Last month, the news surfaced that legendary Hip Hop group Public Enemy had re-signed with Def Jam — the cultural foundation that helped shape artists like LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Run D.M.C. and many more. Of course, Hip Hop fans across the globe were beyond thrilled (and rightfully so). Being back on the label that played a huge part in turning them into heroes, it’s great to see them back on the scene when the world needs their voices most. Today, the trio stepped up to the plate to deliver their 14th studio album What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?
Being one of the most influential rap groups of all time (especially in protest music), Chuck D, Flava Flav and DJ Lord show us why they are living legends on this album. Along with NWA, in the mid ’80s, Public Enemy had (and still has) rage. They weren’t sad, they weren’t disappointed and they weren’t angry at the world in general. They were utterly furious at their situation and the situation of their people, and they were clearly and furiously angry at those who had created and perpetuated that situation.
Most importantly, they didn’t want to give peace a chance and they didn’t want compassion and conversation — they wanted to fight back. They were symbols of a generation that saw promising protest movements give way to a corrupt government as their communities crumbled, and their righteous hostility scared authority to the highest levels of government and society.
The world is in a disorderly state – whether it’s because of COVID-19, the killings of black men and women from police brutality, or voting controversies surrounding the upcoming US election – and often times people find themselves going online to make sense of it. Now is the perfect time for Public Enemy to be the voice of the people.
Stream their latest effort below.