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.