Public Enemy (band)
Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D, Keith Shocklee, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, Khari Wynn, DJ Lord, Sammy Sam, the S1W group. Formed in Long Island, New York, in 1986, they are known for their politically charged music and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community, their first four albums during the late 1980s and early 1990s were all certified either gold or platinum and were, according to music critic Robert Hilburn in 1998, "the most acclaimed body of work by a hip hop act". Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine called them "the most influential and radical band of their time." They were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Carlton Ridenhour and William Drayton met at Long Island's Adelphi University in the mid-1980s. Developing his talents as an MC with Flav while delivering furniture for his father's business, Chuck D and Spectrum City, as the group was called, released the record "Check Out the Radio", backed by "Lies", a social commentary—both of which would influence RUSH Productions' Run–D.
M. C. and Beastie Boys. Chuck D put out a tape to fend off a local MC who wanted to battle him, he called the tape Public Enemy #1 because he felt like he was being persecuted by people in the local scene. This was the first reference to the notion of a public enemy in any of Chuck D's songs; the single was created by Chuck D with a contribution by Flavor Flav, though this was before the group Public Enemy was assembled. Around 1986, Bill Stephney, the former Program Director at WBAU, was approached by Ali Hafezi and offered a position with the label. Stephney accepted, his first assignment was to help fledgling producer Rick Rubin sign Chuck D, whose song "Public Enemy Number One" Rubin had heard from Andre "Doctor Dré" Brown. According to the book The History of Rap Music by Cookie Lommel, "Stephney thought it was time to mesh the hard-hitting style of Run DMC with politics that addressed black youth. Chuck recruited Spectrum City, which included Hank Shocklee, his brother Keith Shocklee, Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, collectively known as the Bomb Squad, to be his production team and added another Spectrum City partner, Professor Griff, to become the group's Minister of Information.
With the addition of Flavor Flav and another local mobile DJ named Terminator X, the group Public Enemy was born." According to Chuck, The S1W, which stands for Security of the First World, "represents that the black man can be just as intelligent as he is strong. It stands for the fact that we're not third-world people, we're first-world people. Hank Shocklee came up with the name Public Enemy based on "underdog love and their developing politics" and the idea from Def Jam staffer Bill Stephney following the Howard Beach racial incident, Bernhard Goetz, the death of Michael Stewart: "The Black man is the public enemy."Public Enemy started out as opening act for the Beastie Boys during the latter's Licensed to Ill popularity, in 1987 released their debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show, their debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, was released in 1987 to critical acclaim; the album was the group's first step toward stardom. In October 1987, music critic Simon Reynolds dubbed Public Enemy "a superlative rock band".
They released their second album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988, which performed better in the charts than their previous release, included the hit single "Don't Believe the Hype" in addition to "Bring the Noise". Nation of Millions... was the first hip hop album to be voted album of the year in The Village Voice's influential Pazz & Jop critics' poll. In 1989, the group returned to the studio to record Fear of a Black Planet, which continued their politically charged themes; the album was supposed to be released in late 1989, but was pushed back to April 1990. It was the most successful of any of their albums and, in 2005, was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress, it included the singles "Welcome To The Terrordome", "911 Is a Joke", which criticized emergency response units for taking longer to arrive at emergencies in the black community than those in the white community, "Fight the Power". "Fight the Power" is regarded as one of the most popular and influential songs in hip hop history.
It was the theme song of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. The group's next release, Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black, continued this trend, with songs like "Can't Truss It", which addressed the history of slavery and how the black community can fight back against oppression; the album included the controversial song and video "By the Time I Get to Arizona", which chronicled the black community's frustration that some US states did not recognize Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday. The video featured members of Public Enemy taking out their frustrations on politicians in the states not recognizing the holiday. In 1992, the group was one of the first rap acts to perform at the Reading Festival, in England, headlining the second day of the three-day festival. After a 1994 motorcycle accident shattered his left leg and kept him in the hospital for a full month, Terminator X relocated to his 15-acre farm in Vance County, North Carolina. By 1998, he was ready to retire from the group and focus full-time on raising African black ostriches on his farm.
In late 1998, the group started looking for Terminator X's permanent replacement. Following several months of searching for a DJ, Professor Griff saw DJ Lord at a Vestax Battle and approached
You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)
"You Know My Name" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles released as the B-side of the single "Let It Be" on 20 March 1970. Although first issued with their final single, it was recorded in four separate sessions beginning with three in May and June 1967, with one final recording session conducted in April 1969; the song is a music hall comedy number. John Lennon came up with the lyric/title after seeing a phone book, he said: That was a piece of unfinished music that I turned into a comedy record with Paul. I was waiting for him in his house, I saw the phone book was on the piano with'You know the name, look up the number.' That was like a logo, I just changed it. McCartney once told Beatles recording analyst Mark Lewisohn, " are only just discovering things like'You Know My Name' — my favourite Beatles' track!" He went on to explain: It's so insane. All the memories... I mean, what would you do if a guy like John Lennon turned up at the studio and said,'I've got a new song'. I said,'What's the words?' and he replied'You know my name look up the number'.
I asked,'What's the rest of it?"No, no other words, those are the words. And I want to do it like a mantra!' The lounge section includes a reference to Denis O'Dell, associate producer on the A Hard Day's Night film, whom Lennon had worked with on How I Won the War. Partway through the song, Lennon introduces McCartney as lounge singer "Denis O’Bell." The reference prompted numerous telephone calls to O'Dell's home by fans who told him, "We have your name and now we've got your number," as well as personal visits by fans wanting to live with him. The song is in the key of D; the "You know" involves F♯–D♯ melody notes against a I. A point of interest is the raised A melody note against a D/F♯ chord on "name", "three" and "name". A significant moment is the Tonicization of the dominant with the use of viio7/V chord as part of the progression to V7 and I that closes the verse; the song is notable for use of the 5th chord tone on the VII chord to produce extra dissonance. All four Beatles participated in the first three recording sessions on 17 May, 7 and 8 June 1967.
A saxophone part was recorded on 8 June, played by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. The recording of the song was left unfinished and untouched until 30 April 1969 when Lennon and McCartney laid down all the vocal tracks and added additional sound effects with the help of Mal Evans. George Harrison and Ringo Starr did not participate in this last session. Nick Webb, second engineer on the 30 April session described it this way: John and Paul weren't always getting along that well at this time, but for this song they went out on the studio floor and sang together around one microphone. At this time I was thinking'What are they doing with this old four-track tape, recording these funny bits onto this quaint song?' But it was a fun track to do. The song was not released for another year. Although released as a Beatles song, "You Know My Name" was nearly released as the A-side of a Plastic Ono Band single. Lennon was determined to have this song and "What's the New Mary Jane" released, he arranged for Apple to issue both unorthodox songs on a Plastic Ono Band single.
On 26 November 1969, four months after contributor Brian Jones drowned in his swimming pool, Lennon edited "You Know My Name", reducing the length from 6:08 to 4:19, a more suitable length for a single. The Plastic Ono Band single was given British release date. Apple issued a press release, describing the record as Lennon and Yoko Ono singing and backed by "many of the greatest show business names of today" which the press believed was a thinly disguised reference to the Beatles; the record was cancelled. Three months the song was released as the B-side to the Beatles' single, "Let It Be", but mistitled as "You Know My Name" on the label of the record itself; the original Plastic Ono Band single catalogue number is visible, though scratched out, in the runout groove of the original British pressings of the "Let It Be" single."What's the New Mary Jane" was not issued by the Beatles until the release of Anthology 3 in 1996, although the song appeared on several bootleg records."You Know My Name" was the last Beatles song from the group's official canon to be included on an album, issued on an LP for the first time on Rarities.
The first American album to contain "You Know My Name" was the US version of Rarities, issued by Capitol Records in 1980. The first CD version was issued in 1988 on the Past Masters, Volume Two compilation."You Know My Name" was available only in mono until 1996, when an extended stereo mix was issued on Anthology 2. However, while this mix restores portions of the song, it omits others that were issued on the original mono single, causing considerable differences between the mono and stereo versions of the track. For example, the ending of the stereo version has an early fade out, whereas the mono version does not; this song is the only song in the Beatles catalogue where the multi-track master tapes are available that has not received a stereo mix of t
Independent Leaders is the debut studio album by American hip hop trio Naughty by Nature, released under the name The New Style in 1989 on MCA Records. Audio production of the record was handled by the group. Kier Gist - performer, producer Anthony Shawn Criss - performer, producer Vincent E. Brown - performer, producer Denarius Hemphill - producer Swing - producer Ivan Rodriguez - mixing, engineering David Darlington - mixing Dwayne Sumal - engineering Steve Hall - mastering Hemu Aggarwal - art direction Gene Crawford - photography
Robert Thomas Christgau is an American essayist and music journalist. One of the earliest professional rock critics, he spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior editor for The Village Voice, during which time he created and oversaw the annual Pazz & Jop poll, he has covered popular music for Esquire, Newsday, Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, MSN Music, was a visiting arts teacher at New York University. Christgau is known for his terse, letter-graded capsule album reviews, first published in his "Consumer Guide" columns during his tenure at The Village Voice from 1969 to 2006, he has authored three books based on those columns, including Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies and Christgau's Record Guide: The'80s, along with two collections of essays. He continued writing reviews in this format for MSN Music and Noisey—Vice's music section—where they are published in his "Expert Witness" column. Christgau was born in Greenwich Village and grew up in Queens, the son of a fireman.
He has said he became a rock and roll fan when disc jockey Alan Freed moved to the city in 1954. After attending a public school in New York City, he left New York for four years to attend Dartmouth College, graduating in 1962 with a B. A. in English. While at college his musical interests turned to jazz, but he returned to rock after moving back to New York. Christgau has said that Miles Davis' 1960 album Sketches of Spain initiated in him "one phase of the disillusionment with jazz that resulted in my return to rock and roll", he was influenced by New Journalism writers such as Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe. "My ambitions when I went into journalism were always, to an extent, literary", Christgau said. Christgau wrote short stories, before giving up fiction in 1964 to become a sportswriter, a police reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger, he became a freelance writer after a story he wrote about the death of a woman in New Jersey was published by New York magazine. Christgau was among the first dedicated rock critics.
He was asked to take over the dormant music column at Esquire, which he began writing in June 1967. After Esquire discontinued the column, Christgau moved to The Village Voice in 1969, he worked as a college professor. From early on in his emergence as a critic, Christgau was conscious of his lack of formal knowledge of music. In a 1968 piece he commented: I don't know anything about music, which ought to be a damaging admission but isn't... The fact is that pop writers in general shy away from such arcana as key signature and beats to the measure... I used to confide my worries about this to friends in the record industry, they didn't know anything about music either. The technical stuff didn't matter, I was told. You just gotta dig it. In early 1972, he accepted a full-time job as music critic for Newsday. Christgau returned to the Village Voice in 1974 as music editor, he remained there until August 2006, when he was fired shortly after the paper's acquisition by New Times Media. Two months Christgau became a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.
Late in 2007, Christgau was fired by Rolling Stone, although he continued to work for the magazine for another three months. Starting with the March 2008 issue, he joined Blender, where he was listed as "senior critic" for three issues and "contributing editor". Christgau had been a regular contributor to Blender, he continued to write for Blender until the magazine ceased publication in March 2009. In 1987, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of "Folklore and Popular Culture" to study the history of popular music. Christgau has written for Playboy and Creem, he appears about the Replacements. He taught during the formative years of the California Institute of the Arts; as of 2007, he was an adjunct professor in the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University. In August 2013, Christgau revealed in an article written for Barnes & Noble's website that he is writing a memoir. On July 15, 2014, Christgau debuted a monthly column on Billboard's website. Christgau is best known for his "Consumer Guide" columns, which have been published more-or-less monthly since July 10, 1969, in the Village Voice, as well as a brief period in Creem.
In its original format, the "Consumer Guide" consisted of 18 to 20 single-paragraph album reviews, each of, given a letter grade ranging from A+ to E−. These reviews were collected and extensively revised in a three-volume book series, the first of, published in 1981 as Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. In his original grading system from 1969 to 1990, albums were given a grade ranging from A+ to E-. Under this system, Christgau considered a B+ or higher to be a personal recommendation, he noted. In 1990, Christgau changed the format of the "Consumer Guide" to focus more on the albums. B+ records that Christgau deemed "unworthy of a full review" were given brief comments and star marks ranging from three down to one, denoting an honorable mention", records which Christgau believed may be of interest to their own target audience. Lesser albums were filed under categories such as "Neither" and "Duds" (which indicated bad records and were listed without fur
Anthony Peaks, better known as Apache, was an American rapper. Apache emerged from New Jersey in the late 1980s as a front man for the Flavor Unit, a hip-hop group, he first appeared on the Flavor Unit album, The 45 King Presents The Flavor Unit, in 1990. Apart from his individual records, he featured on the albums of Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, 2Pac and Fat Joe. Apache signed with Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. Records and released his debut album, Apache Ain't Shit, which peaked at number 69 on the Billboard 200 and No. 15 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Featured on the album was the single "Gangsta Bitch," which peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 11 on the Hot Rap Singles. Apache released the single "Do Fa Self" in 1993. Apache died on January 2010, of undisclosed causes. According to fellow Flavor Unit members Ali Ba-Ski and Lakim Shabazz, the cause of death was heart failure after years of excessive eating and drinking. 1992: "Gangsta Bitch" 1993: "Do Fa Self"
Wattstax was a benefit concert organized by Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 1965 riots in the African-American community of Watts, Los Angeles. The concert took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 20, 1972; the concert's performers included all of Stax's prominent artists at the time. The genres of the songs performed included soul, gospel, R&B, blues and jazz. Months after the festival, Stax released a double LP of the concert's highlights titled Wattstax: The Living Word; the concert was filmed by David L. Wolper's film crew and was made into the 1973 film titled, Wattstax; the film was directed by Mel Stuart and nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Documentary Film in 1974. Stax Record's West Coast Director, Forrest Hamilton, came up with the whole concert idea. Being in L. A. during the Watts Riots, Hamilton became aware of the yearly Watts Summer Festival that commemorated the broken community of Watts, California. Hamilton contacted Stax Records and told them about having a benefit-concert for the 7th Watts Summer Festival.
At first, Stax was not so sure on putting together a small concert, with big stars, for a small community such as Watts. Tommy Jacquette, the founder of the Watts Summer Festival, was contacted about the festival idea. With Jacquette being supportive, the concert idea was developing into something big. Al Bell, involved planning the concert, decided that if the festival was going to be as big as he imagines, the festival cannot just be held at a small park in Watts, it had to be held in somewhere big—like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A team of several Stax directors, including Jacquette, contacted the L. A. Coliseum to schedule a meeting; when the meeting took place, the managers at the Coliseum were not so convinced that "a small record company from Memphis can fill up the whole stadium". This was an expensive risk. Stax picked a date, Isaac Hayes's birthday and a few days after the 7th anniversary of the Watts Riots. Stax could now print advertisements saying in bold letters: "JOIN US AT THE BIGGEST RECORDING SESSION EVER...
IN THE MAKING OF THE GREATEST SOUL ALBUM EVER! WATTSTAX'72 BENEFIT CONCERT." The name of the concert was formed to include "Watts", as in the neighbourhood, "Stax", the name of the record company putting the show together. As more and more word got out about this big benefit concert, more tickets were being sold. All seats were reserved and only priced at $1.00. Stax wanted to make it possible for anyone to attend, so they made ticket prices cheap; as more and more money was coming in, Al Bell was becoming less and less regretful about putting on the production. The L. A. Coliseum managers could not wait to see what would happen on August 20 at 3:00 p.m. at their stadium. The stage was built the day before the concert in the middle of the night; this conflict happened because a football game was scheduled on the night of August 19. Stax, being polite, did not make the Coliseum-managers cancel the game. After the football game, trucks full of long wood-planks drove onto the field; the stage was built right in the center of the field and was built high enough where artists could walk/sit under.
A platform was built that lead from the road to the side stairs of the stage. The seats were hand-cleaned and trash was picked up all around the Coliseum... making the stadium look perfect for the next-day's concertgoers. Due to the Coliseum's policy, there could be no seating on the field so the grass wouldn't get ruined for football games; because of this, Stax wondered: "Could each and every seat be occupied?" Since all of this construction was being done late at night, the rest of it was finished the next day. The concert didn't start until 3:00 in the afternoon, so there was all morning to set-up. A big thing to take care of was cleaning the additional bleachers that seated at least 1,000; the bleachers were set-up so that there would be more seating that included a better view of the stage. Next thing to take care of was building a fence around the stage for the artists' safety reasons. Along with that, a large group of L. A.'s African-American policemen were requested to be scattered all around the Coliseum.
Next to do: was taking care of the transportation situation. The dressing rooms for Stax's artists were outside/behind the stadium... kind of far from the stage. Two vans were rented to drive the artists up to the stage and back to the dressing rooms. Another pricy necessity was the bathroom situation. Portable restrooms were placed right under the side of the stage. Lighting was needed. Colored lights were hammered onto poles on each corner of the stage. Next to take care of was the speakers. Stax wanted to make sure the whole stadium could hear the music In each corner of the fenced part of the field were stacked speakers. Right below the stage was a long table. Stax wanted to sell copies; the biggest deal to take care of was filming the whole concert. A film crew was scattered from the top-row of the stadium to the corners of the stage where the artists were zoomed-in-on; the film crew was told to capture the artists singing, but get shots of the crowd dancing. And lastly, throughout the whole show, the most commotion was communicating over walkie-talkies.
As told, the production of the Wattstax Concert was stressful. At around 1:45 p.m. the Coliseum grounds started to be swarmed with L. A.'s Black population. Guards stamp
Lafayette Afro Rock Band
Lafayette Afro Rock Band was an American funk rock band formed in Roosevelt, Long Island, New York in 1970 and soon relocating to France. Though little-known in their native United States during their recording period, they have since become celebrated as one of the standout funk bands of the 1970s and are noted for their use of break beats; the band recorded under the names Ice, Crispy & Co. Captain Dax, others. Upon their relocation to Paris, the local music scene influenced the group's work, inspiring the addition of rock and African elements, they recorded their debut album as Ice and adopted the name Lafayette Afro Rock Band. The band's next two albums, Soul Makossa and Malik, included the songs "Hihache" and "Darkest Light" which would be sampled in numerous culturally significant hip-hop compositions, they broke up in 1978. The group first formed as the Bobby Boyd Congress in 1970, in homage to their original vocalist Bobby Boyd. In addition to Boyd, the band included guitarist Larry Jones, bassist Lafayette Hudson, keyboardist Frank Abel, horn players Ronnie James Buttacavoli and Arthur Young, drummer Ernest "Donny" Donable, percussionists Keno Speller and Arthur Young.
Jones was replaced by Michael McEwan. Upon deciding that the funk scene in the United States was too saturated for them to viably compete, they relocated to France in 1971; when Boyd split from the group and returned to America, the remaining band members renamed themselves Soul Congress and settled on the name Ice. After regular performances in Paris's Barbès district, an area made up of North African immigrants, they caught the eye of producer Pierre Jaubert and became the house session band at his Parisound studio; the influence of their surroundings led Ice to weave African rhyme schemes and beat tendencies into their established funk style. The album Each Man Makes His Own Destiny was released in 1972 under the name Ice, after which the band changed their name to Lafayette Afro Rock Band to reflect their expanded influences. Now under the name Lafayette Afro Rock Band, they released the album Soul Makossa in 1973; the title track was a cover version of Manu Dibango's international hit, "Soul Makossa".
Though it failed to chart, the album made an impact years later. Its standout song, the oft-covered "Hihache", has been sampled by artists as diverse as Janet Jackson, Biz Markie, LL Cool J, De La Soul, Digital Underground, Naughty by Nature, Wu-Tang Clan; the band's 1975 album Malik prominently featured the Univox Super-Fuzz and liberal usage of the talk box. This album was influential in subsequent decades, with a sample of the song "Darkest Light" being featured prominently in Public Enemy's "Show'Em Whatcha Got"; the original saxophone solo on "Darkest Light" was played by Leroy Gomez, who became popular as the lead singer of the disco group Santa Esmeralda. After Public Enemy's usage of the song was praised, samples of "Darkest Light" appeared in several more notable rap and R&B songs, including "Back to the Hotel" by N2Deep, the multi-platinum 1992 single "Rump Shaker" by Wreckx-n-Effect, the 2006 single "Show Me What You Got" by Jay-Z. Mal Waldron, an American jazz and world music composer best known as the long-time accompanist for Billie Holiday, collaborated with Lafayette Afro Rock Band in 1975, employing them to back him on his unreleased Candy Girl album.
Shortly blues pianist Sunnyland Slim sought out the band's services, resulting in the collaborative album Depression Blues. The group subsequently reverted to the Ice moniker and used the names Captain Dax and Crispy & Co. on various releases. The 1975 album Tonight at the Discotheque was released as a "various artists" compilation but consisted of songs recorded by the same band under multiple monikers. Under the name Krispie & Company, the band achieved two hit singles in the UK with a cover of "Brazil" reaching no. 26 in 1975 and "Get it together" reaching no. 21 in 1976. After success faded in Europe the band found luck in Japan. After scoring with the mildly successful single "Dr. Beezar, Soul Frankenstein", released under the name Captain Dax, the albums Afro Agban and Funky Flavored were released under the name Ice to little fanfare in 1976 and 1977 respectively; the band members returned to America and broke up in 1978. That year, French record label Superclasse released the album Afon: Ten Unreleased Afro Funk Recordings.
In 1999 the same label released Darkest Light: The Best of Lafayette Afro Rock Band, which rekindled interest in the group two decades after they disbanded. More compilations followed, including The Ultimate Collection in 2001, the 2016 album Afro Funk Explosion! The latter was released under the name "Lafayette Afro Rock Band vs. Ice" and includes songs released under those two names plus Crispy & Co. and Captain Dax. Lafayette Afro Rock Band toiled in obscurity during their years of activity, but have become of interest to critics and music historians due to their characteristic break beats, which in turn influenced future hip-hop and R&B artists. Due to their obscurity, when compared to their contemporaries like Cameo, Funkadelic, or Kool & The Gang, few copies of their studio albums have survived. With the exception of the commonly-sampled songs "Hihache" and "Darkest Light", reviewers and historians have devoted their attention to more recent compilation albums. Music historian Dave Thompson unfavorably reviewed Afon: Ten Unreleased Afro Funk Recordings as "uninspiring", but praised Darkest Light: The Best of Lafayette Afro Funk Band as the "ultimate point of entry" for the band.
That album received a flattering