Episode 76 - Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black by Public Enemy

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When one considers the “golden age of hip-hop”, Public Enemy are rightly discussed as vital element of it. It’s a vitality that’s both earned and odd, as their acerbic, caustic, antagonistic, overtly political message may seem at odds with the kind of content their contemporaries were discussing.

Yet when viewed as another facet in the rise, and dissemination, of the black culture that PE and their kin were at the forefront of in the late 80s, they can be viewed as part of a more complete picture that aimed to communicate the black experience in America at the time.

Apocalypse 91… is the end of the band’s own “golden age”. Four albums in four years is a tall order for most acts, yet Public Enemy bring this period of their career to a staggering close with their fourth release, bringing things back down to a street level, and handing the sonic reins to The Bomb Squad’s proteges, The Imperial Grand Ministers of Funk.

The result is that this sounds different from what came before, with a much more upfront edge, but the samples and production work are by no means watered down.

On this episode we look extensively at PE’s early career, the controversy around the band, and wax lyrical on a whole bunch of other things besides. We know this band has another three great records, but in our view only two are unsung. Is this it?