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Public Enemy Ask 'What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?'

Unlikely purveyors of comfort music, Public Enemy offer a balm for an ominous future on What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?.

Recent
Music

A Slapdash History of the Hip-hop Megamix

The megamix is a variegated mural, with flashes of color – neon pink, chartreuse, head-gash red – popping off chipped concrete, an amalgamation of flavor so fresh it strains the vision, so vivid it glows.

Film

Privilege vs Detriment: 'Copyright Criminals' Has a Good Defense

Why would the generation that covered Bob Dylan over and over get so bent out of shape of having seconds of audio copied and pasted in a new way in a rap song?

Music

Say It Loud! 100 Great Protest Songs: Part 4 - Dead Kennedys to Steve Earle

PopMatters has scoured the musical spectrum for the best examples of the protest song form, including anthems of great popularity and obscurity alike. Stay tuned all week as we unveil the top 100.

Music

Chuck D on the Early Days of Sampling

In those early, free-wheeling days of hip-hop, the artists were waaaay ahead of the lawyers.

Music

Public Enemy - "No Sympathy From the Devil" (Singles Going Steady)

Public Enemy has just released a video for "No Sympathy From the Devil" from their 13th album, Man Plans, God Laughs. Our writers weigh in.

Music

Chuck D: The Black in Man

Chuck D unleashes a brief but vital onslaught of old-school fury; it just might be the gutpunch today's scene desperately needs.

Music

Counterbalance No. 131a: Public Enemy's 'Fear of a Black Planet'

I got so much trouble on my mind, refuse to lose. Here's your ticket -- hear the drummer get wicked -- and dig into the 131st most acclaimed album of all time. Public Enemy’s 1990 statement of purpose is next. Welcome to the terrordome.

Music

Our 5 Picks for the Rock Hall Class of 2013

Last week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the 15 contenders vying to be inducted as part of its Class of 2013. By adhering to the Hall's broad definition of rock 'n' roll and by trying to objectively apply its induction criteria, Sound Affects has narrowed down the choices to five artists it would vote for if it could.

Music

This Year's Rock Hall of Fame Ballot Aims to Right Some Wrongs

The newly-announced ballot for the next class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees not only seeks to rectify long-standing slights but lets the public have a say for once. Here's hoping it doesn't go all pear-shaped.

Music

Various Artists: Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

Soundtrack makes for a pretty good listen, but doesn't live up to its audacious subtitle.

Music

The Top 10 Most Notable Career Suicide Albums

Career suicide albums fall into two camps: Those that were released ahead of their time, and those that set new standards in awful. The best thing that could be said about the later category is that these albums are oftentimes just as fascinating as an artist’s best work.

Music

What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and the Power of Music?

Denise Sullivan represents the insider intellectual stamina of rock 'n' roll journalism without the pomp and pretense. She is the past and future of the form, rolled into one uncanny style.

Music

20 Music Videos from the 1980s That Have Aged Well

In this second installment of Sound Affects' retrospective of music videos from the 1980s, we focus on 20 promos that have, remarkably, stood the test of time.

Dennis Shin
Music

Counterbalance: Year One

In this special one-year anniversary edition of Counterbalance, Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn discuss their first year combing through the pop music canon (as determined by Acclaimed Music's calculations of every best-of list available), share a few favorites, and justify a couple items on their expense account.

Music

Is There a DJ in the House?

If video killed the radio star, some might argue that technology crippled the hip-hop mix masters. Crippled, maybe, but the deejay is not obsolete.

Music

One Musical Moment in Time: What's Yours?

It would be interesting to hear back from PopMatters' esteemed readership about the best singular musical moments that you can remember.

Music

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Most Infamous Snubs

Fans have made a strong case for the following bands and artists who weren’t nominated this year and aren’t in the hall of fame yet.

Events

Hopscotch Music Festival: 9-11 September 2010 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Well curated, organized and executed, the inaugural Hopscotch Music Festival announced the arrival of a new stop on the summer festival circuit.

Music

'Blue Sky Mining' and 'Fear of a Black Planet': Celebrating 20 Years of Righteous Anger

Twenty years ago, two albums addressed a man made environmental disaster and a racial divide that never seemed to close. You'd think these albums would sound dated today...

Music

Hip-Hop Storytellers: The Vignette

"That story is over, but my rhyme ain't done." Vignettes are important tools in hip-hop's rich and plentiful storytelling tradition.

Music

Verse-Chorus-Verse: Issac Hayes and Public Enemy

Artist/producer PC Muñoz mines for gems and grills the greats.

Music

I Still Love H.E.R. (And So Should Everyone Else)

One surprisingly successful technique for converting hip-hop haters and deepening the existing fan's love for the culture is to expose them to "old school hip-hop".

Books

Rick Rubin: In the Studio, by Jake Brown

Part of my antagonism toward this book stems from my feeling that it’s not so much as “written” as it is “researched”.

Reviews

Public Enemy: Revolverlution Tour Australia 2003

For those of us who are interested in the intersection of politics and popular culture, our resentment of Reagan-Bush-Bush is mitigated by the realization that, hey, at least we got some good tunes out of the deal.

Music

These Are the Breaks: The Motown Sound's Influence on Hip-Hop Sampling

For any influential group in the hip-hop game, specifically in the early 1990s, Motown's stamp of approval and its variety of subsidiaries were undeniably influential.

Music

Songs in the Key of Rap

The relationship between singing and rapping has had a transforming effect on hip-hoppers and singers alike.

Music

We Don't Die, We Multiply: Hip-Hop Groups

Group identification creates interesting scenarios within hip-hop culture, from the formation and maintenance of group identity to the difficulties of promoting the lyrical skills of a group's various members.

Reviews

NBA Ballers: Chosen One

Sitting solitary in a totally anonymous, ESPN-on-a-budget studio, Chuck D looks and sounds like a 48-year-old who knows much better.

Joe Bernstein
Music

Public Enemy: Remix of a Nation

Paris takes Rebirth of a Nation back for an ultimately unnecessary do-over. This should be a bonus disk, not a stand-alone.

Filmore Mescalito Holmes
Music

Public Enemy: Bring That Beat Back

As Public Enemy's latest set of remixes focuses on beats, their politics are still bangin'. But has Public Enemy become a group of superheroes or brothers from another planet?

Music

Public Enemy: New Whirl Odor

Some thought Public Enemy had become irrelevant 10 years ago, but they hadn't. Now, though, they're getting dangerously close...

Dave Heaton
Music

Public Enemy: Power to the People and the Beats

On their greatest hits album, Public Enemy offer up frustration, fire and a desire to ignite a revolution by assaulting the masses with political diatribes fueled by rage.

Pierre M. Hamilton
Reviews

Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation: The First London Invasion Tour 1987 [DVD]

With flame in their eyes and clocks around their necks, Public Enemy were setting stages on fire, as showmen with a larger sense of social purpose.

Dave Heaton

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