Public Enemy

Led by Chuck D's snarling political raps and biting social commentaries, Public Enemy became one of the most radical hip hop acts of all time, highlighting the poverty, injustice and racial issues facing the black youth of the 1980s. With over-sized clocks dangling from his neck and an infectious, natural enthusiasm, hype man Flavor Flav was the man that got the party started while DJ Terminator X scratched out beats on his turntables and Professor Griff acted as the group's Minister of Information; delivering rhetoric in interviews and leading the S1W - a troop of dancers-cum-security guards dressed in military attire. Signed by Def Jam Records, Public Enemy made their name as an opening act for the Beastie Boys before debut Yo! Bumrush the Show (1987) was named album of the year by NME magazine and the band were launched as a ferocious new force. Its classic follow-up It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988) stands as the group's finest moment with the singles Rebel Without A Pause and Don't Believe The Hype acting as calls to arms. Third album Fear Of A Black Planet (1990) also drew huge acclaim, driven by the charged anthem Fight The Power, before the band pioneered the rap metal crossover genre by collaborating with rockers Anthrax. Public Enemy were the first ever hip hop act to headline the Reading and Leeds rock festivals (in 1992) and broke new ground when they became the first act to release MP3-only albums.

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