Public Enemy:

No Matter What

Public Enemy, one of the most influential and significant rap groups of all time is still bringing the noise to the masses. Twenty years after the release of arguably the best hip-hop album ever made, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Flavor Flav has put a pause on his televised romanticism, reuniting with grand verbalizer Chuck D to celebrate the classic LP.

Currently, P.E. is treating fans across the world to an unprecedented recital of the album’s every lyric, break beat and instrumental. Although it’s been two decades since the inception of Nation…, Chuck D and Flav continue to deliver the unadulterated, frank, rebellious and often humorous ideologies the hip-hop community has embraced since making their debut in 1987.

In an exclusive press conference leading up to their unforgettable performance at the Festival International De Jazz De Montreal, Chuck and Flav maintain their realness and drop commentary on presidential politics, the troops in Iraq and who’s gonna speak out for the hip-hop generation.

So Chuck, what is the latest with P.E.?

Chuck D: Well, regarding Public Enemy, we are one of the spokespersons for the whole entire genre of hip-hop where there are like a million artists and only like 15 spokespersons. That’s a goddamn shame! We’ve been looking for more people to speak up.

We just got back from 53 countries and a room of about 45 journalists will ask, ‘What have you done recently?’ Well, one thing Public Enemy did was, [being in this group] made us international ambassadors for the genre of hip-hop and rap music. We can’t be geared towards the latest single we drop for a major record label who goes through their publicity machine. I believe now in 2008 that we all realize that whole machine and regime is played out and old. Where we are now are a million artists, all online, doing their thing. And it doesn’t stop there. We develop not just the art but the performance art and developing the music to be more of an act. An act is not going to be weighed and judged by a chart position, marketing campaign, or MTV and BET, depending on who’s going to get paid off. It’s gotta be more than that. These record companies have to develop a new model. MP3 is the way of the world.

Flav: You see? This is the reason why Flavor Flav backs Chuck D. He can always backup what he speaks and nobody can prove him wrong. I am always going to back him up until the day I die. For all you non-believers out there, you are nothing but haters and when my partner Chuck D pitches, he’s striking all y’all out!

Let jump right into the politics. Break down Obama, Chuck.

Chuck D: For one, I support Obama for all of the right and wrong reasons and a couple of them start with a W. The elections are November 2nd or 3rd. What we will see in America will be something the world has never seen before. You will see it all come out on the table. They are talking about how Hillary Clinton supporters will not vote for Obama no matter what. They are saying fuck the party and vote for McCain who is a Republican! The racism is just leaking out in an ugly way. My thing is that, number one, you cannot not talk about race because that’s what it’s called, a presidential race. You gotta use the word anyway.

To the rest of the world, this is the biggest reality television show – the next six months of Barack Obama and the United States. The rest of the world is waiting on a change with the fucked-up U.S. and their foreign policy. Everyone is looking for a change.

As far as the euphoria going on inside the U.S., this is no party. It is important that if the voters get Obama in, it’s going to take eight-times as much courage to have an overstanding of all the bullshit that is going to go down. I mean, anyone who is going to try and clean up some of the mess [Bush] has left is going to have a hard job. Obama is going to have three-times as hard a job, but it’s what he’s asked for.

Obama has been holding his weight, but that’s 50 yards. He has 50 more yards to go for the touchdown. That touchdown is in November, but there is July, August, September and October, and let me tell you that you are going to see some shit that you have never seen before or heard before. It’s all going to come out in the wash. The biggest reality show in the world is happening right now.

Flav?

Flavor Flav: Check this out, speaking about Obama and the race thing, I heard that Senator Obama was on a television show and they asked him if he was Black. He said, yes, I’m black, but not as black as Flavor Flav! Wowwwww!!! Everybody knows that I am renting some space in that man’s mind! As for McCain, he’s named after some potato company, you know what I’m sayin’? Come on, man. He can’t do nothing for me but make french fries!

Chuck D: With John McCain, for the age that he is, when he says statements like, ‘We can stay in Iraq for all I care,’ he is saying he doesn’t care about the young lives over there. If you were a prisoner of war, you would feel like, “Hey, that’s what they are in there for.” He is not dealing with the aspect of why a young person decides to be in the armed services. They feel that they have no hope here [America], they are like, “Fuck it, I will be all I can be. I’m going because the army brought mixtapes to my high school and DJs cutting up [making scratching noises] “Army” and “Navy.” The [government] is thinking hip-hop would bring people into the armed services. So it’s either that, or do a trade; school costs too much. So we need to overstand that this is serious.

And you, Flav?

Flavor Flav: The first black man to run for president I know of was Dick Gregory in 1968. I would like to see Obama as the first black man in office. Just to say we have a black man running the States for the first time in our lives. Regardless, please beat McCain because McCain is an asshole.

Chuck D: We have always been political. Number one, we are black men in America so we have to know what’s around us at all times. You want the world to be the same, but it’s the darkest people who catch the most hell. That’s just the way it is.

Speaking about being political, I am sure people ask about P.E. and Flav’s role. What do you say about that?

Chuck D: Man, people have to understand that Flav invented his role as a hype man. But other details about what others do in the group people don’t know about including what Professor Griff does, and other P.E. members … We do a lot of serious stuff as well. Flav does what he does. We are all just a diversified family and that is how the world should be recognized. One hand washes the other and everyone plays his part.

And as far as the troops’ morale coupled with all of the world traveling P.E. is doing, would you go as far as doing a show for them in Iraq?

Chuck D: Man, I want those troops to come back. I ain’t going to Iraq. I’ll wait for them to come back.

Flavor Flav: See, talking about Public Enemy and how we are different, Chuck would not go to Iraq, but Flav would. I would go because there are a lot of troops over there and they have been supporting us for a lot of years, know what I’m saying? They can’t come over here and see a good Public Enemy show or meet Chuck and Flav so I would have the heart to go over there. I would do that.

Chuck D: [Laughing] But you would have to go over there with Soulja Boy, know what I mean? They are 18 years-old and they want to see Soulja Boy. They ain’t trying to hear, “I got a letter from the government”! [Flav laughs]. They’d say, ‘They didn’t tell me about that song ["Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos"]. I should’ve listened to that one, but now I’m in this bitch … in Iraq!’

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Fear Of A Black Planet is P.E.’s greatest album but that shit punches the critics (read: white) in the mouth tooooo much. Better to raise up ITANOM instead.

    I fucks with Fear Of A Black Planet on the regulack.

    Welcome To The Terrordome
    Fight The Power
    Brother’s Gonna Work It Out
    Burn Hollywood Burn
    Anti-Nigger Machine
    Reggie Jax
    911 Is A Joke

    I consider this album over Only Built For Cuban Links

    Fear Of A Black Planet
    Only Built For Cuban Links
    Amerikkka’s Most Wanted
    Illmatic
    Three Feet High And Rising

    Get rid of all your bullshit and keep those five albums.

    • MOI

      don’t believe the hype
      party for your right to fight
      black steel in the hour of chaos
      night of the living baseheads
      rebel without a pause
      louder than a bomb
      bring the noise
      prophets of rage

      . . . fear of a black planet is even more pissed off all around, i’ll give you that. but song for song is it really better?

      not that any of it is as good as the carter III–”bettlejuice, bettlejuice, bettlejuice, bettlejuice.”

    • MOI

      don’t believe the hype
      party for your right to fight
      black steel in the hour of chaos
      night of the living baseheads
      rebel without a pause
      louder than a bomb
      bring the noise
      prophets of rage

      . . . fear of a black planet is even more pissed off all around, i’ll give you that. but song for song is it really better?

      not that any of it is as good as the carter III–”bettlejuice, bettlejuice, bettlejuice, bettlejuice.”

  • Tha Ace

    i’ve always liked PE but Obama in office? c’mon, we gotta draw the line somewhere. Its a damn shame that black people (not talkin about PE) want a black president no matter who he is or what he stands for.

  • Real Talk

    PE 4ever, but a man once said you should be judged “not by the color of your skin, but the content of your character”.

    According to PE (and others I might add), it is racist to vote AGAINST Barack Obama because of his skin color, but it is NOT racist to vote FOR Obama because of his skin color. I find this hypocritical. I think it’s fucked up and racist either way if you ask me. That’s what judging somebody by their skin color is: RACIST. This is 2008, can’t we just look at each other like human beings?

    • Worley

      “Voting for Obama because he is black” is deeper than skin color. “Black” and “white” have always been signifiers for something else. In this instance, it is voting for someone other than white men that have not, without force, done sh*t for anyone other than white men and their non-white (male) flunkies. By virtue of that alone there must be a racial and/or gender element to righting that wrong. It is common sense not the pathology implied in the “racism” you charge.

      Respect due to Chuck D for droppin’ science and not sacrificing Flav. No doubt Flav is on some coon sh*t. “We are a diversified family,” yet some n*ggas elitist as a motha. How 3000 said? “You can’t discrimihate ’cause you done read a book or two.”

  • REAL

    Ya’ll need to get a clue. I mean, right now we got Obama vs. McCain for the election in November. McCain is just a George Bush clone. He is George Bush reincarnated except that he is a little more arrogant in his ways & ignorant through his ideas. Now at this point in time of this presidential race, if you are still bashing Obama then you are simply a Nigger. You are a nigger because you definitely have self-hate issues! These same Niggers are saying that we are voting for Obama because he’s Black. No, its just that these niggers are Uncle Toms and they are voting for McCain because he is White and thats what it is. Alot of them don’t realize how they are thinking or what they are saying but it still doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be held accountable for what comes out of their ignorant mouths. The bottom line is that we have been enduring the same old traditional ways for centuries – thats right for hundred years and its been long overdue to paint that mothafuckin white house black anyway!!

    • Tha Ace

      “No, its just that these niggers are Uncle Toms and they are voting for McCain because he is White and thats what it is.”

      ohh is that right? haha, if thats what you think it is then keep on mulling around in your ignorance……..anyone who is black that votes for McCain is an uncle tom? even if they think he would be a better president? Obama has 97% support by blacks….does that not SCREAM anything at you? The guy has a history of runnin around with shady characters, one a terrorist (yes its true), another a crook, look at his preacher for 20 years. The people you chose to surround yourself with are a great indication of character son, now go marinade on the shit for a while

  • Peru

    I wanna know why White people got 400 years to judge a person by their skin color, but its wrong when a black person does it. Same thing with the word nigga, its ok for Blacks to use the word amongst themselves cuz its a sign of similarity as they struggle through the racism of a white America. Its wrong when whites use it cuz, WHY WOULD THEY WANNA USE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE??? WHAT REASON DO WHITES HAVE TO USE THE WORD??? I dont get it, 41 CONSECUTIVE WHITE PRESIDENTS and now its sad cuz we want a black president “No matter what he stands for”??? Are you serious!!! All this “dont look at the color of the skin” shit now is just subliminal racism, cuz now that white folks see that its almost time that Blacks become the majority, now all of a sudden they want everything to be equal…WTF!!!

  • Peru

    To ACE:

    THE BUSH FAMILY AND THE BIN LADEN FAMILY HAVE BEEN BESTFRIENDS FOR DECADES YOU IGNORANT ASS FUCK!!! So what the fuck are you really saying!!!

  • Tha Ace

    dumbass comment award goes to you, that the most ludacrous comment i’ve heard since your last one

  • Tha Ace

    just because the family (which has always been a highly thought of family, they’re all not just a bunch of osamas) has had hands on money for business fentures by the bush family doesn’t make them friggin “BFF’s” either.

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

    I HAVE TO GIVE PROPS TO XXL FOR THIS. GREAT STUFF. IM GLAD I GOT TO MEET(I BROUGHT HIM TO MY SCHOOL FOR A KEYNOTE FOR MY SCHOOLS FIRST HIP HOP CULTURE WEEK) AND INTERVIEW CHUCK D (PEEP THE BLOG ABOUT IT). BUT YO WHATS GOODIE WITH WILL SMITH AND DJ JAZZY JEFF? YA NEED DAT.

  • Peru

    By your argument alone you cannot make judgement on Obama for his social network. Unless you are in the trenches with him and his associates there is no way you can take what TV news broadcast tell you as a complete truth. All I’m saying is dont be blinded by the white sheet in front of your face. What terrorist and crook has Obama been linked to??? And terrorist by who’s defenition??? You mean terrorist like when Whites came ane terrorized Africa, stealing the natives??? THAT KIND OF TERROR??? And Obama’s preacher’s views aren’t that far from what a lot of the Black community feel, although a little more radical not too far off.

  • Tha Ace

    hmm lets see Rashid Khalidi, Bill Ayers, Barnardine Dorhn. These are fuckin shady ass criminals, but you wanna turn a blind eye to it. If i hang around drug dealers that says alot about me! yes, no? Obama has no paper trail……iffy? YES! He has been a member of of rev. Wrights church for 20 years listening to his hate rhetoric but doesn’t ever change a thing!….iffy? yes! You are trying to address issues that aren’t even in question here as your defense kid. The media is leftwing so they don’t talk about these things. He also has NO paper trail at all for the years of legal work he has supposedly done. How obvious is this becoming to you son?

  • Real Talk

    “”I wanna know why White people got 400 years to judge a person by their skin color, but its wrong when a black person does it.”"

    It’s wrong to be prejudice no matter what skin color somebody has. There’s nothin subliminal about it fam. We all human beings, bleed red, fuck each other and you get a baby. We all the same species. Besides I never seen a white person or a black person in my life, lol. I’ve only seen people wit like a pink skin and people wit sort of a dark brown skin, and I’ve seen people everywhere in between that lol, shit. I’ve seen a dude that almost looked completely white, but he was high as shit and it was really more of a light green color. Point is these “races” are not real, they only affect our lives because they exist as a social construct in peoples minds. The concept of “race” really has only existed for a couple hundred years, and it was invented to justify European and American colonialism, imperialism, enslavement of Africans, and exploitation of other peoples around the world. The first American law pertaining to race (in the Virginia colonial legislative body) was created to exploit and seperate African slaves and European indentured servants, because they were living as neighbors and marrying each other, which was dangerous to the plantation owners $$$$…. since one day those indentured servants would be free and would want their African bretheren to be free too. There is nothing good that has come from the concept of race at all.

    How do you feel that there are “white” Americans who may be voting for McCain because of his skin color? I don’t know about you, but I would want those people to look past skin color and see both the positive and negative qualities of both canidates, and make their decision based on that. I feel the same way about people who are openly advocating that we should all vote for Barack Obama because of his skin color. I think it’s not only immoral, it is also impractical to select a President based on skin pigment, religion, or any other faulty logic.

    Also John McCain is not a “George Bush clone” at all. He has actually been one of the few independent-thinking moderates for 20+ years in Washington, voting with Democrats on protecting the environment, campaign finance reform, and immigration reform. He actually took a lot of heat from the Republicans for speaking out hard against the Bush Administrations embarassing handling of the war (particularly against former SOD Rumsfeld). He also voted against the Bush tax cuts (and took alot of heat at the time), but changed his position a few years later due to the positive effect they have had in keeping the economy afloat. McCain actually has the endorsement of Al Gore’s Vice Presidential canidate in 2000, Democrat Joe Lieberman (another one of the few moderates in Washington).

  • Peru

    What you all fail to realize is whomever ets elected president will be nothing more than a face to associate power with. The president will be the Pubilc figure in which the government is represented by. The same bullshit policies and corrupt tactics will still exist because it benefits those with the power the make them. Nothing will change!!! You think One man will change hundreds of years of bullshit in one term in office, NEGRO PLEASE!!! And once again, The Bush Family make business deals all the time with the Bin Laden Family. The Bush family owns quite a fuel oil refineries…Just in case you didn’t notice, this whole Gas being $5 a gallon will benefit the Bush family once he is out of office. The economics he set up are completely geared to line his pockets with the american dollar…PAY ATTENTION!!!

  • Tha Ace

    peru, i’ve noticed that everytime u make an arguement and someone comes behind you with facts that say otherwise…………all you’ll do is chance your topic and start arguin about somethin else and dropping your last topic like a bad habit

    and McCain is as about as leftwing as a republican can get….Bush’s clone? your talkin out your ass, your ignorance is showing too.

  • Show

    Peru, you really are a dumbass. I just been readin these comments and you just sound like a dumbass

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