Public Enemy

Hip Hop Group At the height of hip hop’s golden era, Public Enemy was single-handedly responsible for turning hip hop music into a vehicle for political ideas. Founded at Long Island, New York’s Adelphi University, the eight-man outfit—equipped with its own military-style security/dance troop called Security of the First World (S1Ws)—were referred to as “The Black Panthers of rap.” Their platinum sophomore LP It Takes A Nation Of Millions to Hold Us Back, both revolutionized the art of sampling (capturing mood and energy through sound) and hip hop’s ability to politicize its young audience. Lead rapper Chuck D (Carlton Ridenhour) backed by humorous sidekick Flavor Flav (William Jonathan Drayton Jr.), DJ Terminator X (Norman Rogers), Minister of Information/SW1 head Professor Griff (Richard Griffin) and the production team The Bomb Squad, while cranking out hit LPs into the early ’90s, also stirred controversy when the group was accused of anti-Semitism because of statements made by Griff.

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