20 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Public Enemy always had more to say than rappers who glorify money, sex, drugs, and violence. Here, with fellow old-schooler KRS-One, Public Enemy attacks with top-form verbal skills for—what else?—"Sex, Drugs & Violence." "Amerikan Gangster" with E.infinite goes even deeper into the soundfield, creating a pointed repudiation of where hip-hop sold its soul in the '90s. PE may have lost its cultural and commercial clout back in those dangerous days, but it never lost its artistic firepower. The 2007 set How You Sell Soul is as vibrant a hip-hop album as any by rappers half Chuck D's age. "Black Is Back" brings in Khari Wynn's guitar to do what AC/DC refused, delivering a perfect hard-rock/hip-hop mix. By the excellent "Long and Whining Road," Chuck D is finding space to quote obscure Bob Dylan songs. Flavor Flav, who'd made his way onto a VH-1 reality show, provides comic relief right on time with "Head Wide Shut" and "Flavor Man."

EDITORS’ NOTES

Public Enemy always had more to say than rappers who glorify money, sex, drugs, and violence. Here, with fellow old-schooler KRS-One, Public Enemy attacks with top-form verbal skills for—what else?—"Sex, Drugs & Violence." "Amerikan Gangster" with E.infinite goes even deeper into the soundfield, creating a pointed repudiation of where hip-hop sold its soul in the '90s. PE may have lost its cultural and commercial clout back in those dangerous days, but it never lost its artistic firepower. The 2007 set How You Sell Soul is as vibrant a hip-hop album as any by rappers half Chuck D's age. "Black Is Back" brings in Khari Wynn's guitar to do what AC/DC refused, delivering a perfect hard-rock/hip-hop mix. By the excellent "Long and Whining Road," Chuck D is finding space to quote obscure Bob Dylan songs. Flavor Flav, who'd made his way onto a VH-1 reality show, provides comic relief right on time with "Head Wide Shut" and "Flavor Man."

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