I’m the first to admit that I am no expert on hip hop music and I don’t listen to much of it, but I know what I like when I hear it. For years, Fear Of A Black Planet (1990) by Public Enemy was my “go to” choice when I wanted to hear some hip hop. Eventually Wu Tang Clan took over that coveted spot, but I already wrote about them. Public Enemy elevated the entire genre and paved the way for so much that followed in their wake. Chuck D has an authority in his voice that makes you really listen and think about what he has to say. I don’t have the time or the knowledge to break down everything he raps about on this album, but it was revolutionary stuff compared to most of what was popular at that time. The Bomb Squad production team did incredible things with samples, too. This was before the whole game changed in that department. Public Enemy apparently knew the rules were about to change, so they created this tapestry of samples to accentuate their fiery lyrics, making an album that would cost a lot more in the era of the sample clearance system. Rap and hip hop have evolved tremendously over the course of time, but Fear Of A Black Planet is still recognized as one of the most important albums in the history of that music. Fight The Power!
Written By Braddon S. Williams