This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

Public Enemy

1988

It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

Album Summary

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is the second studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released on June 28, 1988, by Def Jam Recordings and Columbia Records. It was recorded from 1987 to 1988 in sessions at Chung King Studios, Greene St. Recording, and Sabella Studios in New York. Noting the enthusiastic response toward their live shows, Public Enemy intended to make the album's music at a higher tempo than their 1987 debut Yo! Bum Rush the Show for performance purposes. The group also set out to create the hip hop equivalent of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On (1971), an album noted for its strong social commentary. Through their production team The Bomb Squad, Public Enemy introduced a densely aggressive sound influenced by free jazz, heavy funk, and musique concrète as a backdrop for lead rapper Chuck D, who employed sociopolitical rhetoric, revolutionary attitudes, and dense vocabulary in his performances.It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back charted for 47 weeks on the US Billboard 200, peaking at number 42, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA in 1989. The album received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its production techniques and the socially and politically charged lyricism of lead MC Chuck D. It also appeared on many publications' year-end top album lists for 1988 and was the runaway choice as the best album of 1988 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll, a poll of the leading music critics in the US.Since its initial reception, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back has been regarded by music writers and publications as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time. In 2000, it was voted number 92 in Colin Larkin's book All Time Top 1000 Albums, and in 2003, it was ranked number 48 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest ranking of all the hip hop albums on the list, and the only one acknowledged in the top one hundred. This would become averted however in 2020, as a second updated version of the list moved the album up to number 15, while other hip-hop albums were put in the top one hundred as well.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.4

Votes

5395

Genres

  • Hip Hop
Reviews
Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
View Author
Fri Aug 20 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 21 2021
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

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 02 2021
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

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 19 2021
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!

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 19 2021
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

👍
View Author
Sun Jul 18 2021
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

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 13 2022
5

The first PE album certainly felt like something fresh and different when it came out, but this second record is where PE really flexed into the iconic outfit that they became. faster, harsher sounding, more political than anyone had been before, this is the Public Enemy that really blew the doors off.

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 04 2022
5

I had a very difficult journey getting into hip hop last year, since I had rejected pop rap for the majority of my life. When this generator gave me Raising Hell, it was the first step in grabbing my interest. In the coming months, I tried a few other classic records, but I still struggled immensely. 3 months after Raising Hell, I went on a solo backpacking trip for a few days in the Ozarks, downloading a couple dozen albums for me to play out loud throughout the days, and the two hip hop candidates were this and Paul Boutique's, and I absolutely loved them both. This was the more difficult one. As cheesy as the intro is by today's standards, it actually gave me goosebumps because I had no idea what to expect. What followed blew my mind. Chuck D was a powerful rapper. It wasn't about an impressive singing style (as in R&B), or a poetic rhyme and flow (as in Kanye or Outkast), or even the goofiness and fun (of old school hip hop or the Beastie Boys). This was powerful, abrasive, and in your face. Flavor Flav proved to me that a hype man wasn't just a gimmick, and his light and fun voice served as a light and engaging dynamic to Chuck D, motivating audience engagement. In just under an hour, we get 12 full-length tracks and 4 short supplementary tracks that fit really well and keep the momentum going. I played the album twice during the trip, then at least a dozen more times in the past year on drives and other hikes. To this day it's still downloaded on my phone, and I don't plan on removing it anytime soon. To me, this is their best album, among the best samples I've ever heard in a hip hop album. It's incredibly memorable, with quotes and techniques repeated frequently throughout the album. I love the sampling and record scratching to make each track unique and full of substance. They incorporate funk, rock, and jazz samples to make it accessible and diverse. But really, the samples can be so cold and spontaneous it holds a lot of similarities with industrial music. It's busy and loud but the repetition helps us digest what's going on, taking our time to relax and listen to the lyrics but also just appreciating the music in itself. The production is thanks to the famous Bomb Squad, who put so much effort into making such a genuine sounding record. Despite Fear of a Black Planet feeling more polished and complicated with the samples, I still prefer the personality here. By today standards, there are arguments to be made against its position, such as the overused repetition that makes some songs feel dragged on, or the sometimes primitive or dated raps in certain tracks. I could see the issues, but to me it's still a complete listen with no skips. And on top of it, it gets extra points for being highly influential to both American culture and the genre, kicking off gangster and political hip hop of the late 80s and early 90s. Favorites: Bring the Noise, Don't Believe the Hype, Terminator X to the Edge, Caught Can We Get A Witness, She Watch Channel Zero, Black Steel, Rebel Without a Pause

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 17 2022
5

Not exactly an easy album to listen to but a very important one. The production really hits you, it's overwhelming in places. Revolutionary in every sense of the word, I can't really think of any other group like PE. This is probably my favourite of theirs, and my favourite 80s hip hop album, even though there are a couple of Flava Flav duds on it. It's pretty nonsensical listening to him rant about trash TV on 'She Watch Channel Zero' considering he ended up running his own reality TV show in the 00s! Chuck D is as great as ever though, Particularly on Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos and the second side of the album.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 07 2021
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

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 15 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Tue Jan 11 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 09 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 10 2022
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

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 24 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 26 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Sat May 14 2022
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

👍
View Author
Fri May 28 2021
3

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

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 30 2021
1

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

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 14 2022
1

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

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Dope as hell.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 10 2021
5

New form of poetry. Chuck D is a rap god

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 30 2021
5

More than likely the best rap album ever made.

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Mad sampling. High speed hip hop.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 05 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Sun May 02 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 16 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 30 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 25 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 11 2021
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

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Super fun

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 11 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 11 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 19 2021
5

Not all perfect but some is a game changing 10

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 11 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 23 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 19 2021
5

Top old school hip hop

👍
View Author
Fri May 07 2021
5

This is one of the best albums of all time.

👍
View Author
Thu May 13 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 21 2021
5

Bonafide, stone cold, 5 star classic!

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 03 2021
5

Fantastic.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 04 2021
5

Classic album with so many great songs.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 04 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 26 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Mon Sep 13 2021
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. -

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 24 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Mon Sep 27 2021
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 ⭐️

👍
View Author
Tue Sep 28 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 07 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 19 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 26 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Do believe the hype

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 18 2021
5

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

👍
View Author
Sat Nov 20 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Sat Dec 18 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 20 2021
5

Solid album with plenty of bangers

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 29 2021
5

This album is a Revolution!

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 28 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 02 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 06 2022
5

Powerful

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 07 2022
5

already have! :)

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 15 2022
5

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

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 01 2022
5

Yeahhhh boyyyyyy

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 01 2022
5

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

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 12 2022
5

Should be mandatory listening in schools.

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 19 2022
5

I love boomboxes!

👍
View Author
Sun May 01 2022
5

Public Enemy is always great. Awesome & legendary album.

👍
View Author
Tue May 10 2022
5

The bside is especially fantastic but overall great

👍
View Author
Tue May 10 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Thu May 12 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Sat May 21 2022
5

*do believe the hype

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 30 2022
5

So incredible

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 04 2022
5

A stone-cold classic album. Outstanding!

👍
View Author
Tue Jul 05 2022
5

Hi class hip hop from my man Terminator X, Chuck D and Flava Flay. The combination of crazy sounds slick beats and the unflinching lyrics make this an absolute classic.

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 21 2022
5

Fuck YES

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 03 2022
5

still does

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 03 2022
5

Солидно!

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 26 2022
5

Amazing. Loved a lot of songs, they cover many social issues. She Watch Channel Zero?! was so different, like nothing I've ever heard before

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 09 2022
5

Bring The Noise is great. This rap album is incredible. Chuck D's voice is just so damn powerful. Prophets Of Rage is a great song.

👍
View Author
Sun Sep 11 2022
5

Bring the Noise is great, obviously. So this is the first old school rap album I listened to front to back. And it's great. The Bomb Squad production is so sample-dense - the "Wall of Noise" opinion is definitely earned. What should be chaotic really flows and creates a steady groove. Always liked Chuck D, but Flav's contributions make a lot of sense when listened to as part of the whole. Standout tracks (besides the big guns): Terminator X to the Edge of Panic, Louder than a Bomb, Caught Can We Get a Witness?, Party for Your Right to Fight

👍
View Author
Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Loved it, the beat is really cool and I also want to take some time to listen to it more closely so I can focus on the lyrics.

👍
View Author
Tue Sep 20 2022
5

love it !

👍
View Author
Thu Sep 29 2022
5

Wow, that was awesome. Terminator X was in his bag the entire album. Every single beat was just incredible. Favorite track: She Watch Channel Zero?!

👍
View Author
Sat Oct 08 2022
5

Too Black Too Strong

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 27 2022
5

Just incredible - sound, beats, production, lyrics. So many of their best tracks on this (and, by definition, some of the best of rap all-time). Samples from Isaac Hayes to Slayer, fantastic noise - never beaten

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 31 2022
5

Nice choice. I love the anger

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 04 2022
5

Classic album. Amazing production and Chuck D's vocals flow with a smooth yet commanding tone. 5/5

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 02 2022
5

BASS! The album that woke me to rap both in terms of music and lyrics - it was the natural progression of rebellious r&b rock and roll. And as much as I love Chuck D - the best rapper/lyricist in history don't even question it - it's the beats and music that make this album essential - e.g. "Don't Believe the Hype" is as funky as possible with the James Brown samples - it's an immediate groove. Flavor Flav is less annoying on this album than he'd be soon afterwards - he's a great foil for Chuck when his adlibs are interspersed amidst a song but I still maintain he doesn't carry a song on his own. Having said that, it does almost provide a perfect break in the relentless album (e.g. "Cold Lampin'" brings a silly levity between "Don't Believe the Hype" and "Terminator X to the Edge of Panic"). Impossible to pick a favourite track or two off this since it's almost a non-stop aural assault, but "Bring the Noise" is among the all-time GET THE HELL *UP* opening tracks in music history. "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" might be my favourite with Isaac Hayes' music propelling the mid-tempo fury of Chuck D's rap. Or no, it might be "Louder Than A Bomb" ... Eh words words words - greatest rap album of all-time and one of my favourites of any genre. 10/10 5 stars

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 07 2022
5

Another one of those "eye opening" albums for a white kid in Northern Ontario. Definitely changed my world view on a number of things. Been a fan of PE ever since.

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 07 2022
5

An undeniably brilliant album filled with justifiable anger and frustration tempered with a hopefulness rooted in confidence and righteousness. Released less than a month and a half before "Straight Outta Compton" (which that should give everyone a clear picture of how things were going for Black Americans back in '88), its message is far more relevant than one would have hoped after 30+ years.

👍
View Author
Tue Nov 03 2020
4

Top notch angry political tub thumping musically pioneering rap

👍
View Author
Tue Nov 24 2020
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.

👍
View Author
Tue Sep 22 2020
4

Solid!!

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 22 2020
4

Sick

👍
View Author
Sat Dec 05 2020
4

Good sound. Good Music. 4

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Don't Believe The Hype

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Solid bars and classic beats

👍
View Author
Sun Jun 06 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 13 2021
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

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Pretty good rap album

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 14 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 23 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Sat Feb 20 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 22 2021
4

Great album, classic hip-hop

👍
View Author
Tue May 11 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 01 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 11 2021
4

8/10

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 30 2021
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

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 25 2021
4

Respeito, mas não é noooossa coisas que amo ouvir não

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 16 2021
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!

👍
View Author
Fri May 07 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 11 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 05 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Sat Mar 27 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Sun Mar 14 2021
4

Good album. Bored by the end though.

👍
View Author
Sun Mar 14 2021
4

Public Enemy are always reliably ace

👍
View Author
Sun Mar 14 2021
4

Had a great time nodding along to this

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 02 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 30 2021
4

A good upbeat listen.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Yeeeaaaaaaaa Boooiiiii! Loved this

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 12 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Tue May 11 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 10 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 01 2021
4

Still awesome.

👍
View Author
Sat May 15 2021
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

👍
View Author
Wed May 12 2021
4

Great old school Hip-Hop

👍
View Author
Fri May 14 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 28 2021
4

boppy

👍
View Author
Tue Jul 13 2021
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

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 06 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 10 2021
4

Party for your right to 4 stars

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 13 2021
4

pure raw energy

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 18 2021
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

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 01 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 10 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Mon Sep 13 2021
4

For the love of Flavour

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 22 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 22 2021
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

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 01 2021
4

Good listen. Favorite track is Louder than a Bomb

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 11 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 13 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Sun Oct 17 2021
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

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 18 2021
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...

👍
View Author
Sun Nov 14 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Tue Nov 16 2021
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.

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 17 2021
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'

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 18 2021
4

Innovative. 4/5

👍
View Author
Sun Nov 21 2021
4

Good stuff

👍
View Author
Tue Nov 23 2021
4

Great lyrics, can see why they pioneered conscious rap.

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 24 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 06 2021
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

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 09 2021
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

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 13 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Tue Dec 21 2021
4

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

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 08 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 08 2022
4

8/10 goes very hard

👍
View Author
Mon Jan 17 2022
4

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

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 20 2022
4

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

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 21 2022
4

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOI 4/5

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 23 2022
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

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 28 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 03 2022
4

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

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Absolutely groundbreaking hip hop album! 4.5/5 stars

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 22 2022
4

Yeahh Booiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 23 2022
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

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 15 2022
4

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

👍
View Author
Sat Mar 19 2022
4

Muito bom.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 23 2022
4

4.25

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 04 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 04 2022
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!

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 05 2022
4

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

👍
View Author
Sat Apr 09 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Sat Apr 16 2022
4

Heavy hitting but flavour flav remains extraneous

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 28 2022
4

It's aight

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 29 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Sat Apr 30 2022
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 ⭐️

👍
View Author
Sun May 08 2022
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

👍
View Author
Sun May 08 2022
4

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

👍
View Author
Tue May 10 2022
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.

👍
View Author
Thu May 26 2022
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”.

👍
View Author
Thu May 26 2022
4

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

👍
View Author
Mon May 30 2022
4

05/29/22 Dope as fuck.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 02 2022
4

I can definitely hear the roots of later rappers intertwined in Public Enemy.

👍
View Author
Tue Jun 07 2022
4

Chuck D is a legend. Flavor Flav is a fool. Most of the time, hearing Flavor Flav was like hearing that annoying sidekick in a movie or Newton saying "Herc Herc" in the old, terrible Hercules cartoon. You just want to punch him in the mouth because he has nothing important to say - he's just squeaking. As a sidekick, he's useful on Don't Believe the Hype (and maybe a bit on She Watch Channel Zero) but wasteful on Bring the Noise, Caught Can We Get a Witness, and Rebel Without a Pause. I can barely listen to his lead efforts (e.g., Cold Lampin'). Still, there's plenty of Chuck D and when he's on lead, it's gold. You better listen and get an education. Louder than a Bomb, Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, and Party for Your Right to Fight are brilliant. There's also a lot of cool beats from Terminator X, though some get a bit repetitive across the whole album.

👍
View Author
Tue Jun 07 2022
4

There's something about Public Enemy. Their rhymes really sound important, even when it's Flavor Flav being goofy. And they are. I mean, even when they give props to Terminator X (which they do a lot here). I dug this album a lot, it was more serious than Cypress Hill, a bit refreshing. It's weird, knowing that B-Real and Chuck D would be working together in the disappointing "Prophets of Rage." I remember hearing "Party For Your Right To Fight" back in college. I didn't get it back then, but I understand it more now.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 09 2022
4

Excellent stuff from the fathers of Rap.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 16 2022
4

Super good and relevant

👍
View Author
Sun Jun 26 2022
4

This is excellent but why do they ruin so many of the songs with an annoying high pitched sample that constantly repeats? Bizarre production choice, otherwise everything else is great. Powerful lyrics, great samples, very influential.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 30 2022
4

Banging great beats rhyme and poetry

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 04 2022
4

Отлично звучащий рэп, но за краткий срок не довелось разобраться с текстовым содержанием, потому острожная четырехконечная 🌟

👍
View Author
Tue Jul 05 2022
4

So much more interesting than the shite that’s popular these days

👍
View Author
Tue Jul 05 2022
4

I'm no rap fan but I can appreciate the cool beats & grooves as well as the cultural significance of the album. Actually, it was quite an enjoyable listen at times.

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 06 2022
4

Yeah

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 21 2022
4

I completely ignored this album when it came out. I was fairly clueless when it came to the shifts in music happening, and the fact that it's 2022 and I am listening to it now shows not a lot has changed, I can still be fairly clueless when it comes to music. But listening to it, this album resonates over time...hasn't lost it's power but still, just too many Ya boyyyyeee's on several tracks... but nothing is perfect.

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 21 2022
4

This album was my gateway to hip hop. I heard the version of Bring the Noise that PE did with Anthrax and found this album. The great soundscapes and songs led me further into the genre.

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 02 2022
4

This is classic!

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 03 2022
4

Once again back is the incredible.

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 13 2022
4

Killer record.

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 19 2022
4

Great, aggressive sample and beats. I can't really relate to any of the lyrics though. I guess that's on me.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 24 2022
4

Classic, genre-defining album.

👍
Load more reviews