^ His uzi weighs a ton!
Public Enemy is one of the biggest influences on me when I think of the musical soundscape that shaped my life. Ever since I heard that crazy Korg keyboard sample from P.E. #1, I have been a hardbody stan of their sonic superpowers. ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’ is my G.O.A.T. album in front of ‘Only Built For Cuban Links’, ‘By All Means Necessary’ and ‘Illmatic’ respectively.
There will never be another rap group that will have the influence on listeners, lawyers and litigators the way that Public Enemy did. They changed the music industry with their use of samples and soundbytes.
Public Enemy’s set at the Roots picnic was as epic as you might could have imagined. Chuck D, Flavor Flav, the S1W’s being held down by Black Thought and the Roots plus Antibalas. I nearly lost my frakkin’ mind. TERRENCE nearly lost his too. I’m glad we ended up deciding not to film anything at the concert. You can’t stan out 100 if you are working. This was the type of high energy set that you had to sing every word to. It’s strange and even somewhat poignant that the lyrics Chuck D spit over twenty years ago resonate today regarding those same issues.
P.E. was performing the entire album ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ with some added tracks like ‘Fight The Power’ for emphasis. They tore shit down. It wasn’t just the remarkable energy that Chuck D and Flavor brought with them to the stage but their clarity and showmanship. Nothing was more incredible than watching Flavor bound across the stage while reciting his track ‘Cold Lampin’ and NOT missing a verse. Flavor Flav is the greatest hypeman of all time. I would call him a weedcarrier but we all know that weed isn’t what gets Flav hyped.
Watching Chuck D and Black Thought on the same stage was literally symbolic in that the legendary hard rhymer was now passing the microphone to the legendary hard worker. Hip-Hop has never been more alive than at that moment. Everything else I experienced that entire day at the Roots picnic pales in comparison to the Public Enemy set featuring the Roots and Antibalas. I’m not sure if these bands will ever join forces again to present their omnipotent artistry, but if they do you had better be in the building.
Black superheroes unite!