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This Weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Public Enemy, There’s a Poison Goin’ On December 19, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

I first heard Do You Wanna Go Our Way??? around the time the album came out in 1999 and was hooked. That’s a bit odd because me and hip-hop tend to have a tentative relationship at best. Well, me with hip-hop. Hip-hop has never expressed an opinion. When Public Enemy first appeared they sort of slipped past my radar. Still too entranced by young[ish] men with guitars. My loss.

But this is tooled up and ready to go. Not just Do You Wanna Go Our Way??? but also the sheer brilliance of Crash or World Tour Sessions. And the intensity…. Terminator X apparently delivers much of the backing… if so it’s inspired. These are soundscapes you can practically chew with samples drawn from everywhere to build up cohesive songs… Lee Dorsey no less, so it appears on Do You Wanna Go Our Way??? Chuck D almost sounds better than he has any right to do. And Flavor Flav is… entirely himself.

What’s amazing to me is that they were considered veterans when this came out, past it, that this is a retread of former glories…

Now, let’s not forget there was more than a hint of controversy over the track Swindlers Lust which was considered anti-Semitic albeit its theme was greedy record companies. And it’s hard to read the lyrics without going… uh-oh and simultaneously wonder if Chuck D wasn’t far wrong when he argued people were looking for insult.

And there is the small issue that in the broader scheme of things the entertainments industry provides a less potent target for attack than previous ones. It’s too diffuse, too nebulous.

But these are missteps in an album that hangs together as a statement of purpose and intent, that reflects lyrically and musically on and with paranoid millennial concerns and a somewhat less paranoid but in many ways no less grim reality.

Just right for the week before Christmas? Well, yes. This Christmas.

Do You Wanna Go Our Way???

Here I Go



World Tour Sessions


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