A cornerstone in rap was established when Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet” rallied in the streets of 1989. Already known for pushing and creating new boundaries in the Burroughs of music, Chuck D’s master vocalizing entered an even higher phase of controversial honesty while Flavor Flav’s personality was in full assault mode. The backs of the two ringleaders were covered with bass and beats that fully epitomize the Bomb Squad’s personality.
Many people’s introduction to this hip-hop classic was not via cassette or CD, but by film. Director Spike Lee was peaking in his own street-legal artistic ways that shared Public Enemy’s radical sound, so when the opening credits of “Do The Right Thing” was themed around the masterpiece anthem “Fight the Power,” let’s just say this critic became a full-on street team member of both the music and the movie. The chaotic rhythm and rhymes of the album’s pounding heartbeat lead a multicultural march that establishes itself as a cornerstone of one of the best rap albums ever. The band has played on with more moderate success, but the furious hits of “Far Of A Black Planet” are as timeless as ever and can take the listener back to one long, hot summer fueled by socially relevant hip-hop.