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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

Public Enemy

1988

Wikipedia

It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

Rating

3.38

Votes

3761

Reviews

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5

Packed to the rafters lyrically and musically. Intimidating, angry and militant, but also funky as all hell with its insane twisting of samples into new shapes and hard as nails wall of sound production that bores into your skull like a pneumatic drill. 58 minutes of pure adrenaline that always leaves you needing to catch your breath at the end. Then there’s all the rappers, beat makers and artists who have built careers off the back of ripping this album off, Dr. Dre being one of the most obvious examples. ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ is still the sound of an exploding rap supernova whose impact still reverberates 30 plus years later.

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1

“It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” by Public Enemy (1988) This is another recording that must be listened to in context. From a distance of over thirty years it sounds trite, boastful, and limp. But in its day it was revolutionary. The emphasis on the album is not the music (which is mostly out of a can), but the poetry, which is powerful, and powerfully delivered by Chuck D. (rah-rah comic foil Flavor Flav, not so much). Chuck D.’s diction and elocution are good enough so that his poetry can be heard rather than read. That is a huge plus. Only by hearing can we grasp the anger and the prophetic dynamism. This album is political poetry. The message here is the potent assertion of blackness. And the beats, rhymes, samples, and topics are well selected to serve that end. Whatever one may think of the notion of the ‘blackness’ they are asserting, there is no denying that it has coherence and power. And how is it ‘political’? The German political philosopher Carl Schmitt, in defining the conceptual essence of the ‘political’ said: “[T]he specific political distinction … is that between friend and enemy. [and further], The enemy is solely the public enemy” (The Concept of the Political, 1927, 2007 ET, pp. 26, 28, emphasis added). Then, in favorably noting the famous 1853 dictum of Carl von Clausewitz, Schmitt elucidates: “‘War is nothing but a continuation of political intercourse with a mixture of other means.’ To be precise, war, for Clausewitz, is not merely one of many instruments, but the ultima ratio of the friend-enemy grouping.” (Ibid, p. 34, n. 14). Schmitt became a Nazi in 1933, and was very influential in the actualization of the Nazis’ political aims. We all know how the Nazis treated their enemies. The political poetry of this album is radical and revolutionary in that the poet takes up Schmitt’s political conception, and then, with stunningly innovative boldness, defines himself as the enemy—and a very public enemy at that. It’s a marvelous moment of clarity. Public Enemy is a cultural extension of the black nationalist political philosophy of Louis Farrakhan and Malcolm X, not the nonviolent activist liberalism of Martin Luther King, Jr. If you keep all this in mind as you listen to the album, you will be well tuned in to their artistic purpose, unsettling as it might be. 1/5

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5

The beats on this thing are so freaking good. The Bomb Squad was on FIRE on this one. Way ahead of its time. Chuck D is so charasmatic on the mic, one of the best to ever do it. Flava Flav is a top tier hype man, he never feels like he takes away from the tracks, lots of charisma on Cold Lampin’. So cinematic, it flows together so freaking well, lot of incredible social and political commentary

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4

So damn good. The beats, the socially conscious lyrics, the talent. They hype man with a giant clock necklace. Great hip hop album all around

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3

While it was a really good album some songs seemed repetitive or samples sounded weirdly placed. Not a favorite but still really excellent.

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5

Dope as hell.

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5

New form of poetry. Chuck D is a rap god

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5

More than likely the best rap album ever made.

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5

Mad sampling. High speed hip hop.

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5

This album is still great. It's wild that this was once considered dangerous music. White people... smh

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5

Raw. The only down beat is Flava talking about all different kinds of flava.

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5

But what if I do, do, do believe the hype?? This record slams. And I say that as someone who was an Anthrax fan first. Surprised at how well this holds up and how good this list’s track record has been so far with hip hop. (Three for three?) I could listen to Flavor Flav rap about food and stinky breath for hours.

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5

So much great sampling from a much different time in the music industry. This album marks one of the many peaks of hip hop.

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5

Another one I listened to recently, before it came up here. This is a classic. It reminds me of high school, and is just such an important album. I was listening to it in preparation for sharing it with the kids. It still holds up.

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5

Mucha energía en este álbum, muy poderoso, mucha denuncia y, bueno, creo que desmenuzarlo letra por letra, verso por verso sería un trabajo muy extenso. Todos los beats tienen su encanto, su punch y hasta los interludes suenan muy chidos, por ejemplo "Security of the First World", chingona. Las canciones que más me gustaron "Don't Believe the Hype", "Louder Than A Bomb", "Rebel Without A Pause" y "Prophets of Rage". Y pus ya: "Freedom is a road seldom travelled by the multitude". 10/10

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5

Super fun

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5

Esto es una obra de arte. un totem. tecnología africana del futuro. arte postmoderno. deleuze y guattari en rimas jamás caducadas. este pedo reordena tus neuronas.

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5

Amazing how much better rap and hip hop was back then. Today's artists should have a listen to this

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5

Not all perfect but some is a game changing 10

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5

Una muy grata sorpresa (?). Aunque sí identificaba a Public Enemy como uno de los representantes del hip hop más importantes, nunca los había escuchado y este álbum me gustó bastante. Tiene un muy buen ritmo y letras muy directas, cada canción se sostiene por su cuenta pero ya en conjunto arman un gran trabajo. En especial me sorprendió “She Watch Channel Zero?!” porque no vi venir la mezcla más rock (?), pero todo ok.

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5

Such a good group. Chuck D is one of my fave MCs. And Terminator X is such a good dj. The beats and political charges lyrics come together so we'll and makes for a good listen.

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5

What an album! Just overflowing with ideas. It's playful, political, and makes really inventive and extensive use of samples. Another bridge record that feels like it's connecting 80s rap to its future directions. Flava Flav's interjections are the perfect counterbalance to Chuck D's hard-hitting lyrics and I feel like makes them even stronger. Favourite track: "Night of the Living Baseheads" among many!

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5

Really surprised how much I loved this. Like Nick said, there's a kinetic energy and playfulness between the members, but they're able to keep up their politically-fuelled lyrics. It's soulful, the beats are so full and realized, definitely going to be a repeat listen. Fav Tracks: Rebel Without a Pause and Don't Believe the Hype. Rating 4.5/5

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5

Top old school hip hop

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5

Excellent early rap album. Chuck Ds lyrics and rap style is among the best. The beats are hard and not overly funky like other late 80s early 90s. This album is far more influential than most other rap albums. Not my favorite rap album but it gets a bump for the legacy. 9.0/10

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5

This is one of the best albums of all time.

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5

classic rap/hip hop in the 80s/90s. Yeah boyyyyyyy, a classic for flav.

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5

Bonafide, stone cold, 5 star classic!

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5

Fantastic.

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5

Classic album with so many great songs.

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5

Classic. Great songs. Great beats. I would definitely listen to again.

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5

yeeaaaaaahhh boyyyyyy!!! this was great. Angry rap with a message. Great album

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5

-"bring the noise" needs no review it is THE public enemy song. It is amazing how much Chuck D is complimented by Flavor Flav. Obviously he doesn't offer much lyrically but it just isn't PE without some flavor. -"don't believe the hype" is still fucking topical today "don't believe the hype, it's a sequel. As an equal, can I get this through to you. My 98's boomin' with a trunk of funk. All the jealous punks can't stop the dunk. Comin' from the school of hard knocks. Some perpetrate, they drink Clorox. Attack the black, 'cause I know they lack exact." My GAWD Chuck D 🥵🥵🥵 -"cold lampin with flavor" is my favorite beat in the album with my least favorite lyrics. Flavor should just remain the hype man. -"terminator x to the edge of panic" God damn does terminator go in on this track show casing exactly why P.E. shaped the east coast hip-hop sound. Long Island was never the same after him. -

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5

At the time it took a few plays to make sense but once it hit me it hit hard. Still wonderful.

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5

This was my first ever hip hop / rap album and still perhaps my favoeite. like most albums of this genres i wish it were 10 minutes shorter, but its got great tunes. It does sound a bit samey throughout but it still manages to keep me interested to the. 4.75 ⭐️

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5

Still just as hype as the first time I heard it. Amazing beats and amazing raps. Definitely a classic.

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5

Seminal album for an genre…. This is politically charged hip hop at its absolute best!

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5

Forgot how incredible this album was, and how good it still is! Lyrics are fantastic. Beats are perfection.

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5

¿Qué queréis que os diga? Qué grandes y en muchos aspectos qué olvidados. Me encanta cómo suenan, cómo rapean, alucinante lo que consigo pillar de las letras. Imprescindible es poco. Cinco estrellas totales. Bring the noise, Don't believe the hype, Terminator X to the edge of panic, Show 'em whatcha got, She watch channel zero, Rebel without a pause, Prophets of rage y para terminar Party for your right to fight.

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5

Do believe the hype

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5

It has to be 5 stars, if it’s not 5 million. Such an album.

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5

I definitely needed some angry political music after the domestic terrorist Kyle Rittenhouse was found "not guilty" today. A must listen for any hip hop fan.

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5

A classic of the genre. It's simultaneously fun to listen to and thought provoking. I could see some people not enjoying the old school sound, but I love it.

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5

Solid album with plenty of bangers

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5

This album is a Revolution!

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5

Though I prefer "Fear of a Black Planet," as I feel that is where they perfected what they established here, this is the breakthrough. This album holds up amazingly well over time, even when you compare it to other albums that came later in its wake. Chuck D's voice is absolutely commanding, and I even appreciate Flavor Flav for his levity and the contrast of style he provides, but it's the beats that completely floor me. I love the fast paced, noise-filled collage. Skillfully controlled chaos. It's high art.

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5

Really liked this one, and liked it even more after going to the Wikipedia link. (Having the Wikipedia link was a great idea... I'm enjoying learning about the albums as well as listening to them, and even for the ones I don't like as much, it's interesting to have the context around them.) I haven't listened to much hip-hop or rap in general, but I'm glad this generator is introducing me to artists and albums that I probably wouldn't have looked up on my own. Would go back and listen to this one again, and possibly pull up the lyrics to read along as they rap.

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5

Powerful

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5

already have! :)

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5

Excellent music Chuck D and Terminator X put together constantly fighting against Flavor Flav. They win, but God damn is it a battle.

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5

Yeahhhh boyyyyyy

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5

One of the most important albums of the 20th century.

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5

Should be mandatory listening in schools.

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5

I love boomboxes!

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5

Public Enemy is always great. Awesome & legendary album.

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5

The bside is especially fantastic but overall great

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5

Avais-je mal écouté Fear of a Black Planet? Celui-ci me paraît vraiment meilleur, il y a une plus grande diversité et ça rentre vraiment au poste. Un aboutissement du rap des années 80.

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5

The best - perhaps the only rap album without a second of filler. No skits, and even Flavor Flav is kept on a tight leash. The samples are brilliant and the beats unforgiving. A high water mark.

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5

*do believe the hype

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4

Top notch angry political tub thumping musically pioneering rap

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4

OK, so this is where I first notice "it" in Public Enemy. I had heard it indicated in Apocalypse 91, and believed in it, but didn't clearly see it. This record is what deserves that 4, and my esteem for it might grow as I learn more about this classic era in rap. The centering of the DJ is great, and it's sad that that has mostly died. There are skits that actually make sense, though the live show conceit seems to fade on the second half. The strongest bits are the moments of sonic experimentation, and the cheeky lines and song titles.

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4

Solid!!

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4

Sick

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4

Good sound. Good Music. 4

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4

Don't Believe The Hype

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4

Solid bars and classic beats

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4

A solid 4 stars, reminiscent to Run DMC for me, but a little on the long side!

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4

An essential hip hop album that fits nicely in the history of the genre. This album makes strong political statements that are still poignant today. Their new york sound is clearly an influence of major groups like NWA and Wu-tang. -Draper

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4

Pretty good rap album

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4

Tony Hawk!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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4

Very good album. This isn't typically my speed, but I really enjoyed it.

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4

I can't be anything but a tourist in this genre which brings up all kinds of... feelings. I think I can appreciate it and respect the foundations it represents but it's not what I'd choose to listen to in the car.

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4

Great album, classic hip-hop

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4

Public Enemy is rad. Love the metal community crossover with Anthrax they ended up doing for Bring The Noise, and sampling Slayer was sick. Feels quintessentially late 80's hip hop. Love the big beats and big respect they make sure to give the DJ. Chuck D is cool as hell, Flavor Flav is...well, Flavor flav.

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4

Numbly piece this album together as one of the greats. Another I grew up with surrounded by older brothers.

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4

8/10

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4

Great record. I don't know if i ever got deep enough into this one before to notice Slayer's Angel of Death sampled in one of the songs

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4

Respeito, mas não é noooossa coisas que amo ouvir não

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4

Really good, still holds up despite some of the production sounding a little rudimentary by today's post-Rockwilder standards. The lyrics still pack a wallop, and Chuck D's voice simply one of those things I like to listen to. Cool!

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4

Old school hip hop masterpiece... but not that masterpiece imo... a handful of untouchable classics in any case

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4

Gran disco. No tenía idea de la existencia de Public Enemy. Canciones que más me gustaron: Don't believe the hype porque qué coro pegajoso y Show 'em Whatcha Got porque los beats y loops están del uno. Como siempre con el rap, me falta siempre algo de variedad y yo casi nunca le pongo atención a las letras, de ahí que no le dé las 5 estrellas.

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4

Bring the Noise was actually not as engaging as I would have liked but the other tracks are really good.

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4

Niet geluisterd, maar ken dit album goed. Buiten dat het een classic is, klinkt het nog altijd tijdloos. En die mix tussen Chuck D., Flavor Flave en al die samples zijn te gek.

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4

Good album. Bored by the end though.

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4

Public Enemy are always reliably ace

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4

Had a great time nodding along to this

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4

Never really loved public enemy, that said, a respectable album nonetheless

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4

A good upbeat listen.

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4

Yeeeaaaaaaaa Boooiiiii! Loved this

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4

This was far more familiar than expected, not what I'd normally listen to, but enjoyable.

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4

This was very much one of those albums where I went "oh that's where that came from." Truthfully, didn't do this one justice but generally liked what I heard. Their voices pair great together and seem to lay the foundation for rap dues like Run the Jewels that follow.

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4

Классные биты, интересный текст, немного не понравилось сведение и биты однообразные

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4

Still awesome.

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4

I like this album so really good songs however a few songs I didn’t like, that stop it being 5 stars it’s an album that keeps your attention from start to finish 4/5

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4

Great old school Hip-Hop

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4

Great beats, great rapping by Chuck D, and Flavor Flav adds the flavor that makes it all go down nicely! There's no filler on this album every track is good to great.

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4

boppy

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4

Great, amazing sampling. The way each sample really mushes together is great. I recognized some from other songs, so when i went to genius to check i was surprised to see how much each track from this album was sampled. I was a bit underwhelmed by the rappers but they were still good. I liked Chuck D but not too much. Flav had a lot of moments too, like in Cold Lampin With The Flavor. They both have very unique and contrasting voices which i do like. Overall it was as much as 80s hiphop as 80s hiphop can get, which I admittedly like but don't listen to a lot of. 7/10 As of July 12th 2021 Best Tracks: Bring The Noise, Don't Believe The Hype, Cold Lampin With The Flavor, She Watch Channel Zero?!, Rebel Without a Pause, Party For Your Right To Fight Worst Track: Mind Terrorist

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4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Party for your right to fight

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4

Party for your right to 4 stars

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4

pure raw energy

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4

I think if I was judging this album according to its lyrical content alone, I might have a less favorable impression than I do. Rap lyricism has changed so much since this album was released that it can't help but sound dated. It's good, but it sounds very much of its time. The music, however, still feels revolutionary. It's dated in certain ways because of the technology, but they made so many cool, bold choices in making this album. A true classic 4/5

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4

Heard this once or twice before, and I'd heard the metal version of bring the noise first. It's weird listening to it without guitars. Rest of the album is about the same, pretty cool beats and rhymes etc. Doesn't drop off or get old, good album. Flava Flav sure does like talking about himself though lol. Apparently he's a musical genius, like can play any instrument etc. 4/5.

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4

YyyyeaaaaahBuoiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Very nice, will get the album. Quite cool to discover stuff like this

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4

For the love of Flavour

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4

Listen to this album these days sounds a little bit old, but keeping in mind the importance of public enemy for hip-hop history, it's very easy to note the importance of it. I liked to note how much rock samples were used in these early hip-hop songs. For sure, I'm biased, but I believe that more modern hip-hop songs lost this link with rock songs.

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4

Fast and hard af… did anyone read that “black supremacy” review? Bruh you write quite well but quite inputting that boomer frustration energy in here

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4

Good listen. Favorite track is Louder than a Bomb

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4

The rappers press on dramatically and paroxysmally in a patchwork of rap noises, casual bandisms, scratch improvisations (Terminator X, aka Norman Rogers, the scratch wizard) and electronic disturbances. It's a classic, an overwhelming and sophisticated sampler of revolutionary music. (7/10) Favourite Tracks: Terminator X to the Edge of Panic

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4

11th October 2021 Listened on the sleepy drive back from Cadiz on Saturday. 80s hip hop! Love it!

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4

A huge part of the foundation of hip hop, this inspired pretty much everything that came after. I didn't realize Flava Flav could rap but his track is actually pretty good.

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4

33. It Takes a Nation of Millions - Public Enemy 16 tracks. This was a real blast from the past and other than the memories it triggered, I could hear the influence from this in lots of stuff since. I don't love rap, but there is no doubting how good this is. I really enjoyed it. 4/5

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4

A great listen! That intro makes it sound like Public Enemy puts on one hell of a live show... I love Tricky's version of "Black Steel" so it was great hearing the original. Fave track - "Prophets of Rage", maybe, or "Louder Than a Bomb". "Don't Believe The Hype" is a massive tune too, of course...

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4

U 3 dana dva Public Enemy-a? Ma mora da se šališ. Nego, ovo je kultni klasik hip hopa, pogotovo krajem 80ih. Ako ovo nisi poslušao dosad, ne znam šta se čeka? Definitivno najdraži hip hop album 80ih.

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4

This is one of the most important hip-hop albums of all time. "Bring the Noice" continues to be an anthem for standing up for the greater good. Chuck D's vocals grab your attention with his aggressiveness, but hold your attention with the message he's providing. This isn't a personal favorite of mine, but it is an absolute pleasure to listen to.

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4

Very enjoyable. First time hearing the whole album. Lots of sampled bits and pieces, callbacks and references that I have heard in other work relating back to this album.

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4

I have a distinct memory of seeing PE t shirts for sale at the old Toowoomba Target. They kind of broke through as fashion before I could get a handle on their music. Again another album where I've only really listened to the hits. I recommend everyone watching the doco 'Welcome To The Terrordome'

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4

Innovative. 4/5

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4

Good stuff

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4

Great lyrics, can see why they pioneered conscious rap.

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4

First time listening- album is great! Beats are powerful and well mixed. Great rhymes and strong delivery. Will listen to again

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4

i liked the themes of social justice :) it wasn't my type of music but i def wouldn't be pretentious enough to claim that it's objectively bad for that reason. the refrain of "burn Hollywood!" reminds me of "burn babylon!" in playing with fire by kings kaleidoscope... although i guess since playing with fire came afterwards, it should be the other way around. UNRELATED BUT JUST A FRIEND BY BIZ MARKIE PLAYED AS PART OF THE RADIO FOR THIS ALBUM AND I HAVE NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE?? I KNEW THE VERSION BY AUSTIN MAHONE BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THIS WOAH

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4

It's a politically and socially charged album that is fast paced with a dense and chaotic production style that relied on found sounds and avant-garde noise as much as it did on old-school funk. Listening to it today, it still sounds fresh and relevant. Best: Bring the Noise Worst: Mind Terrorist 3.5 Stars

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4

Brilliant. Lots of clever samples, lyrically magnificent, great flow, politically engaged, clear purpose and aims. I loved it.

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4

Birthplace of bands like RATM - high speed, energetic hip-hop. Just a sick listen!

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4

7/10. Sounded a bit like the Beastie Boys but taking themselves a bit more seriously. Which makes it sound like it was bad, but I quite liked it. May return to this for a more thorough listening/rating.

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4

8/10 goes very hard

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4

I have to admit I wasn't in the mood to listen to this during an already stressful and hectic Monday work morning, but surprisingly it fits very well with the chaos of the morning. Separate from my listening circumstances, I found myself drawn in by these tracks. Really cool layering of rhythms and harmonies from the drum loops on up through the vocal mix. Heard some nice influences, samples, etc., from R&B and funk, including some great guitar and bass lines. I definitely want to give a few re-listens along with the lyrics in front of me. I heard some good strong commentary in there and want to dive deeper. Strong, strong album.

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4

Great original material for the time. Hit tracks are the ones for a reason. Semi repetitive sound but still good.

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4

Some of these tracks sound like demos that were never updated. It still slaps, though. Best track: Bring the Noise

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4

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOI 4/5

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4

This is not an album you review in one day - this is an album that forms you and you grow up with - unfortunately I didn’t - I am going to need more time with it I guess - but so far I can see the specialness of it

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4

Chuck D is always on point, I enjoyed this album. Falls down a bit the 100th time Flavor Flav says "yea boy!" That is to say it could have been shorter.

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4

turns out I like public enemy and I didn't know it

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4

Absolutely groundbreaking hip hop album! 4.5/5 stars

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4

Don't Believe the Hype, indeed! Just foundational, a true template for so much to come (for better or worse). Chuck D-Flavor Flav maybe the Lennon-McCartney (or Simon-Garfunkel) of hip-hop. The grit and energy and edge are true and strong after all these years, even if the beats and tech are dated. Fear of a Black Planet even better.

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4

Yeahh Booiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

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4

This was my first time listening to a full Public Enemy album and I really enjoyed. Sick beats and lyrics, it was also the first time I heard the original "Bring The Noise". For some tracks it sounded a little repetitive for me (Cold Lampin' With Flavor), but nothing that really bothered. Still an awesome album. Favorite tracks: * Bring The Noise * She Watches Channel Zero?! (super cool guitar riff) * Prophets Of Rage

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4

Controversial opinion: This album walked so Apocalypse 91 could run.

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4

Muito bom.

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4

4.25

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4

The second half of the 80's marked a turn for hip hop. Though Run DMC was the first touchstone group for hardcore hip hop, it would be groups like N.W.A. and Public Enemy that would get especially aggressive in their delivery, effectively popularizing the subgenre. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back is an undeniable radical energy, with MC Chuck D giving hard-hitting lyrics with a tough-as-nails delivery, alongside hypeman Flavor Flav who elevates the music. While rapping is certainly good on here, it occasionally comes across as a dated and even a bit corny. Rapping has evolved a lot since 1988 and I'll be hones tin saying I'm not a huge fan of Flav's presence. The real shining star is the timeless production. Hank Shocklee, who would go on to be a member of The Bomb Squad producing Ice Cube's solo effort AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (also a great record). We also have the legendary Rick Rubin credited as an executive producer, though to what extent he's involved in the album, I don't know. Either way, the sampling and beats on this album are superb. Overall great album. Holds up well and it's almost all bangers.

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4

I think I mentioned this in the RUN-DMC review, but this production style seems cliche now. To the point that I can't really get past it and review objectively. But this is a good record. There is so much pomp and circumstance and these guys obviously are tackling some themes that I'm sure the 1980s moderates thought were "solved." Just like we thought were solved again in the 2010s. Also, I love Flava Flave. Or however that's spelled. Overall, I liked hearing this more than RUN-DMC. Seemed to have more of a point.

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4

A classic 80's hip hop sound, the beats and samples are awesome. Lyrically masterful, almost like a kind of poetry. Extremely fun to listen to, I really enjoyed this one!

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4

Still a great album. The original hype man "yeah Boy!.

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4

This is an all out celebration of who they are - loved it. The double bill of Bring the Noise and Don't Believe the Hype starts it out strong, and it keeps that level all the way through.

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4

Heavy hitting but flavour flav remains extraneous

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4

Yeeeaaaahh, boooooyeee! Props to Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and Terminator X for being the bleeding edge of hiphop just as it was truly breaking wide... but this didn't age all that well. The beats are basic, the rhymes are primitive, and the lyrics are more hype than substance. It feels undeveloped... rudimentary. But, at the end of the day, that's okay because this was the golden age of hiphop. The genre was still finding its feet as a mainstream art form. Every track was an experiment and every album a thesis statement. That ethos is prominently on display here which means that some tracks slap while others flop. Ultimately, it's an enjoyable bit of history that's more than worthy of a listen before you die.

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4

It's aight

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4

Due to copyright law changes albums like this are hard to find. Massive amount of samples with great beats and energy. A classic for sure. Would get a 5 but it suffers from a few too many tracks breaking up the tempo a bit.

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4

This was my first ever hip hop / rap album and still perhaps my favoeite. like most albums of this genres i wish it were 10 minutes shorter, but its got great tunes. It does sound a bit samey throughout but it still manages to keep me interested to the end. 4.5 ⭐️

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4

There's a bit of filler here and there, but the ones that hit are some of the most vital, iconic and just damn impressive hip-hop songs of all time

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4

I actually recognised a lot more songs than I would have expected from myself and had a blast while listening

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4

this is one of the best rap albums of all time and i love the lyrics, but it also isnt the most relistenable album.

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4

I want to start by saying I absolutely love this album, and I respect it for what it represents in the evolution of hip hop. With that said, the a lot of the samples and lyrics really hold up and are amazing still- on the other hand the pacing of the album is somewhat choppy and the lyrics can be pretty corny/dated sometimes as well. Def worth being on this list, but it’s not my #1 choice for old school hip hop. So close to a 5, but alas

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4

My co judge is a huge fan of this album and reminded me that when it came out it revolutionized rap (we thought it did anyway) with its sophisticated use of samples, political stance and Farrakhan references. Many of their samples and original vocals e.g. “Yeah Boy” have been sampled in turn, many times over the 35 years since its release. The energy level is through the roof, the beat is infectious and it’s chock full of still-classic tracks, including “Don’t Believe the Hype” and “Rebel Without a Cause”, though I must admit I prefer Tricky’s punk-metal version of “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos”. Modern rappers looking for high-impact lyrics without dropping F-bombs every three seconds should check out “She Watch Channel Zero”.

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4

This album was a lot of fun and would be great to spin at a house party.

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3

Closer to a 3.5. Some very cool samples and a lot of agressive energy.

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3

Nothing that stuck out to me, it's ok.

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3

Hauskaa hoppia

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3

flava flav was woke

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3

i mean yea..

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3

Solid!

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3

ggod

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3

Despite the frequent use of 4 bar repeating high pitched sounds, I love this album. There's some great jams and nothing beats Chuck D.

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3

Yeeeaahhhhhhh boooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

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3

yea boooiiiiii

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3

Not my particular cup of tea, but it is undeniable the impact this album had on hip-pop in the 90s. After one play through, many tracks evoke similarities to other tracks by groups like Kris kross and sir mix a lot. The track "rump shaker" by Wreckx-N-Effect blatantly used the exact same horn line from a public enemy track in their chat topping single. Ultimately, I likely won't listen to this again, but you can see why it was included in this list. It's not an album that anyone outside of the hip hop will particularly enjoy, but it's a for sure "know your roots" Album for those that flirt with that genre in any capacity.

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3

So there are parts of this album that I like okay and other parts that annoy me.

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3

Pretty good

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3

It's a'it.

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3

Hmm, not a big fan tbh

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3

Not as strong as I remember. The flavor flav songs are pretty weak. When I'm in the mood for public enemy, I out on fear of a black planet, better songs and a stronger message. Standout songs: channel zero, prophets of rage

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3

Was fine

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3

Clock man

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3

No soy muy fan del rap, pero me gusta mucho cuando un disco suena auténtico

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3

Good early rap. Lyrics still resonate.

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3

Some bangers

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3

Don't believe the hype. Scott scores this 5 stars...as he does with every hip hop/rap album...because he's so punk.

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3

Beetje veel Public Enemy voor deze maand. Dit album vind ik wel leuker en minder onderhevig aan de tand des tijds dan dat vorige album

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3

3/5 interesting songs, but nothing to die for

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3

I do really like some of the tracks on this, I enjoy this style of hip-hop. As a whole album its a bit much, almost an hour long and the live snippets are a little grating. 3.5

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3

Not going to be my longest review due to a lack of knowledge and exposure to the genre, so I’ll also keep it simple. I more than enjoyed the singles released from this album. The rest of the tracks were also a pleasure to listen to. Whilst I doubt I’ll go back to it often I still give it a healthy and respectable... 3 Stars!

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3

Brilliant in parts but has dated and Flavor Flav takes away from things at a number of points

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3

Way too many yeahhhh boiiii’s but still a cool album. Bring the Noise is a straight banger but honestly the original is probably only my third favourite version.

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3

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, a record that rewrote the rules of what hip-hop could do.

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3

бляяя, если я услышу ещё один трек, где главной музыкальной идеей является какая-то ебучая свистулька или дудка, издающая один и тот же трахающий уши звук каждый такт — я начну убивать заложников

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3

6/10 This was a fun listen, consistent all throughout. Flava flav got annoying at parts but his solo track was probably the best track in the album Fav: Cold Lampin’ With Flavor

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3

Hip-hop is not usually a genre I spend much time listening to, so I can't really compare it to anything. What I do know is that I enjoyed the soundscapes in this record w some powerful ass lyrics. Rebel Without a Pause and Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos were the highlights for me

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3

Fan of "Don't Believe The Hype", I guess the media in 1988 was just as bad as it is now. Lots of repeated phrases, super catchy, can see why its on the list. I enjoyed listening to the album, lots of pop culture-y things in there.

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3

Pretty decent with slight funk and political message

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3

Eh

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3

This came out in an era when I didn't have much time to appreciate any music, let alone rap. When this came up on 1001 albums, I cringed a bit. I was wrong. The lyrics were for the most part a decent poetry. I still am not a big fan of the instrumentals background/scratching.

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3

Good old-school hip hop

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3

After listening to this I realized how many hip-hop artists today reference this album. I'd hear lyric after lyric and say "oh that's where so and so got that line." It was pretty cool to hear, even though this isn't my style of hip-hop.

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3

While I appreciate the album's main message, the message is somewhat blurred by songs seemingly about their dj and other musical guests. The sound design is out there, but that is obviously by design, and I like that they were pushing the boundaries even then. It is a bit of a weird experience listening to a song about bass while the bass is a bit lacking, but I get the impression that that is a sign of the times. I think I need to listen to it again to appreciate it more, maybe on some bass-forward gear.

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3

some of the instrumentals were surprisingly modern i guess, a lot of old rap is hard to listen to because the rhyme schemes are so on the nose

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3

Really not my thing.

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3

muy buen album

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3

So much energy! The lyrics deserve another review - I’ve been looking them up but it’s hard to focus on that and the music. The biggest problem I have with this is the repetitive sampling (it that what it’s called?) some of it is screechy and quite annoying.

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3

What you would expect from a late 80s rap album, which to me is an enjoyable experience

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3

I dunno. I can appreciate what they are it's just not my thing. Don't know if I can get through all of this. Not a big fan. Three stars

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3

My first album of the project, and one I previously owned on cassette tape but never really got into. On listening today, I now wonder if this is because my preferred tracks are very much loaded into the second half of the record, what would’ve been “side B”, so maybe I rarely made it that far. Interesting to read on Wikipedia that the sides were initially intended to be the other way round. Format affects enjoyment more than I realise. Anyway, this isn’t a usual go-to genre for me. I can appreciate how exciting it must have been at the time. There are just so many ideas packed in (and so much sampling!) that it often feels too frenetic for me to really enjoy. I like the album best when it finds a groove and settles into it for a while - standout highlight being Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos.

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3

// Favs: – Score: Strong 3 to Light 4

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3

Good, not great.

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3

incredibly solid and influential album, and sadly Flava Flav kinda takes me outta it I don't know. His ending lines on Cold Lampin really took me out of it I don't know. Also flavor of love was a thing. I wanna give it two but Chuck D and the production is strong throughout just a couple tracks don't click

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3

Between this and the Tupac album from a couple of days ago, I think I'm beginning to warm up to old-school rap. This felt like the second generation of NWA, with even sharper political commentary and better production. Fav songs: Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, Party For Your Right To Fight

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3

Yeah boiiiiiiii

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3

Ok. Bit too rappy for me.

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3

An incredibly important album... that hasn't aged incredibly well sonically. It's not a bad album at all... but while this might have been a four or five star album upon release on many metrics, time has not been kind to it and now it ranks... three? A high three? Yeah, a high three.

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3

This is a definite gap in my musical experience. Somehow it passed me by back in the 80s. I really enjoyed the samples, the lyrics, the beats - but overall not quite for me. I did like hearing a bit from Queen's 'Flash' in there somewhere. Wish I could give a three and a half, not quite a four for me.

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3

I had a giggle when this popped up. There are a few hip hop lines I use in the everyday and this album has one of them. Cold lampin with the flave. I'ma going to be rapping all night long. But that is just another tale from the dark side. I feel the basic beats have aged a little. I ♥ Chuck D and the Flave but find myself reminiscing more over A Tribe Called Quest. I played Fear of a Black Planet and Apocalypse 91 more as a teen. Still a fun listen.

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3

I'm pretty sure I've heard this album at some point in the past 30 years. It's not a favourite - Fear of a Black Planet spoke to me more. Nation of Millions is good though - iconic and its influence is clear. So many moments of "Oh, that's where that was from". But maybe there's too much of the same sound. Maybe I'm spoiled by the musical diversity of the modern age. Still, individual tracks really stand out. "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" remains a defiant highlight. Also! The album starts with a dramatic opening from a live show. But that reminds me of a friend's story from the early 90s. He was picking up his brother from a PE show. He arrived at the venue, the show hadn't totally ended. He walked in and Flavor Flav was pacing back and forth, chanting the chorus hook from Suzanne's Vega's song "Tom's Diner" (which was in the charts at that point with a dance remix). Duh-duh DAH-dah duh-duh DAH-dah...

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3

Did you know? Security of the First World was sampled in Madonna's 1990 hit Justify My Love, which was written and produced by Lenny Kravitz. That drum loop is unmistakable Stand out track: Rebel Without A Pause

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3

Good and important but repetitive AF. A lot of times the samples are OVERBEARING

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3

The sample choices are awesome (loved the Slayer pull). I enjoyed it, but it can be intense in a tiring way at certain points. The energy never really dies, even when Flav has his own song. Chuck D's rhymes can be basic, but also great at certain points. Call it a 3.5. Favorite tracks: "Cold Lampin' With Flavor", "Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos"

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3

Understand their impact

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3

Fun album, pretty wild and aggressive for how early it was released. Not quite my jam though.

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3

To me it sounds like ‘ordinary’ hiphop

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3

Better than some of the other 90s rap so far, but still not great.

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3

It's aight

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3

6/10

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3

Well, this guys practically invented rap, so...

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3

didnt like it

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3

I can understand the importance of this album but the beats were so screechy and the vocals were so shouty. 5/10

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3

Hip-hop. Ni fu ni fa. Muuuy largo el disco.

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3

The power is undeniable, as noted in previous Public Enemy reviews. But it's not really going to be an everyday listen.

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3

im struggling to see the greatnes of it, but its ok. some nice beats and samples.

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3

I wanna like it overall more than I do. I think some tracks are very strong like "Bring the Noise", "Rebel Without a Pause", "Don't Believe the Hype" but a bunch don't quite meet that caliber of quailty. The album feels like it could be trimmed down by at least 5 songs, but from what I can see they wanted no dead air space between sides of the cassette so opted for 30 mins each, I get it but... it definitely shows.

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3

Classic.

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3

Bumpy beats, record scratches, boisterous rapping. It's a good time. The whole album feels very in-your-face, which kept me engaged with it. My main complaint is a lack of variety, though. I could see myself going back to listen to it still. 6/10

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3

They really feel the rythm.

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3

Enjoyed part of the tracks. Songs with a revolutionary message packaged with lots of energy. I can see why this album is here.

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3

Classic

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3

Prima canzone: 'Countdown to Armageddon', bene! Niente di particolare, buon ascolto.

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3

Le breakthrough de Public Enemy! Du rap avec une attitude rock. C'est revendicateur, dénonciateur. C'est un peu répétitif par moment, mais il y a d'excellentes pièces sur cet album. Le flow de Chuck D est fantastique. Pièces préférées: Bring The Noise et Rebel Without A Pause

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3

To be honest I don't believe the hype, but I think Flava Flave and Chuck D have got it going on.

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3

Public Enemy brought aggression to rap/hip-hop and easily incorporated hype into the genre. Simple beats and easy to hear rhymes coupled with social and political statements make for a compelling listen. Things take a strange twist though with "She Watch Channel Zero?!" and this album starts to hit differently, because 1988 should not sound as hard as it did here. It was though Tom Morello traveled back in time, and then in 2017 we somehow ended up with Prophets of Rage the supergroup. In terms of why this album makes the list, we hear Public Enemy confront issues as broadly as government, racism, accusations of sampling, etc. making their contribution to a much wider conversation, or perhaps in 1988, trying to start one. Overall the album certainly gets points for being culturally relevant, and is one of the offerings from the late 80s that still can be heard today. Public Enemy has that appeal to be heard, and it compels the listener to do just that.

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3

Listened up until nr 8 for now. Can we get a witness. Mwah not my style but okay. Prob 3 stars

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3

It's funny how many people were scared of this "Gangsta Rap" album back in the day. It's so tame compared to the how it was billed at the time. But, it's a solid early rap album. And it is a transition from the "fun" rap (Beastie Boys, RUN DMC) to more of a direct affront to "the system" - which, unfortunately, hasn't changed much.

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3

The penetrant monotonous background melodies in many songs were tough

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3

Not mine but good.

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3

It was decent. A breath of fresh air compared to the other rap albums that I had to listen to. The beats were good, some great lines, Flavor Flav could get a bit annoying with his voice and always saying "yeaaaa boyyyy" (uhh...). But other than that, I would say it was good, maybe even worth a second listen

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3

since JF will give a shit rating

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3

it was fine to listen, 3.5/5

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3

I found Terminator X to be fantastic, but Flavah Flav was not the best. I enjoyed this more than I expected to, but less than I wanted to.

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3

Gotta acknowledge the ground-breaking beats and lyrics and how influential this album was when it was released 30 yrs ago. However, I'm not a huge fan of hip hop so I found it overly repetitive. But again, this was a biggie.

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2

me puso muy nerviosa no sé

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2

I'm not really a rap guy, so this is not in my wheelhouse. That said, I did sort of like it, at least some of it, mostly because it made me laugh. Don't Believe the Hype was my favorite. I've just seen Flavor Flave as a clown of sorts, and it was interesting to hear his stuff. I did think the contstant self-references were kind of dumb.

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2

yeeeeeeee boyyyyyyy

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2

Not bad, but rap ain't my jam.

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2

Not my cup of tea, but it sounds good

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2

Was that the original YEAH BOI? Takes me back to Groove Street. Good times indeed.

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2

I've listened to better albums, I've listened to worst

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2

No Boi! I would have given this a much higher rating if I didn't find Flava Flav so annoying. His hype man schtick didn't age well.

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2

Hip hop. Coñazo. Largo.

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2

Better than the Kendrick Lamar album but i'm just not a rap fan. Think i prefer classic stuff to newer stuff though.

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2

Genoeg hiervan!

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2

Just okay, hate the 80’s style beats, scratching and music.

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2

I'm not a fan of rap/hip hop so this was really hard for me. I get the importance of the political message but I just couldn't get into it. Too many strident repetitive sounds/beats/yeah boy. My ears hurt :(

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2

yeeaahhh boooiiiiiiiiiiii. its alright, its a bit samey. that first track is fucking nonsense.

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2

никогда не любил этот брейкбитовый старый реп. да спасибо что дали дорогу все дела но сейчас уже вообще неслушабельно. да и сам альбом как один длинный трек

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2

Никакого негатива, просто скучная устаревшая музыка. На удивление, среди всех жанров, представленных в списке, именно рэп состаривается быстрее. Возможно, из-за столь стремительного развития. В данном случае я будто чувствую, насколько новой, смелой и интересной могла казаться эта музыка на момент выхода и насколько необязательным представляется прослушивание её сейчас. Как исторический экспонат, возможно, заслуживает внимания в рамках темы. Но слушать не намерен и никому не советую. Не единица, конечно, отдельные моменты даже ныне кажутся интересными, как, например, альтернативный взгляд на Angel of Death от Slayer в She Watch Channel Zero?!

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2

The beats are all annoying. I didn’t finish.

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2

Not to my taste, only listened to the first half.

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2

Its alright, though not for me. Will give another listen soon

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2

A bit more tolerable than most of the other rap so far on this list.

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2

This one's not for me, boooiii

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2

two

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2

While there are some great themes explored here, the production is way too busy and at times overwhelms the bars.

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2

Not really doing it for me. The 'She Watches Channel Zero' is a banger though.

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2

Couldn’t get on with it 2*

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2

once again, 47 white male. Not the target. but I can see how it would be good

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2

cool but not for me 2.25

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2

I see this album's significance in the history of rap music, I see their influence in rap music as the 90s, 2000s and 2010s have progressed. But it wasn't for me, and will not be an album I will be revisiting.

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2

Very late 80s. The rhymes and some of the lyrics hold up, but the beats and flow are exceedingly dated at best, not good at worst.

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2

La músiica es parecida al sonido de LL Cool J, pero no terminó de gustarme.

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2

Nope

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2

Historically interesting but not really my style.

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2

Vraiment pas facile d'accrocher

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2

Intéressant mais redondant, c'est assez rough quand même, le bout du dj est sympa mais on en reviens du sample de sax qui couine à chaque mesure Cela dit c'est plus lefun que Sheryl crow pour la culture musicale

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2

Ahh.. wonder what the big clock is about..hmm

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2

It's eighties hip-hop, you can imagine the sound of the whole album just from that descriptor.

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2

Difficult for me to appreciate

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2

un peu relou crari y a des sonorites un peu chiant on comprends pas trop les paroles fin c’est bien old school quoi

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2

La neta es que fue un poco desafortunado que nos tocaran dos de estos discos seguidos porque me cuesta trabajo distinguir bien entre ellos. Sí, ya sé, n00b. Dejando eso de lado, ahora sé de dónde salio Flavor Flav o eso. Y pos ya, no me dio más.

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2

Cool but not my sound

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1

not good

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1

Not nice

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1

Not my thing

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1

Bedeutungsloser Schrott.

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1

I don’t like rap/hiphop, so I quit after 2 songs.

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1

Yeeeeeahhh boooiiiii not really into it.

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1

Solo me molan dos canciones de public enemy y no están es este album :(

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1

I fuckin' hate it. Garbage.

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1

I don't get it. If you are going to pick 2 or 3 African albums for a list like this one, why would you go for the ones with the most Western influence, where the sophisticated intertwining rhythms characteristic of the best African music are blunted in favor of weak funk and jazz tropes and the distinctive sound palette of the various African countries is traded in for standard Western instrumentation, like a sub-Tower of Power horn section, and electric piano? That objection aside, there is nothing particularly wrong with Femi Kuti. It passes by painlessly enough. Femi Kuti is decent if unremarkable singer. The musicians are competent enough. But the music is a micron deep. There are no interesting rhythms to dig into. The horn section writing is unimaginative. Soloing is often a weak point in African music, and so it is here. Since the songs almost entirely of vamps, it's a whole lot of nothing. 2/5

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1

Obnoxious, infantile, idiotic drivel. All attitude over suubstance.

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1

YEEEEAAAAHHHH BOOOOIIIIIII BASS BASS BASS BASS

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1

Would not recommend. Naaaaah boiiiiiii

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1

Dogshit. sry, I did not have a good day lol

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1

1. Countdown til Armageddon - Completely an intro. I will never listen to this ever again. Pretty much a tornado warning the whole time. Rate - 1/10 2. Bring the Noise - Nothing special, won't be added to my playlist. Not bad, but eh. 5/10 3. Don't believe the Hype - Don't really like this one either. Pretty irritating noise heard throughout. Won't be added to my playlist. 5/10 4. Cold Lampin' with flavor 5. Terminator X To the Edge of Panic - What's with this rap group and GOD AWFUL screeching sounds? 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. yea boiiiiiiii, didn't like this album

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1

Niet mijn genre, en het overmatig gebruik van de 'Yeah Boy'-sample stoorde me mateloos. Ik had moeite om dit uit te luisteren 1*

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1

Bu adam bana cikmasin artikkk

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1

Far too much yeaaaah boooy

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1

I can't listen to music like this because there is no melody, just a beat. It's definitely interesting that this caught on, though.

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1

לא ממש יכול לתת ביקורת שמעתי כמה שירים בודדים לצערי, בגדול אהבתי אבל קשה לי לשפוט

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1

I don't even hate rap but this just sucks, sorry. Horrible beats - seriously, what's up with the wacky boing instruments in every song? They're a kazoo away from being actual meme music. "Security of the First World" sounds like video game pause music. An hour of my life that I'll never get back.

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1

Nope. F

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1

Terrible. Why make a whole album when you do the same annoying things every song.

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