Artist: Publich Enemy
Album: Rebirth of a Nation
Label: Guerrilla Funk
Enemy ruled Hip-Hop airwaves in the late 80’s/early 90’s. With messages
as powerful as songs entitled“911 is a Joke,” and “Fear
of a Black Planet,” Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, Professor
Griff and Bill Stephney created the new school version of black power.
Fast-forward about 10-15 years and you will find a new edition to the
Public Enemy discography ― Rebirth of a Nation. If the title
of their eleventh studio album sounds familiar, remember their 1988
classic, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back?
― Rebirth of a Nation is a modern day reference to that album and
other old school PE joints.
collaboration with Paris (who did the production), you may remember
him from his song “Bush Killer”
(from many Bush administrations ago), “Rebirth” not only
makes references to golden-era PE, it’s also an updated version of
what they have always been about, “power to the people.” While staying
true to their original sound yet making it clear that they have also
evolved, Rebirth of a Nation
is an impressive and powerful comeback.
opening track “Raw S**t,”
featuring MC Ren (of NWA) and Paris is a hardcore intro. The beat bangs
with a sense of urgency as they all let you know that Hip-Hop continues.
Either you’re with them or against them. “Hard Truth Soldiers,”
featuring Dead Prez, MC Ren and The Conscious Daughters has a Hip-Hop
rock edge, like a lot of the album. Chuck D spits in the first verse,
“It’s the COINTEL killer black hard truth silver back/ still
checking to see just who set to come along rebirth and revive that movement
back /we’re bringing the balance back…”
It’s not like he was known for supreme lyrical skills, it was more
about his gangsta and fearlessness in terms of what he said. In a generation
who probably knows nothing about COINTELPRO, but all about buffoonery
and bling bling propaganda fed to the masses by greedy corporations,
bringing balance back to the game is not such a bad idea. Dead Prez,
MC Ren, and the Conscious daughters are nice additions to the song and
of course, Flavor Flav fulfilled his hypeman duties by adding the appropriate
“yeah’s,” “word’s,” and other sound effects. “Pump
the Music, Pump the Sound” is reminiscent of “Show
‘Em Whatcha Got” (It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us
Back). A blend of jazz and Hip-Hop, the song consists of the hook,
“pump the music, pump the sound” and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
speech snippets telling people we must rise up above the evils of war
― and it’s still dope, showing that they don’t always have to
have a whole song of rapping revolutionary style. Music and snippets
blended only in the signature way that PE can, does the trick just as