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Fear of a Black Planet
     

Fear of a Black Planet

5.0 1
by Public Enemy
 

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In 1988, Public Enemy released one of the greatest albums of all time, IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK, an artistic statement so groundbreaking fans wondered if anything could stand as a proper follow-up. But if anything, their next recording, 1990's FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET, is even more

Overview

In 1988, Public Enemy released one of the greatest albums of all time, IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK, an artistic statement so groundbreaking fans wondered if anything could stand as a proper follow-up. But if anything, their next recording, 1990's FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET, is even more abrasive. "Pollywanacraka," attacks conservative attitudes on interracial dating; "Burn Hollywood Burn" rails against black stereotypes in cinema; and "Meet the G That Killed me," urged greater AIDS awareness. "Fight the Power" is a clarion call to action -- a signature song of the group's Black Power message wed to a galvanizing sample of James Browns' "Funky Drummer" -- and throughout PLANET, the Bomb Squad's mix is as aggressive as Chuck D and Flavor Flav's lyrics. Social commentary doesn't get any funkier.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
At the time of its release in March 1990 -- just a mere two years after It Takes a Nation of Millions -- nearly all of the attention spent on Public Enemy's third album, Fear of a Black Planet, was concentrated on the dying controversy over Professor Griff's anti-Semitic statements of 1989, and how leader Chuck D bungled the public relations regarding his dismissal. References to the controversy are scattered throughout the album -- and it fueled the incendiary lead single, "Welcome to the Terrordome" -- but years later, after the furor has died down, what remains is a remarkable piece of modern art, a record that ushered in the '90s in a hail of multiculturalism and kaleidoscopic confusion. It also easily stands as the Bomb Squad's finest musical moment. Where Millions was all about aggression -- layered aggression, but aggression nonetheless -- Fear of a Black Planet encompasses everything, touching on seductive grooves, relentless beats, hard funk, and dub reggae without blinking an eye. All the more impressive is that this is one of the records made during the golden age of sampling, before legal limits were set on sampling, so this is a wild, endlessly layered record filled with familiar sounds you can't place; it's nearly as heady as the Beastie Boys' magnum opus, Paul's Boutique, in how it pulls from anonymous and familiar sources to create something totally original and modern. While the Bomb Squad were casting a wider net, Chuck D's writing was tighter than ever, with each track tackling a specific topic (apart from the aforementioned "Welcome to the Terrordome," whose careening rhymes and paranoid confusion are all the more effective when surrounded by such detailed arguments), a sentiment that spills over to Flavor Flav, who delivers the pungent black humor of "911 Is a Joke," perhaps the best-known song here. Chuck gets himself into trouble here and there -- most notoriously on "Meet the G That Killed Me," where he skirts with homophobia -- but by and large, he's never been so eloquent, angry, or persuasive as he is here. This isn't as revolutionary or as potent as Millions, but it holds together better, and as a piece of music, this is the best hip-hop has ever had to offer.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/26/1994
Label:
Def Jam
UPC:
0731452344625
catalogNumber:
523446
Rank:
9586

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Public Enemy   Primary Artist
Branford Marsalis   Saxophone
Norman Lee Rogers   scratching

Technical Credits

Big Daddy Kane   Contributor
Ice Cube   Contributor
Professor Griff   Contributor
Chuck D   Contributor
Paul Eulin   Engineer
Flavor Flav   Contributor
Rod Hui   Engineer
Steve Loeb   Engineer
Carl Ryder   Arranger,Director,Producer
Nick Sansano   Engineer
Keith Shocklee   Arranger,Composer,Director,Producer
Paul Shabazz   Programming
Christopher Shaw   Engineer
Hank Shocklee   Arranger,Composer,Director,Producer
Kirk Yano   Engineer
Eric Sadler   Arranger,Composer,Director,Programming,Producer
Mike Bona   Engineer
Carlton Ridenhour   Composer
Norman Lee Rogers   Composer
Bomb Squad   Producer
Dan Wood   Engineer
William Drayton   Composer
Antonio Hardy   Composer
O'Shea Jackson   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Fear of a Black Planet 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fear if a Black Planet is one of the best hip hop albums of all time as well as one of the most important. Public Enenmy entertained as well as informed. Fight the Power should be a national anthem.