public enemy

The contents of this page relate to public enemy.

TY INTERVIEWED (2004): British hip-hop to the people

TY INTERVIEWED (2004): British hip-hop to the people

From this distance, British hip-hop comes down to a few big names: the Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Skinnyman. It takes keen interest -- or a look at the nominees for the highly regarded Mercury Prize -- to come across rapper Ty. But he's not a new name. His debut album Awkward appeared three years ago in 2001 and the Mercury-nominated Upwards...

CHUCK D OF PUBLIC ENEMY INTERVIEWED (2004): Business as usual

CHUCK D OF PUBLIC ENEMY INTERVIEWED (2004): Business as usual

The man whose angry voice once sent shockwaves around the world answers his cellphone with a barely audible, “Hello”. Somewhere in the background a woman’s voice on a high-energy marketing rush is clearly audible talking about recouping costs, the outlay for advertising, and a settlement. I ask if this is a convenient time...

Public Enemy: It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

Public Enemy: It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

By the late Eighties when this announced itself like a live album with stadium sound from the audience and a siren wail, hip-hop had sprung past the sampling innocence and good times of its early period in Stateside inner-city block parties and cheap steals from bits of vinyl. Within the first few minutes of this confrontational, sometimes...

BUPPIES, B-BOYS, BAPS AND BOHOS by NELSON GEORGE: Life on the black planet

BUPPIES, B-BOYS, BAPS AND BOHOS by NELSON GEORGE: Life on the black planet

When Time magazine declared then New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani its "person of the year" for 2001 -- over Osama Bin Laden who, like it or not, appeared to have made a greater impact -- and Oprah's dubbed him "America's Mayor", you could reasonably feel the Big Apple had become the centre of the known universe....

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Real World/Southbound)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Real World/Southbound)

At last! When Elsewhere reviewed this thrilling album last year it was almost immediately deleted and people were demanding it, even more so after this group played at the Taranaki Womad where they were, not unexpectedly, a real highlight. Speed Caravan's Mehdi Haddab does for the oud what Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton did for the...

NU METAL IN 2001: Look at the nu boss, same as the old boss

NU METAL IN 2001: Look at the nu boss, same as the old boss

Heavy metal is for young men without a war of their own, wrote a wag in Creem magazine some time in the early Seventies. At the time Led Zeppelin were stomping across the planet delivering their stolen blues and post-pop at ear-shattering volume. You can catch it in their concert film The Song Remains the Same -- and they look like a bunch of...

Blakroc: Blakroc (Blakroc)

Blakroc: Blakroc (Blakroc)

While nu-metal spawned some horrible offspring in terms of rap/rock collaborations or assimilations of one into the other, there has always been more in common between the two genres than many would concede. If nothing else, some of that bad nu-metal at least prepared the mind for this collection where the one-time blues-rock duo Black...

King Kurlee feat. Blackmore Jr: Smoke on the Water (1991)

King Kurlee feat. Blackmore Jr: Smoke on the Water (1991)

The merging of hip-hop and rock (via Run DMC with Aerosmith, Anthrax with Public Enemy, and others) lead to nu-metal and its many unfortunate bands such as Limp Bizkit. But, as with the early days of hip-hop when there was an innocent and enjoyable experimentation, some of nu-metal's predecessors were more interesting than their offspring....

Caveman: I'm Ready (1991)

Caveman: I'm Ready (1991)

Just as Run DMC found when they hooked themselves up with a metal guitar part from Aerosmith for Walk This Way (here) -- and King Kurlee confirmed when he got Blackmore Jnr in to play the classic Smoke on the Water riff (here) -- when hip-hop appropriates from tough rock the results can be pretty powerful. Caveman out of High Wycombe, were...

Plan B: The Defamation of Strickland Banks (Atlantic)

Plan B: The Defamation of Strickland Banks (Atlantic)

East London 'ard-man rapper Ben Drew -- aka Plan B -- can deliver some bruising rap about utterly nasty characters (and in an uncompromising manner which suggests you shouldn't mess with him). But he also showcases another side on this, his second studio album. That of an aching falsetto-Smokey Robinson/Motown-styled soul singer. He goes...

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA INTERVIEWED (1988): The shape of things hip-hop and political to come?

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA INTERVIEWED (1988): The shape of things hip-hop and political to come?

He answers the phone exactly as you might expect - a booming, stentorian tone like some Old Testament prophet and commands: “Speak.” We speak . . . and the voice changes into the quiet tones of unassuming politeness as he patiently explains his political philosophy -- and there's a lot of it. For this is Afrika Bambaataa,...

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip: Angles (2008)

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip: Angles (2008)

Hip-hop's global reach was achieved well over two decades ago now, and because "the word" is the most important medium for a message in any culture it's no surprise that just about anywhere on the planet where there are words, so too there are rappers. In a decade -- from the early Eighties -- rap went from an inner-city movement...

Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)

Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)

It's hard to believe, but a radio station in New Zealand -- which always seemed to be playing car dealer ads and 20 year old Led Zeppelin on the rare occasions I tuned in -- had as its slogan "No crap, no rap". We can guess they weren't actually distinguishing between the two but by implication rap was crap. It must have come...

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