Public Enemy


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At a Glance

Formed: 1982 (32 years ago)


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.

The Best Of Public Enemy edition of 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection (Def Jam/UME), released June 12, 2001, is the first retrospective of the group's original groundbreaking recordings. Featuring 11 selections, ... Read more

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.

The Best Of Public Enemy edition of 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection (Def Jam/UME), released June 12, 2001, is the first retrospective of the group's original groundbreaking recordings. Featuring 11 selections, The Best Of Public Enemy ranges from 1988's "Bring The Noise" lyrical assault to 1992's "Bring The Noise" collaboration with Anthrax which helped usher in rap metal. Musically extreme and politically revolutionary, the tracks on The Best Of Public Enemy are the sources from which has sprung everything hip-hop, from gangsta rap to Rage Against The Machine.

Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin first heard Chuck D's "Public Enemy No. 1" in the mid-1980s and hoped to sign him to the fledgling label he had formed with Russell Simmons. But Chuck insisted on a group and brought in Hank and Keith Shocklee, Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, William Drayton (court jester Flavor Flav), turntablist Norman Rogers (Terminator X), Bill Stephney and Nation of Islam member Richard Griffin (Professor Griff). After weeks opening on the Licensed To Ill tour for labelmates the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy debuted with 1987's Yo! Bum Rush The Show.

But it was the group's next album, the platinum It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988), which was louder than a bomb. "Bring The Noise" (also on the Less Than Zero soundtrack), "Don't Believe The Hype" and "Night Of The Living Baseheads" raised a forceful voice in the house. That voice was even stronger on the highly controversial 1989 platinum album Fear Of A Black Planet, with "Welcome To The Terrordome," "911 Is A Joke" and "Fight The Power," which was also the opening theme to Spike Lee's morality play Do The Right Thing.

1991's platinum Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black included "By The Time I Get To Arizona," "Nighttrain," "Shut Em Down" and Public Enemy's teaming with thrash metal's Anthrax on a re-recorded "Bring The Noise." After appearing on U2's Zoo TV tour and releasing the gold Greatest Misses (1992), they returned in 1994 with the gold Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age, which included "Give It Up."

Though gangsta rap would overwhelm Public Enemy, the group continued to record. Today, it remains one of the most revered names in hip-hop--a voice that dares to speak up and speak out, a voice heard loud and proud on The Best Of Public Enemy.

The series 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection features new "best of" albums from the most significant music artists of the past century.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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.

The Best Of Public Enemy edition of 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection (Def Jam/UME), released June 12, 2001, is the first retrospective of the group's original groundbreaking recordings. Featuring 11 selections, The Best Of Public Enemy ranges from 1988's "Bring The Noise" lyrical assault to 1992's "Bring The Noise" collaboration with Anthrax which helped usher in rap metal. Musically extreme and politically revolutionary, the tracks on The Best Of Public Enemy are the sources from which has sprung everything hip-hop, from gangsta rap to Rage Against The Machine.

Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin first heard Chuck D's "Public Enemy No. 1" in the mid-1980s and hoped to sign him to the fledgling label he had formed with Russell Simmons. But Chuck insisted on a group and brought in Hank and Keith Shocklee, Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, William Drayton (court jester Flavor Flav), turntablist Norman Rogers (Terminator X), Bill Stephney and Nation of Islam member Richard Griffin (Professor Griff). After weeks opening on the Licensed To Ill tour for labelmates the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy debuted with 1987's Yo! Bum Rush The Show.

But it was the group's next album, the platinum It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988), which was louder than a bomb. "Bring The Noise" (also on the Less Than Zero soundtrack), "Don't Believe The Hype" and "Night Of The Living Baseheads" raised a forceful voice in the house. That voice was even stronger on the highly controversial 1989 platinum album Fear Of A Black Planet, with "Welcome To The Terrordome," "911 Is A Joke" and "Fight The Power," which was also the opening theme to Spike Lee's morality play Do The Right Thing.

1991's platinum Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black included "By The Time I Get To Arizona," "Nighttrain," "Shut Em Down" and Public Enemy's teaming with thrash metal's Anthrax on a re-recorded "Bring The Noise." After appearing on U2's Zoo TV tour and releasing the gold Greatest Misses (1992), they returned in 1994 with the gold Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age, which included "Give It Up."

Though gangsta rap would overwhelm Public Enemy, the group continued to record. Today, it remains one of the most revered names in hip-hop--a voice that dares to speak up and speak out, a voice heard loud and proud on The Best Of Public Enemy.

The series 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection features new "best of" albums from the most significant music artists of the past century.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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.

The Best Of Public Enemy edition of 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection (Def Jam/UME), released June 12, 2001, is the first retrospective of the group's original groundbreaking recordings. Featuring 11 selections, The Best Of Public Enemy ranges from 1988's "Bring The Noise" lyrical assault to 1992's "Bring The Noise" collaboration with Anthrax which helped usher in rap metal. Musically extreme and politically revolutionary, the tracks on The Best Of Public Enemy are the sources from which has sprung everything hip-hop, from gangsta rap to Rage Against The Machine.

Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin first heard Chuck D's "Public Enemy No. 1" in the mid-1980s and hoped to sign him to the fledgling label he had formed with Russell Simmons. But Chuck insisted on a group and brought in Hank and Keith Shocklee, Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, William Drayton (court jester Flavor Flav), turntablist Norman Rogers (Terminator X), Bill Stephney and Nation of Islam member Richard Griffin (Professor Griff). After weeks opening on the Licensed To Ill tour for labelmates the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy debuted with 1987's Yo! Bum Rush The Show.

But it was the group's next album, the platinum It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988), which was louder than a bomb. "Bring The Noise" (also on the Less Than Zero soundtrack), "Don't Believe The Hype" and "Night Of The Living Baseheads" raised a forceful voice in the house. That voice was even stronger on the highly controversial 1989 platinum album Fear Of A Black Planet, with "Welcome To The Terrordome," "911 Is A Joke" and "Fight The Power," which was also the opening theme to Spike Lee's morality play Do The Right Thing.

1991's platinum Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black included "By The Time I Get To Arizona," "Nighttrain," "Shut Em Down" and Public Enemy's teaming with thrash metal's Anthrax on a re-recorded "Bring The Noise." After appearing on U2's Zoo TV tour and releasing the gold Greatest Misses (1992), they returned in 1994 with the gold Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age, which included "Give It Up."

Though gangsta rap would overwhelm Public Enemy, the group continued to record. Today, it remains one of the most revered names in hip-hop--a voice that dares to speak up and speak out, a voice heard loud and proud on The Best Of Public Enemy.

The series 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection features new "best of" albums from the most significant music artists of the past century.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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