Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- See The Public Enemy for the 1931 movie and Public Enemy (documentary) for the 1999 Black Panthers documentary film.
PE formed in Long Island, New York in 1982. They were signed on to the still developing Def Jam record label after Rick Rubin heard Chuck D freestyling on a demo. It then took roughly five years before their debut, Yo! Bum Rush The Show , was released in 1987 to critical acclaim. They went to release the revolutionary It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988, which performed better in the charts than their previous release. They also went on to release Fear of a Black Planet which was slightly less militant than their first two releases.
Public Enemy were pioneers in many ways. For instance, Terminator X elevated DJing to a more refined art. Some of his most innovative scratching tricks can be heard on the song "Rebel Without A Pause". PE revolutionized the rap world with their political, social and cultural consciousness, which infused itself into skilled and poetic rhymes with jazzy backbeats. They also changed the Internet's music distribution capability by being the first group to release MP3 albums, a format virtually unknown at the time.
Origin of name
Chuck D had put out a tape to promote WBAU (the radio station he was working at the time) and to fend off a local rapper who wanted to battle him. He called the tape Public Enemy #1 because he felt like he was being persecuted by people in locale scene. This was the first reference to the notion of a "Public Enemy" in any of Chuck D's songs. The single was created by Chuck D with a contribution by Flavor Flav though this was before the group Public Enemy was assembled.
PE were also infamous for their alignment with S1W (Security Of the First World), a militant black power movement. Also, Professor Griff, a member of the group, made many anti-semitic remarks and as a result was ejected from the band, and the group was listed in an FBI report to Congress entitled "Rap Music and Its Effects on National Security".
They still continue to perform and write, though with some attrition. Terminator X took early retirement and was replaced by Atlanta native DJ Lord as the group's main DJ. Chuck D also heads a band named Confrontation Camp , a confrontational funk/rock band. In 2004, Flavor Flav appeared on the VH1 reality show The Surreal Life, and can now be seen on the VH1 program Strange Love.
- Chuck D
- Real name: Carlton Ridenhour
- Role: Group leader, lyricist, main vocalist, and artwork
- Birthdate: August 1, 1960
- Flavor Flav
- Real name: William Drayton
- Role: Lyricist, vocalist, hype-man, and comic relief.
- Birthdate: March 16, 1959
- Professor Griff
- Real name: Richard Griffin
- Role: Head of S1W, liaison between PE and S1W, road manager. Ensured that the chaotic Flavor Flav was available when needed.
- Birthdate: August 1, 1960 (the same as Chuck D)
- Terminator X
- Real name: Norman Rogers
- Role: DJ
- Birthdate: August 25, 1966
- Hank Shocklee
- Real name: Hank Boxley
- Bill Stephany
- Chuck D with Yusuf Jah , Fight the Power, Delacorte Press, 1997 ISBN 0385318685
- BlackSteelintheHourofChaos.ogg of "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" from It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
- Yo! Bum Rush The Show (1987)
- It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
- Fight the Power...Live! (1989)
- Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
- Apocalypse '91...The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
- Greatest Misses 1986-1992 (1992)
- Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (1994)
- He Got Game (1998)
- BTN 2000 (online released mega-mix which initialized PE's leaving Def Jam records) (1999)
- There's A Poison Goin On (1999)
- Revolverlution (2002)
- There's A Poison Goin On (worldwide re-release via Slamjamz.com ) (2004)
- Public Enemy's official website
- Slam Jamz, Chuck D's online record label
- In-Depth Tribute Site to Public Enemy
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