Rap Critic: Fight the Power by Public Enemy

It’s Black History Month, so join me in raising a fist in the air for this next review!

//Taboola Area

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30 Comments on "Rap Critic: Fight the Power by Public Enemy"

Redem
Guest

Okay now I just imagine $700 billion bailout money all spent on a mountain of cocaine

Sewblon
Guest
To be fair, except when management outright defrauds the stock holders, most of the money that goes to these companies does not actually end up in the pocket of the CEO. Remember, in a publicly traded corporation, the CEO is not the owner. They are just the head manager. The real problem with the bailout is that, according to most economists who spoke up on the issue, the U.S. government was perfectly capable of stabilizing the financial system without bailing any of these companies out. In other words, our leaders rewarded irresponsibility and stupidity when they were perfectly capable of… Read more »
TragicGuineaPig
Guest

I have a theory about why this track didn’t get as much play back then: it wasn’t a title track on a PE album. PE had just released Nation of Millions, and everybody I knew at the time was still rocking that album. When Do the Right Thing came out, only a few of my friends actually bought the soundtrack to it.

Then again, I was living overseas at the time, so that may not have been the case stateside.

Quothapian
Guest

Yay, you’re back! I missed you so much Rap Critic! (Hour long vlog-things don’t count in my book, I want the review meat!)

lobsterzoidberg
Guest

I love this song.

Also, your intro was great.

ehisforadam
Guest

Awe, a review of this song and no mention of the amazing Barenaked Ladies cover? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHsCbIWE5Cs

TragicGuineaPig
Guest

It wasn’t Weird Al.

mbarron
Guest

Really hope The Message by Grandmaster Flash is one of the songs you do during Black history Month.

bird
Guest
Terminator X was amazing! I wasn’t into hiphop when I was young and only heard the mostly crap radio and MTV would play. When I heard Terminator X’s samples and the political lyrics of PE it blew my mind. Fuck that sampling the hook and singing party lyrics nonsense. Sure professor Griff has said some bigoted things and Flavor Flav is a reality star idiot, but PE will always have a place in my heart. They took a white kid from small town Wisconsin that was into the harsh sound and politics of punk and turned me onto hiphop with… Read more »
Blackfist
Guest

“White Man was the King of Jazz”

You can’t make that shit up! XD

MeMyselfandBaal
Guest
Oh Boy, Public Enemy… they were loud, they were aggressive and they were straight in your face… but (as importent as that was for “Black Music”, cause who has ever done that before?) is all they were to me… Interpreting Chuck Ds pretty simple Lyrics to start a debate weather to be bailed out CEOs should get drug tested is kind of stretching it in my mind… not just because the Lyrics from fight the Power are old… it’s not like Chuck D has developed his lyrical Style a lot since 1990, he still (in 2012) still claims that he… Read more »
Moviemantweeter1999
Guest

flavor flav was a rap star before he was a bad reality star, who knew. I liked how in the review you bring up issues black people face thank you for doing that(since this site is filled with white commentors). I also put my fist up in the air so this video worked for me. I like the new setting and you should sit in that chair more.

RJ Dalton
Guest

“Nobody has pictures of the Archies on their dormroom wall.”
The who?

Possible Response 1: See, proves my point.

Possible Response 2: No, no, The Who was actually a good band.

Or maybe not. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard The Who and I don’t follow how popular music is, so I don’t know. Insert your own opinion on that.

merchantfan
Guest

The Archies was basically Archie the fictional comic book character’s band. They somehow had an actual hit song in “Sugar Sugar” I think because they tried to pawn it off on a real band and they wouldn’t take it.

Steve the Pocket
Guest
“What’s popular is not always what’ll get remembered.” You’re telling me; my dad is a big jazz aficionado who made me listen to a ton of jazz records when I was in high school, and I’d never heard of that Whiteman dude before Linkara brought him up. If you had told me back then that there was a white guy who made jazz popular with white audiences the same way Elvis did with rock and roll, I’d have assumed you were talking about Gershwin (and it’s debatable whether his music even counts as jazz). I should clarify that my dad… Read more »
RJ Dalton
Guest

I’m just going to say this: I really don’t see why you need to justify your dad liking Jazz. Jazz is awesome.

MrInsecure
Guest

Hey, just remember that one of the big artists involved with making black music popular was Pat Boone.

Never heard of Pat Boone? Well, he had 38 songs make it into the Top 40 in the 1950’s. Here, why don’t you listen to one of his classic hits, “Tutti Frutti:”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAwBa8Pqi6Y

Allua
Guest

To be fair, a lot of white Jazz musicians became some of the staunchest and earliest white civil rights allies. I’m not too familiar with Whiteman, although Duke and Louis Armstrong evidently thought rather highly of him. Aside from having an unfortunate name he at least doesn’t seem to have been talentless. I’m more familiar with Benny Goodman and Dave Brubeck, who were class acts on stage and off.

Excellent review! I really liked the firm political edge, it wouldn’t have done the song any justice to pussyfoot around.

Drunken_Soviet
Guest

I thought that Black History month is in October?

Well, at least over here in the UK it is.

RJ Dalton
Guest

In the US, it’s February. February is the month where we like to stuff all the secular-as-opposed-to-religious holidays, like Presidents Day, Valentines Day, etc. Although, Columbus Day is in October, so what do I know?

And yes, I know Valentines Day came from a religious holiday, but it was never broadly practiced anywhere in the world until it was co-opted by the greeting card companies, so I count it as a secular holiday.

TragicGuineaPig
Guest

Thanksgiving and July 4 are also not in February.

And yes, despite the religious connotations associated with Thanksgiving, I still contend that it is a secular holiday; show me a single British, German, or Latin lectionary that incorporates the US Thanksgiving into the liturgy, and I’ll concede.

sophronia_chaos
Guest

Best video RC has ever done, hands down

happymel
Guest

For once, I don’t have a comment to make. That’s rare.

TragicGuineaPig
Guest
I would like to elaborate on one of the points you make, RC. The problem is that the term “racist” has such broad connotations these days that it almost becomes meaningless. I’ve always gravitated to the idea that the term should apply primarily to ideological biases based on race, for example, the guy who point blank says that one race or another is inherently genetically inferior. The trouble is that, as demonstrated by Chuck’s lyrics about Elvis, the term has become so broadly applied that even those who hold to no ideological biases are called racists for no other reason… Read more »
CyborgPrince
Guest

1989 was an interesting year. End of communism in Europe, this movie and song were released, and of course, I was born.

I watched Do the Right Thing for a film studies class. Unfortunately it was a VHS with described audio that couldn’t be turned off.

As for the song, I really like the beat and I like that it has a message, instead of the usual ‘get money, fuck bitches’ rap songs we get nowadays. While I’m not sure about the comments on Elvis and John Wayne, I can see where they come from.

merchantfan
Guest

Great point about no one ever asking whether bankers are going to use bailout money for drugs (which they definitely do). Yeah, that’s really something about Whiteman. He was just a producer too. Perhaps there is a super nerdy person out there with a picture of The Archies on their dorm room wall.

EpicFish
Guest

A great start to this series! Fight The Power is definitely one of my favorite songs of all time. I hope you consider covering “Straight Outta Compton” or “Express Yourself” by NWA! I’d actually like to know you’re opinion on the upcoming Straight Outta Compton movie about NWA.

FilmBrainsGoldfish
Guest

Frank Miller Batman hates jazz AND rock & roll!
I wonder what he thinks of rap.

lightburied
Guest

I actually had to watch “Fight the Power” for a class on Postmodern Literature, compared to an Odd Future video (I forget which one). That is how good this song is. It is worthy of study in a college.
Also, just a minor note about the sampling: It is awesome, but there’s artists out there that create songs entirely from samples. DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing…” album, RJD2’s work, and “Frontier Psychiatrist” by The Avalanches stand out in particular.
But yeah, great song, great video.

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