Public Enemy

Genres: Documentaries Pop / Rock Urban
Descriptive "tags": hip-hop rap hip hop old school political Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s


Hugely influential and controversial New York, USA-based rap act, frequently referred to as ‘The Black Sex Pistols’, Public Enemy’s legacy extends beyond rap, and attained a massive cultural significance within black communities. The effect on the consciousness (and consciences) of white people during the act’s heyday (the late 80s and early 90s) is almost as considerable.

Public Enemy was initially viewed either as a radical and positive avenging force, or a disturbing manifestation of the guns ‘n’ violence-obsessed, homophobic, misogynist, anti-Semitic attitudes of a section of the black American ghetto underclass. The crew’s origins can be traced to 1982 and the Adelphi University, Long Island, New York. There college radio DJ Chuck D. (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, 1 August 1960, Roosevelt, Long Island, New York City, USA) and Hank Shocklee were given the chance to mix tracks for the college station, WBAU,...

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