Revolutionary in the literal sense of the word, Public Enemy were much more than just a hip hop band. Loved by some, hated by others, the group’s noisy beats, masterful wordplay and powerful performances gave both voice and focus to the struggles faced by the African American community. 

Vocalists Chuck D and Flavour Flav served up authoritative lyrics over music with a message, alongside the introduction of futuristic new sounds. As such, their style allowed them to not only break with the hardcore rap of the era but also reshape the entire hip hop genre for future generations.

Their team, the Bomb Squad, created an intense sonic backdrop, mashing up turntablism, avant-garde industrial noise, and a truly ingenious use of music sampling. Because of this, their production would go on to have just as a huge an effect on hip hop as their lyrical dexterity.

Their second album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, went through the stratosphere. Focusing more on the political commentary for which they are now known, putting Public Enemy on a streak of gold and platinum winning releases. This set them up in a long battle against white controlled American mass media, a battle that most people would say they won hands down. Bring the noise!

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