Public Enemy Fight the Power With Passion on ‘What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?’

For their 15th album, Public Enemy are back on Def Jam, the powerhouse label they helped build with their golden-age hip-hop classics. It’s a well-timed return to the center of the industry. The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has seen a reawakening of the protest radicalism that PE originally brought to rap, from Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” to Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture” to DaBaby’s BLM remix of “Rockstar.” So when they ask, “Is rap still the black CNN?” — embodying the voice of the music’s traditionalist gatekeepers on What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down? — the answer this time around is actually, “Yes, it sort of is.”

Being weirdly relevant yet proudly in their own world, passionately urgent yet resolutely ornery, has often been a PE hallmark, and here they nail a potent mix of “fight the powers that be” and “get the fuck off my lawn.” On “GRID,” featuring funk god George Clinton and Cypress Hill, Chuck goes off on techno overload and iPhone-zombie addiction (“No internet no text and no tweets/Will look like the Eighties with fiends in the streets”). It’s a great message in a time when internet-rabbit-hole deep-diving has turned suburban Republican moms into Pizzagate psychos, adorably delivered in a way that sounds a little like pissed-off parents trying their kids off TikTok: “Aww snap! No apps, just maybe perhaps/No grid is what we need for new human contact.” Elsewhere, the album is suffused with nostalgia for Public Enemy’s Eighties glory days; their old Def Jam label mates Mike D and Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys and Run-DMC all pop up on, along with Terminator X, a new version of their 1987 jam “Public Enemy No. 1,” (titled “Public Enemy Number Won”), while on “Rest in Beats,” Chuck turns a celebration of departed hip-hop figures into a demand for the music itself to live up to their legacy,

READ ALL ABOUT IT AT ROLLINGSTONE

Views: 16

Reply to This

Best guide to hip hop, soul, reggae concerts & events in San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles & New York City + music, videos, radio and more

Connect

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to E-Blast

TOP PICKS

Members

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Groups

Latest Activity

Editor's Pick posted discussions
55 minutes ago
Editor's Pick posted discussions
Saturday
TEAM BIGGA RANKIN posted blog posts
Saturday
bosshogg posted discussions
Friday
Editor's Pick posted discussions
Thursday
TEAM BIGGA RANKIN posted blog posts
Thursday
bosshogg posted a discussion

IPN - "Now It's Over"

Singer, DJ, and producer IPN just dropped a hot new single titled “Now It’s Over”. Even though the track has characteristically sad and dark sounds inspired by Linkin Park, Mike Shinoda and Blackbear, it refers to a message of hope. The lyrics aren’t really complicated, since IPN wrote it really fast and it’s not focused on a specific argument, to leave for the listener…See More
Thursday
Profile IconMaricris Demayo, Tiffany and franseno joined True Skool Network
Thursday
Dj Smoke (@PromoMixtapes) posted a discussion

Kunal - Angelic & Devilish

Kunal - Angelic & DevilishLA-based Hip Hop artist Kunal offers eclectic variety of sounds with new singles ‘Angelic & Devilish’ and ‘Feeling Good’LOS ANGELES, CA- Hip Hop artist KUNAL is a burgeoning force on the horizon. He is a product of global influences. Spending his childhood in New York, New Jersey and London – and paired with his Punjabi heritage – there…See More
Wednesday
Editor's Pick posted discussions
Wednesday
TEAM BIGGA RANKIN posted a blog post

Flawless Tha Don ft Mr.380 "Rowdy" Lyric Video | @thefavoriteflaw

The party starting single "Rowdy" by Flawless Tha Don ft Mr. 380 is out and making its rounds on blogs, mixtapes, and playlists everywhere.for those of you looking for a playful and perfect vibe to get lit to, then you've come to the right place. Today we present you the lyrics, we're sure you'll want to rap a long. Click Here to Stream/Support Flawless Tha Don "Rowdy"…See More
Oct 12
ganstamarcus posted a blog post

Top 5 Lima, Ohio Rappers

These Lima, Ohio artist has stepped up to the plate and will leave there musical legacy over the city's rap culture. The Buckeye state has no shortage of celebrities, but these Top Five artist sure stood out among the…See More
Oct 12

© 2020   Created by Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service