Rebel Bass - Public Enemy's Greates Hits
Public Enemy officially formed around 1986 and started working on their first album ‘Yo Bum Rush The Show’. There was a buzz about that record even before it was released; that’s because artists like Run DMC and The Beastie Boys were proclaiming it as a Hip Hop masterpiece. The album was released on February 10th 1987, and I was the first in line at my local record shop to buy it, well I was the only person in line.
Nothing on earth sounded like ‘Yo Bum Rush The Show’ up until that moment Hop producers would sample a single funk break or use a drum machine to lay down a repetitive beat. The Bomb Squad (The Production Team at Spectrum City Studios) layered multiple breaks to create a new sonic experience; they punctuated Chuck D and Flavor Flav’s raps with powerful stabs and sound effects.
From the get go the groups name, their visual identity, and their conscious lyrics challenged the listener to think about the status quo, they elevated rap beyond the standard egotistical, misogynistic verses and introduced us to issues facing the black community in the US.
Public Enemy’s second album ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ cemented their place in the Hip Hop hall of fame. The Album is regarded by music writers and publications as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 48 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest ranking of all the hip hop albums on the list, and the only one acknowledged in the top hundred.
The standout single from that album was ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ which dropped like an atom bomb. The single came out in spring of 87, and was the roadblock anthem by the summer; it destroyed carnival with nearly every sound system was forced to play it or risk being torn down. That year Public Enemy supported Eric B & Rakim and LL Cool J on the Def Jam tour, Me and a school friend went to the show in Hammersmith, it was so intimidating for a short pale-faced school boy, and to be honest, I was afraid for my life before the show. However, as soon as the beats dropped we were all one nation under a groove. Sound Bites from the Hammersmith show feature on the album, and I like to think that one of the thousands of voices on that record is mine.