering a whole movement of conscious hip hop, and still stands as both endlessly listenable and just as socially relevant today. It's as much a party playlist as it is a protest anthem, as much a window into its time as it is a reflection of now. Really great stuff. If only Flav weren't so corny, man. I think he had no business being lead for any tracks, but also find him overrated as a hype man. Highlights: Fight the Power, Burn Hollywood Burn, Welcome to the Terrordome, 911 is a Joke (the beat, lyrics, vibe) Lowlights: 911 is a Joke (Flav's delivery), Can't Do Nuttin For Ya Man.
I actually enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would. Could do without Flavor Flav, but I like the messages, Chuck D is very engaging, and I really enjoyed some of the experiments they did with the stereo mix. Not something I’ll listen to a lot, but much better than most hiphop I’ve been exposed to.
Some really good songs on this. Public Enemy political stance made them seem punk to me. Lots of energy on this record. I'd say the skits don't hold up but that's my complaint about most hip hop albums.
Held up far better than Run DMC… I’ve never listened to this record in its entirety, but I really liked it. Was never much for rap in the past, but finding it more interesting than I thought I would. Sadly still relevant.
Was not a rap fan at the time of the release but many of my friends were, so I heard this album many times. Started to like one, then 2 then more songs, then most of the album. Really good album with a well crafted social message.
I sometimes think how much better PE would be without hype man, Flavor Flav. Chuck D is amazing and carries an awesome group.