Jordan Strauss, Invision LOS ANGELES (AP) - Rush fans can relax. The band is…
- Posted on Nov 7th 2011 1:11PM by Ciaran Thompson
Subjects Covered: American History, Music History
-- 'Chuck D: Lyrics of a Rap Revolutionary' by Chuck D and Yusuf Jah
-- 'Fight the Power: Rap, Race and Reality' by Chuck D, Yusuf Jah and Spike Lee
-- 'Don't Rhyme for the Sake of Riddlin': The Authorized Story of Public Enemy' by Russell Myrie
-- 'Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America' by Tricia Rose
-- 'Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies' by Brian Coleman
-- The overall album has a sense of urgency and tension throughout with some of the tracks adopting a faster tempo, which was also intended to affect the group's live show.
-- Rapper Chuck D holds nothing back with his lyrics demonstrating little fear of expressing his black nationalist views and showing self-empowerment for African Americans.
-- Most of the lyrics advocate the power of voice and encourage the listener to become active against prejudice within their own community.
-- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is used as a symbol of an alternative for people to follow from a political standpoint. Former political leaders Malcolm X and Martin Luther King are also referenced.
-- The negative effects on drugs on the black community, especially during the mid-to-late '80s crack epidemic, is used as a theme to raise awareness to what's actually happening within the community.
-- 'Bring the Noise' endorses Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan with "Farrakhan's a prophet and I think you ought to listen to/What he can say to you, what you ought to do."
--'Caught, Can We Get a Witness?' directly addresses the issue of sampling in hip-hop and copyright violation.
-- The media's stranglehold is addressed in 'Don't Believe the Hype': "Some media is the wack/As you believe it's true/It blows me through the roof/Suckers, liars, get me a shovel/Some writers I know are damn devils."
-- The crack cocaine epidemic across the United States in the '80s is referenced in 'Night of the Living Baseheads.'
-- Chuck D uses 'Louder Than a Bomb' to illustrate the the power people have to use their voices and minds, while also commenting on how such outspoken orators like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were silenced because of what they believed it.
-- 'Party for Your Right to Fight' speaks to the origins of the Black Power movement in 1966 as well as the allegation that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover used illegal methods to bring down political dissents such as King and Malcolm X. It also takes aim at schools, claiming students are learning a fabrication of history.
-- Public Enemy's sophomore album, released in 1988, is the group's most successful release, and is the highest ranking hip-hop album on Rollings Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of all Time.
-- The record was originally titled 'Countdown to Armageddon,' but was changed to 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back,' a line from the track 'Raise the Room' from the group's debut.
-- It was recorded at Green Street Recording in New York City.
-- The album was inspired by the social commentary of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On.'
-- The intro for the track 'Night of the Living Baseheads' is an excerpt of speech by Khalid Abdul Muhammad, the National Assistant to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
-- Several song titles stem from other works such as the Smiths' album 'Louder Than Bombs' (track: 'Louder Than a Bomb') and the 1955 James Dean classic 'Rebel Without a Cause' (track: 'Rebel Without a Pause').
-- Chuck D and Bomb Squad leader Hank Shocklee stressed on increasing the speed of the BPM of the beats to set their music apart from other hip-hop acts.
-- According to his journal, Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain listed 'It Takes a Nation' as one of his top 50 albums of all time.