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Public Enemy, Power to the People and the Beats: Public Enemy’s Greatest Hits

Public Enemy’s greatest hits focuses on their Def Jam years, and features their groundbreaking and creative peak from the late ’80s to the early ’90s. Opening with “You’re Gonna Get Yours” and “Public Enemy #1” from their explosive 1987 debut Yo! Bum Rush the Show, this collection wisely flows into five tracks from their breakthrough 1988 sophomore release It Takes a Nation of a Million to Hold Us Back and five more from the 1990 classic Fear of a Black Planet – in particular, with these two releases PE defined their urban style with screeching samples, hard rocking beats, all with a sense of panic and urgency. When combined with Chuck D’s social-political raps and Flavor Flav’s comedic commentary, potent tracks like “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” “Prophets Of Rage,” “Welcome To The Terrordome,” “Brothers Gonna Work It Out,” and “911 Is A Joke” leave the listener completely engaged (and enraged with the system). Because this collection follows PE’s illustrious career in chronological order songs from 1992-1994 are only given a quick run through (which is a good thing because PE never matched their intensity of past years with those recordings) but the album ends with their hit single “He Got Game,” from the 1998 soundtrack He Got Game, which has Chuck D and Public Enemy at their most venerable and commercial. With out a doubt, Public Enemy is one of the most influential hip-hop artists ever and this greatest hits collection is the perfect introduction to the band, or just a reminder of what real hip-hop should be about. (Def Jam Recordings) Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

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