10 Cool Photos of Public Enemy at the Art of Rap Show

Public Enemy Art of Rap-097

What would Hip Hop be like without Public Enemy? For many, Hip Hop would be a stale genre that died off a long time ago. Many like to reduce Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff,  DJ Lord and the S1Ws and the team to just being a ‘conscious‘ rap group that gave this culture political swag.

Yes, while it’s true there’s no denying Public Enemy broke ground as a politically minded group, it should be noted they were by no means the first to drop science.  Nor were they the only ones to drop science, during the Golden Era in the late 80s, early 90s when they first hit the scene. Groups like KRS-One, Poor Righteous Teachers, X-Clan and Queen Latifah to name a few,  all came to the table with message oriented raps. Prior to them we had groups like Grandmaster Flash, Whodini, Run DMC and Kool Moe Dee who gave us songs to grow on…

What often gets overlooked about Public Enemy is their innovativeness on a number of fronts. First and foremost they elevated the art of sampling and created a style called cram sampling. They made music that was built upon layers and layers of sound that was carefully curated. The group would spend hours hunting down obscure records and then chopping them up only to have them buried under other obscure records they chopped up and buried.

Group members like Professor Griff, the Minister of Information would spend hours combing through speeches and archival footage that would layer be woven into each Public Enemy song.  This was on top of the cuts and scratches  done by team members like Johnny Juice, Terminator X and now DJ Lord.

All that was complimented with the booming voice of Chuck D which cut through the noise and the well timed vocal punches, adlibs and quick verses of Flavor Flav.  The group took sound in directions music hasn’t gone before.

The way they made records via their production team called The Bomb Squad which included brothers Hank and Keith Shockalee along with Eric ‘Vietnam’ Saddler was done so that you heard something different each time you listened to a song and album. Public Enemy made living breathing recordings which we havent seen the likes of to this day.

Once the industry evolved and put laws in place that curtailed sampling, Public Enemy flipped the script and started using a live instruments and to this day travel the world with a live band called The Banned which is headed up by Professor Griff.

Public Enemy broke ground by seeing the world as their stage.  There were others who came before them that broke ground internationally, but PE took this to new heights. They have long called  themselves global citizens with Chuck D constantly advocating for us to get passports and see the planet. The group has circled the globe on world tours over 100 times with no end in sight.  Each  country and city visited was never such in which the group stayed holed up in a fancy hotel, but instead these were grounds where they fostered strong relationships that have lasted over their 30 years as a group.

We haven’t even gotten into the major ground Public Enemy broke in terms of the internet. They pioneered recording and using the internet as a distribution platform.  They been on the web long before most even heard of the word internet.  On their 5th album Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age, Chuck D and long time friend Harry Allen aka the Media Assassin recorded a song which was actually a phone conversation called ‘Harry Allen’s Interactive Super Highway Phone Call to Chuck D‘ where the two talk about the future of music and how it would play out over the internet. What was said in that song recorded in 1994 has since come to pass with eerie accuracy.

The show Public Enemy put on the other night during the Art of Rap tour in San Francisco was one to marvel at as they showed and proved the heights Hip Hop has and can continue to make. There’s is no wonder why the group has been inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. Below are photos I took as they got busy. Enjoy

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3 Dope Songs from Public Enemy’s Landmark Album Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age

public_enemy_-_1994_muse_sick-n-hour_mess_ageAugust 23 2013: 19 years ago today Public Enemy released their fifth album Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age..For the most part the album did pretty well, but not as well sales wise as previous PE albums. Personally it was one my favorite joints and too me their most political. For the group it was a turning point as some prominent music critics unfairly bashed the group for not being ‘street enough‘ because they didn’t have a a gangsta sound and that they were too old..

At that time Warren G and the G Funk Era was in full swing and if you weren’t doing that you were rocking a pair tims and a hoodie and doing videos standing in a sewer to reflect how hardcore you were.

Younger heads who were just getting into Hip Hop were getting attached to artists like Nas, Hobo Junction, Organized Konfusion and Outkast who all dropped debut albums that year.

The music had moved away from political messages to one of making  CREAM ala Wu-Tang who dropped their debut album the  year before or being Gucci Down to your socks  ala Biggie who dropped his debut album ‘Ready to Die‘ that year..

PE was caught in the middle but stuck to their guns and their message which I think has stood the test of time..
Below are 3 songs that stood out for me on that album..

Public Enemy  So Watcha Gonna Do Now?..

Long before we even thought of Barack Obama or a Black president, PE does a song that depicts one . Its re-enactment of what befell President John F Kennedy in Dallas back in 1963 except in this song PE gives it a different twist at the end.  The lyrics themselves speaks out about gangsterism..I wish they had shown the video more back when this track came out..


Public Enemy  Ain’tNutting ButterSong

I love how Public Enemy took a traditional patriotic song and flipped it on its air with a Jimmy Hendrix type vibe. The lyrics are searing as they go in on the contractions of America, the flag and what she says she stands for vs what she actually does with people of darker hues.


Public Enemy Godd Complexx

I really appreciated this song when it came out and played it all the time.. They did a cover to the Last Poets controversial spoken word piece the White Man’s Got a God Complex. Here Flavor Flav does the duties and sticks to the words of the original song while riding a funky beat..


I figured I’d let folks peep the original joint from the Last Poets in case you never heard it before today..

Last Poets The White Man’s Got a God Complex


Def Jeff God Complex

As much as I like the God Complex song by PE, I gotta note they weren’t the first to flip the song.. A few years earlier LA based rapper Def Jeff who was on Delicious Vinyl reworked the song. Here he skillfully sampled the Last Poets while simultaneously riding over the beat to Gil Scott Heron‘s classic jam ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’.


Public_Enemy_-_Muse_Sick-N-Hour_Mess_Age-backPublic Enemy Thin Line Between Law and Rape..

This has got to be the most chilling song on the album as Chuck D talks about the horrific legacy of slavery and colonization where our our sisters, land and resources were routinely raped raped. Chuck wrote the following:

“It’s A Thin Line Between Law and Rape deals with the fact that the image of rape and crime has been thrust upon Black symbols here in America and throughout the world. America and the Western world have raped entire races of people of their name, God, religion, culture, and language, have raped continents of their resources and progeny, and have raped our women, which is the main reason Black people are so many different shades today. The laws of America allowed it, so I titled the song It’s A Thin Line Between Law and Rape.”

They employ reggae vocals of Colin Rochester who does a haunting hook at the end. He lived around the group In Roosevelt, Long Island. He appear edon Terminator X‘s solo album. Chuck noted that Colin was deported back to Jamaica shortly after the album was released.



3 Dope ‘Rare’ Songs from Chuck D of PE as We Celebrate His Birthday..

Chuck D  on PE logoToday August 1 is the birthday of Chuck D aka Mistachuck, lead rapper of the seminal Hip Hop group Public Enemy.. Earlier this year the group was inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame which was a well deserved honor..But we should all note within Public Enemy is an array of musicians and producers who are capable of holding their own in a variety of fields.. from the Bomb Squad to Professor Griff to Flavor Flav..

As we celebrate Chuck D’s birthday we wanted to go beyond his immense body of work as a member of public Enemy and look at some of his solo and spin-off projects.. So today’s 3 Dope songs is dedicated to Chuck D and some of his recent and rare songs y’all should know..

First we wanna look at a recent song Chuck D did with long time friend and musical collaborator Kyle Jason who is an incredible musician and fellow PE member Professor Griff.. The song below is off a new compilation album called ‘Don’t Rhyme for the Sake of Riddlin’

Mistachuck I Hate featuring Kyle Jason and Professor Griff


This is another solo project done under the name Mistachuck produced by long time PE member Johnny Juice.. It’s dedicated to those fighting to tear down walls of separation especially along our borders.. Always forward thinking, Chuck had done this song months before Arizona passed its Draconian anti-immigrant SB 1070 law.. The version below is a remix and video that acknowledges the challenges in Arizona while addressing the border challenges everywhere..

Mistachuck Tear Down That Wall


Kyle Jason, Proffessor Griff and Chuck D..Confrontation Camp

Kyle Jason, Professor Griff & Chuck D.. Confrontation Camp

Looking back into time.. we recall  that Chuck D  was part of a rock rap featuring Professor Griff and Kyle Jason group called Confrontation Camp?

They did an album called Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear which included a gut wrenching song called Jasper which paid tribute to James Byrd, a Black man dragged to his death in the back of a truck by a group of white racists. This happened June 7th 1998…

Confrontation Camp-Jasper

Another group that Chuck D started was a 5 man group called Fine Arts Militia which featured stellar musicians Brian Hardgroove of Bootsy Collin fame, Wes Little (drums), Victor J. Burks (keyboards), and Brad Craig (guitar).

Chuck D Fine Arts MilitiaThe group essentially rocked funky music behind Chuck D doing a hybrid of spoken word and rap, with the subject matter being a series of lectures he had done around the topics of Race, Rap and Technology. This was ground breaking in the sense that Chuck was new deep in the emerging dotcom era and spending a lot of time on the west coast around Silicon Valley..

He and his team were doing some innovative stuff at the time ranging from being one of the first to record a full album completely on line to setting up digital label (Slam Jamz) and establishing a supersite called Rapstation.com which early on was doing internet radio.. Their debut album, We Are Gathered Here, appeared on Koch in spring 2003 was a sound track for that time period.

Fine Arts Militia Digging Digital Ditches


This is an anti war song Fine Arts Militia did as they paid tribute to blues legend Johnnie Lee Hooker at radio City Music Hall


We couldn’t leave out without tossing a couple of cuts from Chuck D’s first solo album The Autobiography of Mistachuck..

Chuck D‘s Call Me Mistachuck


Chuck D ‘Pride’


3 Dope Songs from Public Enemy: The Hard Rhymer Never Lets Up

public Enemy ptAs we celebrate Public Enemy being inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight.. We wanted to remind people of some of their work.. What they have on deck is impressive.. These were some of the songs I really dug.. Enjoy..

So Whatcha Gonna Do Now This is one of my favorite songs from Public Enemy.. It was off the Muse Sick in Our Message album and sadly was overlooked by a lot of folks..  This song spawned one of  the first videos to show a Black President…15 years before Obama takes office..


You can’t really talk about Public Enemy without making mention of this classic song ‘By the Time I get to Arizona‘. The video to this song sent shock waves throughout the country as the group depicted themselves killing two Senators and Governor  who opposed the Martin Luther King Holiday in Arizona.. The resulting controversy had critics calling rap and Public Enemy violent and a bad influence on kids.. Others said Dr King wouldn’t have like the video.. Those of us who tired of Arizona’s out right racism cheered the group on…


Burn Hollywood Burn brought together 3 legends, Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube and Chuck D who killed in both subject matter (Black stereotypical images in Hollywood and their performance.. This is a must for anyone who is a student of Hip Hop… It’s what made the so called Golden Era so powerful.


I know I said 3 Dope Songs, but I’m gonna toss this bonus cut in from Terminator X‘s album called Buck Whyling. Although known throughout New York for her activism.. Lisa Williamson became known to us as Sister Souljah and is the star of this video..She later went on to do her own album with production from the Bomb Squad … I wish PE and Souljah had done more songs together.. She was and still is a force to be reckoned with and her voice was able to cut through the noise like Chucks.. I don’t think America and maybe even the group itself was ready for that pairing..

On another note Terminator X’s album was butter.. he had a number of dope songs and was the first to pay tribute to Hip Hop pioneer Kool herc by actually having him do a song for the album.


Lastly what y’all know about this song and rarely seen video? I’ll let it speak for itself.. I remember when the group performed this outside the GOP convention..



A must see is this documentary about Public Enemy Prophets of Rage


We Salute: Public Enemy Inducted Into Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame Today…

public-enemy benchToday April 18th 2013 is Public Enemy Day… Yep that’s right.. Today we celebrate the landmark group that has been together for almost 30 years.. They are deemed Hip Hop Royalty and tonight they get inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame.

Last night they performed at House of Blues in LA and absolutely killed.. DJ Terminator X who retired from the group several years ago to do some ostrich farming.. returned to the fold to help celebrate.. Also on hand at HOB was Kool Moe Dee and the Treacherous Three, DMC, Doug E Fresh, Method Man, Whodini, JJ Fad and many more..  It was a testament to the love and respect folks have for Public Enemy..

I first met Chuck D back in summer of ’88 at the New Music Seminar when the group was just starting to make noise.. They had already released their album Yo Bum Rush the Show..But it was Nation of Millions and the singles like Rebel Without a Pause that came off that album that forever define the musicality of the group.

Chuck D along with fellow group members, Professor Griff, Flava and S1Ws willingness to sit down and build with folks for hours at a time would forever define the group as stand up individuals who would garner life long friendships and relationships with folks all over the world.. I know for myself, I would hang with Chuck for hours after a show building on all sorts of stuff related to politics and Hip Hop in general. It was he , who got me to abandon my fear of flying , get a passport and see the world, a move I have never regretted. thousands of folks have stories about uplifting interactions with the group..

Public-Enemy-train-500In any case, as we celebrate their induction, i went digging through my archives and found an old cassette from an interview/press conference Chuck and I believe Brother Roger or James from the S1Ws did on after one of their early concerts in Oakland. It was at the Kaiser Convention Center in 1989.. EMPD was on the ticket..  I never played the interview on air, because at the time, my tape recorder had run out of batteries and the sound was all messed up.. I finally transferred it over to my digital docks and cleaned it up somewhat and am now happy to share.. What Chuck is talking about in 1989 is why so many at the time were drawn to the group. The honesty, the fearlessness, the intelligence..

In this interview, Chuck’s main theme was dealing with outsides points of view trying to dictate terms and regulate on folks.. Chuck also takes issue with famed writer Greg Tate who trashed the group in a column he penned for the Village Voice. Chuck noted Tate was an ‘outsider’.. I started recording just as someone was asking about violence in Hip Hop.

Chuck D

Chuck D

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Chuck D pt2

Below is a great documentary on Public Enemy called Prophets of Rage…Definitely worth watching



A new shining star in the world of music-Meet Bryan King, the next great Hip Hop artist

Bryan KingIf you are an avid hip hop music fan, you should not miss out on listening to Bryan King’s work. Bryan King is one of the most prominent new Hip Hop artists in the world and is slowly taking the world by storm with his innovative music. He is not just a Hip Hop artist, but, he also produces music. He is a student and has achieved enormous success at a very young age. He currently resides in Malibu, California but his career took off first when he was studying abroad in Shanghai.

In between 2010 and 2011, while studying abroad in Shanghai, his talent was recognized and Bryan King was signed by Black Box Records. This was highly prestigious accomplishment as Black Box Records was the first hip-hop record label out of China. Thus, Bryan King became a pioneer of sorts. But, unfortunately, after shooting two music videos for MTV Asia in Singapore and recording half of an album, the deal ended due to contractual complications. Yet, King found huge recognition as a Hip Hop artist in China and Singapore and his music videos became very popular. King is fluent in Chinese and is just 21 yrs old. One of the videos King shot in Singapore featured Stumik of Raekwon’s Icewater label. The song, called ‘Overseas’, also featured a French rapper named ‘Proff’.’ He has been rapping for about 6 years in all now, and has been producing music for about 4 years. King’s exemplary success at such a young age is an inspiration for many.

King has had some excellent collaborations with other artists. After coming back to America in 2011, Bryan King was introduced to rapper & producer Scottie Spits. Spits was based out of Las Vegas. King spent about 6 months experimenting at Spits’ studio in an attempt to find his sound. During this period, he recorded about 30 songs at this studio, with several produced by and featuring him. He has worked with several prominent artists throughout his career, most recently, an hip hop artist on Pitbull’s label named Jamie Drastik. King is soon to collaborate with many other prominent figures in the music scene of USA.

In late 2009, he worked with Public Enemy’s Professor Griff. Before the meeting, a mutual friend mentioned to Griff that Bryan King was an up and coming hip hop artist and Griff sent him some of his productions. King wrote some tracks and went into his home studio to record. They collaborated and had planned on completing a project together but his basement unfortunately blew up from what was expected to be a pipe leak, and the project was discontinued. This project is all set to resume soon and is being eagerly awaited by the fans of both artists. King’s music is fresh and packs a solid punch. It stands out from the rest of the hip hop projects and is a whole new kind of sound. Some of his most popular new tracks are Hello, Monster free download Animacide, Party Life, X-Plode, Comin’ With Me, etc. You should definitely check these out.


Chuck D & Brother Ali Come Together & Tell us to Get Up, Stand Up!

Chuck D and Brother Ali

Far too often when people do collabs, its done for marketing purposes, more than it is for genuine chemistry.. Such was not the case when Chuck D of Public Enemy tapped Brother Ali of the Rhymesayers Collective to join him on the track … This is a fierce track.. Its energetic and each rhyme is hittin’ especially Ali who goes all the way in.. enjoy


Occupy Skid Row: Public Enemy’s Historic Concert Exposing LA’s Dirty Secret

Chuck D Occupy Skid RowLos Angeles Community Action Network and Public Enemy came together last year for a historic event called Occupy Operation Skid Row. It was a musical festival featuring legendary hip hop acts like Cypress Hill, Kid Frost, YoYo, Mellow Man Ace along with General Jeff of Rodney O & Joe Cooley.

Jeff for those who don’t know is dubbed the Mayor of Skid Row, because of the work he’s done for years to try and alleviate the harsh conditions of one of the nation’s largest concentrations of homeless and LA’s dirty little secret..As Chuck D pointed out the overwhelming majority are Black and they are shunned and ignored.

Below is a short documentary that brings the event to life.. It also touches upon some of the challenges facing those on skid row as well as how this large homeless population gets used by police to manipulate crime stats. Many are arrested for petty crimes like sleeping on sidewalks, urinating or drinking in public.. Their arrests get entered into crime databases and help highlight favorable results.. This was a tactic former LA Police Chief William Bratton did when he was running the department.. He arrested over 27 thousand people in LA skid row in a 3 year period and gave out 36 thousand citations.. Skid row is home to 15 thousand people.

You can peep the interview we did with Chuck D on the eve of the event...HERE 

You can also peep the concert /documentary as well.. Enjoy and Reflect


Congratulations to Public Enemy -Newest inductees to Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame

Congratulation to one of the greatest musical acts of all-times..Public Enemy.. The were just inducted into the Rock-N-Roll hall of Fame.. Its an honor the well deserve.. They are the 4th Hip Hop group, behind, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys..

One of the strengths that I think goes beyond the group’s massive category of records, is their endurance.. They been at this for over 25 years and are nearing 100 global tours..PE has transcended music..they same way they transcended the borders of this country.. Props to them..

Chuck D noted on twitter;  Any achievement by PE is to be shared across HipHop and its real fans.The songs are 1thing but our strength has been our meaning & performance

Peep out their latest song..

Public Enemy Weighs in on Immigration Question w/ a New Song called ICE Breaker

Hip Hop artists have been on fire as of late. It seems like everyone is stepping up their game and making music that passionately speaks truth to power… One song that should not be overlooked is a brand new joint from Public Enemy called Ice Breakers.. It’s off their new album ‘The Evil Empire of Everything‘. This particular song addresses the issue of mass deportations and what its like for those who are living in immigrant communities and are literally being hunted by I.C.E.

The song features searing lyrics from Chuck D where he raps:


Chuck is joined  by The Impossebulls, Sekreto, Kyle Jason & True Math who all come with heat both in English and Spanish..Its good to see a group like PE keep it 100 when it comes to issues of the day..

ICE Breakers is actually the second song they did on the topic of immigration, when Arizona passed the anti-immigrant SB1070 law the group did a song called Tear Down That Wall ..Looking forward to peeping the video..for this new song…