It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back by Public Enemy

No hiphop collection should be without the 1989 breakthrough LP from PE. Chuck D’s lyrics and delivery matched with The Bomb Squad’s confrontational production represented a new high-water mark as to what rap could be capable of. The track listing is jaw-dropping - Bring the Noise, Don’t Believe the Hype, Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, Rebel Without a Pause.... She Watch Channel Zero?! samples Def Jam labelmates Slayer, though it’s ironic to hear Flavor Flav being judgmental about viewing habits, having since been responsible for one of the worst sitcoms in TV history. Still, no questionable late career choices can overshadow this explosive statement of righteous black rage and defiance, that’s utterly uncompromising and iconic from the title down. Almost an hour’s worth crammed onto this LP but it sounds phenomenal.

Vinyl LP £17.99 5346821

Reissue LP on UMC.

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It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back by Public Enemy
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9/10 Penrith Steve 10th February 2015

The first three Public Enemy albums are pretty essential. “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” was their second. To these ears it is more of a sonic assault than their brilliant debut, “Yo! Bum Rush The Show”, the lyrics are delivered with more urgency too.

It would be a fool’s errand to try and list every sample used on here, but Terminator X builds a lot of Public Enemy songs on a sample of James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” and this looped beat is somewhat of signature. “Bring The Noise” and “Don’t Believe The Hype” are two of the first three tracks. Two absolute classics make this album start with a bang. “Rebel Without A Pause” and “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” are among the album’s best tracks. Tricky reworked the latter as “Black Steel” in 1995 for his “Maxinquaye” album.



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