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Public Enemy

Remix of a Nation

(Guerrilla Funk; US: 29 Jan 2008; UK: 26 Nov 2007)

Public Enemy is one of, if not the most important hip-hop group of the past 20 years. Miraculously, while dozens of their former associates have gone pop or completely vanished, they’ve managed to maintain their level of quality over time with beats that recall their early ‘90s work and that of Dr. Dre (just with a little more punch and less obvious samples), while their viciously political lyricism has retained its razor sharp relevance. That said, this remix album is a pretty blatant cash-grab, so maybe they aren’t doing that well.

Though Public Enemy released a full-length in 2007, they decided to release a bonus disk to 2005’s Rebirth of a Nation in ‘08. A few of the mixes on Remix are virtually identical to the originals and, though it’s nice to see dead prez and Immortal Technique getting around, the new collaborations are nothing to write home about. If they cut the superfluous mixes and made this a mere second disk supplement to a reissue of Rebirth, it’d be great. Paris’ new beats are as crisp as they are fondly nostalgic, and Chuck D is top form throughout. Their work together is truly worthy, but I can’t say you really get your money’s worth here. They could have done more with the remix and collaborations theme to make it truly worthy. As is, I have to recommend you track down all of their original albums (every single one of them) first before coming anywhere near Remix of a Nation.


Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.

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