Treasure Island Interview: Twenty-five years on, Chuck D and Public Enemy still fighting the power

When Public Enemy burst onto the music scene in 1987, helping to popularize rap (along with the Beastie Boys and Run DMC), socio-politically conscious co-founder and MC Chuck D polarized the country with lyrics that criticized the justice system and the media. White Middle America was put off by songs such as “My Uzi Weighs a Ton,” “911 is a Joke” and ubiquitous anthem “Fight the Power,” which highlighted the frustrations of African Americans. Perhaps the only ones who foresaw Public Enemy having a lengthy lifespan were Chuck (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour) and the rest of the group, which includes hype [...]

PUBLIC ENEMY at Yoshis?!

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their 3rd record, Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy brought the noize to SF's Yoshis this past weekend. It just so happened to be Martin Luther King's birthday weekend. Back in 1991, the band's fourth release, Apocolypse '91...The Enemy Strikes Back, addressed the fact that some US states did not recognize MLK's birthday as a national holiday (in the song "By the Time I Get to Arizona"). That same song is now being used to rally people against the current racist immigration policies in that state, and is even more timely given the recent [...]

By |January 19, 2011|Tags: |
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