Fight The Power: the voice of black America in the words of Public Enemy

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Before Charlottesville, before being killed by Arlon Sterling and African American agent while driving, first of all this there was the hip hop that was heading to that part of the country that he didn’t have a voice. A social class that wasn’t being heard but discriminated against.

Black America Martin Luther King’s daughter, who had heard of apartheid, seeking ransom and sgomitava between the myths white pop and felt pushed aside.

Public Enemy wanted to be that voice that was missing.

Cultural and media have had an impact on other hip hop groups like almost no other artist of the time, promoters of the singers in the years to follow and laying the foundations of music genres of hip hop’s first choice in the years ‘ 90, such as hip hop and the political rap.

Would become public enemy, what raised his voice among the outcast of society, opening debates and rewriting the rules dhip hop, becoming famous all over the world.

Public Enemy - Don't Believe The Hype (Official Music Video)

It all began in 1982, when Chuck D (Carl Ridenhour) and Hank Schiller begin to mix tracks for their college radio station on Long Island. Eddy Cilìa writes on his blog:

Cannot be considered a triumph the fact that Chuck D is able to win over hearts and minds of white middle-class children chanting rhymes like those, unforgettable, Aintnuttin Aintnuttin Buttersong “, which thus explain the USA flag:

Red is the color of spilled blood
And blue were the sad hymns
We used to sing in church without understanding
That White Heaven is hell of blacks
The stars are what we saw
When we chattered
The strips the marks left by the whip on backs
And white, I have to explain what it is? “.

Make themselves known for titles like It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988), sampling of revolutionary music, and in the early ‘ 90 explodes the success of “Don’t Believe the Hype and Fight The Power, shouting matches from Long Island rebels and whose echoes still pr opaga today.

Public Enemy - Fight The Power

In 2013 enter into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, demonstrating the incredible importance and influence that they have earned. Proponents of what will later be called Nu Metal, the last known heirs are Linkin Park, thanks to milestone Bring The Noise, written together with the thrashers Anthrax, they return to the stage in 2015 with Man Plans, God Laughs.

“Fight the power” is exactly the piece to be rediscovered today. Chuck D and the partners they wanted it to be “aggressive, provocative, no half measures“. The piece from the soundtrack (for the Spike Lee movie do the right thing) stronger than the period that came between the traces of Fear of the Black Planet, their album of 1990.

Do the Right Thing (1989) opening credits

A funk rhythm-dance battle meets a direct attack at White institutions more representative of that system which declared themselves enemies.

About the song, Brian Hardgroove said: “the police are needed. As humans we have evolved enough to be able to do without. Fight the Power is not about fighting the authority, it is not so. Speaks rather to fight abuse of power by the authority “.

1989, a number, another summer (face it)
the sound of the great drummer,
the music hits your heart because I know that you have a soul,
[…] rhyme and rhythm are progressing,
You must give us what we want,
You must give us what we need,
our right of speech is freedom or death,
We must fight the power is there,
Let me hear you say: fight the power.
We pump our views to make us force,
from the heart/it’s a start, a masterpiece, revolutionize you make change, nothing out of the ordinary
people, “people we are the same”
No, we’re not the same

Elvis was a hero to many,
but not for me, you see,
think about the racist who was that idiot,
sends her to fuck him and John Wayne
because I’m black and I’m proud

The verse is inspired by a piece of Blowfly, in which a character of the Ku Klux Klan exclaims, “Well, I don’t care who you are, Titan industries limited you and Muhammad Ali.” In addition, there is a reference to the idea that Elvis has imitated the way of typical music of African Americans to become popular.

Chuck D said: “its been icon in Ame[di Elvis]rica put in dim light everyone else, as if they had not counted on anything. My musical patterns came from others. My myths were passed before him. They were probably its own myths. I couldn’t accept that he was ‘ The King ‘ “

And John Wayne? During an interview with Playboy in 1971 Wayne had pointed to “believe in white supremacy until Blacks are not educated about liability” (which is why recently the California rebelled at the idea of a day dedicated in his name).

Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps
Try looking back, see and find
Only “rednecks” for[razzisti del Sud, ndr] 400 years if you control

400 years, i.e. the period from the founding of Jamestown (1607) that would be followed the trade in black slaves.

“Don’t worry, be happy”
It was the number one song,
Damn, if I say I could slap it right now

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Chuck D said, “If you’re not worried, if you’re happy, you think, why complain? Well, not everyone thinks so “.

Right here, come on,
What we have to say
power to the people, no lag,
to let everyone see
in order to fight power there is.

Life is politics, music is life, so why separate the two? Because music cannot become a means of communication like radios or newspapers?

Piero Scaruffi writes on his blog:

“They could be the Country Joe Black slum, sarcastic storyteller of evils of their time, but, while remaining faithful to the tradition of Sly Stone and George Clinton would prefer to turn their rallies in hilarious dances from fair, or better, in small symphonies of gags sound. “


Music, songs, concerts are no longer places to retreat to forget the problems, but rather the context in which to talk, pull them, confront them, come together and find a common voice. The concerts become veritable political rallies.

No longer the pop which talks about heart and love, but instead a hip-hop made of rhymes, digging in thoughts and reach the listener’s head sbattendogli in the eye a reality we don’t like but which cannot be ignored.

Chuck D’s voice sang with the crowd, he led a protest behind which was a hope: finding one’s place in a hostile society, but from which they didn’t want to leave. Because in the end the pieces of Public Enemy there is this: the desire not to escape from problems or to emigrate, but be accepted. It is not a cry of fear, but of defiance: this company, this America, it is also ours.

Fear of the Black Planet by Public Enemy is at Amazon