Public Enemy Photography

Public Enemy

Public Enemy is universally considered one of the most ground-breaking groups in history. And not just in hip-hop—in 2013, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Frontman Chuck D. brought a fiery intelligence to rap and changed it forever in the process. Public Enemy proved that hip-hop could educate and inspire as well as entertain.

P.E. also changed the sound of hip-hop. While sampling was already commonplace, the Bomb Squad—the group’s in-house production team—created dense meshes of sound that matched the fury of Chuck D.’s lyrical flow. It all came together in 1988’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, an album now considered an untouchable classic. It ranked #48 in Rolling Stone magazines’s “500 Greatest Albums” in 2013—the highest-ranking hip-hop album on the list.

Public Enemy is still going strong, having released their 14th album in 2017. They continue to innovate lyrically and sonically, keeping social and political awareness at the forefront of hip-hop consciousness.

per page

per page