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Fear of a Black Planet [VINYL]


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Music

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Photos

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Biography

Until Public Enemy, hip-hop was wrapped up in gold chains, fast women and being top dog in rap throwdowns. But with the group's rise, hip-hop gained a social and political consciousness. Emphasizing pride and condemning prejudice, Public Enemy became the most influential and controversial rap group of its time, hailed by history and by all who have since followed.

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Product details

  • Vinyl (20 Mar. 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Def Jam
  • ASIN: B00008FRRG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,339,003 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on 29 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most uncompromising albums ever. Way ahead of its time, nothing in Hip Hop before or since has ever come close to matching the sheer intensity of the songs here. Probably one of the greatest albums ever but (as others here have noted) it's not an easy listen - so probably not for those wanting a nice happy melody!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Pearce on 13 Feb. 2004
Format: Audio CD
I was never really into hip-hop/rap during the late 80's and early 90's...I was more of a metal/indie kid at the time. But then one day in mid-1990 I heard a tape of this album in a friend's car and its no understatement to say that it changed my life (or at least, my musical habits, which pretty well was my life at the time). Admittedly, it took alot of listening to get into it, but it was the sheer dynamism of the music that blew me away. Other reviewers have talked about the production, the samples, the lyrics, intelligence, attitude and invention - and they are all absolutely right. What also needs to be emphasised are the hooks - there are tracks on this album that, given time, will sink into your memory and stay there forever. It is, frankly, a staggering piece of work which makes the hackneyed posturing of punk (i.e. the Clash, to which PE get compared to alot in terms of "revolutionary" content) look sad, limp and reactionary in comparison.
If I had not heard this, I would never have been turned onto techno, soul, funk, rave (and of course, rap)...all the glorious genre's that a sad, white indie kid tended to avoid at that time. I suppose to listeners today, it might sound dated (in production terms) but then, so do The Beatles. Its one of my favourite albums ever and in my humble opinion, one of the all time classics. Put it this way, when I played it to a thrash metal-fixated friend of mine at the time and raved on about how it was the "rap equivalent of heavy metal", he just gave me a funny look and said "you've changed". I never saw him again. But he was right - I had changed. "Fear Of A Black Planet" was (and still is) that powerful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan. 2000
Format: Audio CD
Quite obviously the best and most consistent PE album, this also manages to earn, with ease, a place among not only the best hip-hop albums ever, but also a landmark in twentieth century music. Without simple and grandiose praise, the multi-layered and visionary samples of the bomb squad coupled with Chuck D's razor sharp rhymes speak for themselves in terms of downright originality. The appearance of the Wu- tang in 1992 brought along critical appraisal in terms of their rawness and dexterity. The blueprint, fully realised, is here for all to hear. When I first heard this album, I wasn't totally convinced, but as with all great works, patience reveals the true and profound quality of this album. In a Sunday Times article a few years back, this featured in the top ten of a third of music industry moghuls and intellectuals greatest ever albums. The three star average is no reflection on the merits of Fear of a Black Planet. This is a thick selection of tunes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Gershwin on 26 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD
From the recognisable opening bars of 'Contract On The World Love Jam', it is instantly clear that this album is going to play out like a modern rap classic. The sample-led style of 'Contract...' dominates this entire album to fantastic effect. It is political, pop-culture referencing, middle-America baiting rap genius, fiercely political and always aggressive.

Call to arms 'Brothers gonna work it out' is an instantly rousing and anthemic P.E. classic, leading into '911 Is A Joke', easily another classic.

'Incident At 66.6FM' is yet more sampling of soundbites; a P.E. trademark, as a radio show takes various calls from serious and mock callers regarding P.E. The result is attention-grabbing and amusing.

Chuck D's quickfire rap delivery is never more evident than on 'Welcome To The Terrordome', alongside frequent interjections from resident P.E. 'joker', Flava Flav.

Amidst various other soundbites, highlights include 'Burn Hollywood Burn', which discusses the lack of roles for black actors in Hollywood, and 'Power To The People', a surefire hit on dancefloors, if ever I heard one. 'Fear Of A Black Planet' is also profound and powerful.

The album closes with 'Fight The Power', easily the best song on the album, and probably the Public Enemy piece de resistance. It is a stream of powerful, angry invective. It is also anthemic. 'Fight The Power': simple statement, profound meaning.

Suffice to say, there is little to no mainstream rap which can compare with this. But then, Public Enemy were never mainstream, rather, they were always the most boundary-pushing, intelligent and articulate group in the history of rap music. This is an absolute Grade A classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul A on 23 Feb. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This little piece of hip hop perfection is still burning hot in my music system after 15 years... It is not full of all the macho posturing and banal 'smoke your ass' bad boy MFing that so many rap albums at the time, (and since), seem to be partial to. For me this was PE's finest hour. Much slicker than the fabulous 'It Takes A Nation...' Although the sound is a little dated now, this still rocks! I gave a copy to a friend who is almost half my age and into rap...(God that makes me sound really old!), anyway, it switched him on to a new way of listening to the genre. I suggest that if you haven't heard it then you do so. If you have it in your collection from bygone days, then dust it off and give it a spin.
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