Sunday, July 20, 2008

635. Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

Track Listing

1. Countdown To Armageddon
2. Bring The Noise
3. Don't Believe The Hype
4. Cold Lampin' With Flavor
5. Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic
6. Mind Terrorist
7. Louder Than A Bomb
8. Caught, Can We Get A Witness?
9. Show 'Em Whatcha Got
10. She Watch Channel Zero?!
11. Night Of The Living Baseheads
12. Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos
13. Security Of The First World
14. Rebel Without A Pause
15. Prophets Of Rage
16. Party For Your Right To Fight


What to say about what is generally regarded as the best hip-hop album of all time? Well, I can say that I haven't listened to all hip-hop, but I would not be surprised if it is indeed the best of them all.

Run-DMC was fun and aggressive in their beats, but they are little lambs next to Public Enemy. Enemy does not consist just of aggressive beats and use of samples, more importantly the lyrics are super-charged with anger, well with the possible exception of Flavor Flav's.

The use of samples to create something different is so innovative and varied that you get samples from a documentary on Johnny Cash to the Beastie Boys and what sounds like Ethiopian Jazz in Show 'Em Whatcha Got, and you have to be really aware of the music to notice them most times, they are just incredibly well meshed. Another big nod has to go to Terminator X, who scratches better than anyone before and just makes the whole thing that much better. This is the hip-hop album which makes the best use of its wide-ranging influences and ends up giving us a jazz-funk-rock inflected piece of art.

Track Highlights

1. Don't Believe the Hype
2. Show 'Em Whatcha Got
3. Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos
4. She Watch Channel Zero?!

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Widely regarded as the group's magnum opus, the album regularly ranks as one of the greatest and most influential recordings of all time in various publications. In 2003, the album was ranked number 48 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It is the highest ranking hip hop album on the list. ranks the album as the 17th best album of all time and also the greatest hip-hop album. Time Magazine hailed it as one of the 100 greatest albums of all time in 2006.

Don't Believe The Hype:

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