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Fear of a Black Planet

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Editors’ Notes

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back had set a new hip-hop benchmark, combining elements of rap and soul with heavy metal, rock-hard beats, and a sampling archive worthy of the Smithsonian. 1990's Fear of a Black Planet takes the next logical step. The first single, "Welcome to the Terrordome," ranks as one of Public Enemy's finest tracks and addresses the fallout from the scandal that led to Professor Griff's eventual dismissal from the group. There's a mild hangover to parts of the album, from the sampled line "the future of the group is in doubt" in the somber opener ("Contract on the World Love Jam") into the slower-churning "Brothers Gonna Work It Out." "Revolutionary Generation" attempts to balance the group's previous broadsides against women. Flavor Flav's "911 Is a Joke" is both hilarious and truthful. The title track still resonates, and Chuck D does his best stoned-out Isaac Hayes imitation on "Pollywanacraka." Finishing with "Fight the Power"—the anthem at the heart of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing—perfectly caps another classic hip-hop album.

Customer Reviews

Took you long enough!

Amen to that! NOW GET MORE DE LA and get rid of those coverband albums

Meant to be listened to as an album

There aren't many albums that I wouldn't just simply pick-and-buy my favorite one or two (or less, likely, three) songs off of. But this album got me through college, and I can't imagine listening to any song on here without hearing the end of the song before it, and the beginning of the song after it. "Contract..." is a great intro, very much a pushback against the problems PE faced right then (the war against Griff, against profanity, against hip-hop in general). Anti Nig**r Machine is three songs in one; the last one being a nonstop assault. Probably my all-time favorite minute of hip-hop, any who, any where. On and on. Point is, spend the extra 9.00. Buy the whole joint!

In my Top 10 rap albums

This is when rap actually had social commentary. This album is nothing like rap today. PE is not just rhyimg words over beats, they had a meessage. So did Cube,Pac,BDP. Rap has a long way to go just to get back to this level. I hope it can......


Formed: 1982 in Garden City, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Public Enemy rewrote the rules of hip-hop, becoming the most influential and controversial rap group of the late '80s and, for many, the definitive rap group of all time. Building from Run-D.M.C.'s street-oriented beats and Boogie Down Productions' proto-gangsta rhyming, Public Enemy pioneered a variation of hardcore rap that was musically and politically revolutionary. With his powerful, authoritative baritone, lead rapper Chuck D rhymed about all kinds of social problems, particularly those plaguing...
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