American hip-hop group Public Enemy’s second album, released in 1988 turns 25 and Universal Music Series’ repress confirms this holy grail of political hip-hop’s place within the history of popular and avant-garde culture. Pushing the robust funk of their first album to its limits, ‘It Takes a Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’ is a chaotic seething mass of mangled samples and revolutionary lyrics which hit hard.
‘Bring the Noise’ brings crazy squeaking brass, scratched up psychotic strings and boisterous group vocals together in a collaged soup which is nonetheless rhythmically driving. ‘Show Em What You Got’ places hip-hop within the lineage of jazz in its mournful saxophone sample, from which barely-contained rage spits up in multiple vocal bursts, while ‘Cold Lampin With Flavor’ deranges funk with a disorientating tempo and reversed samples which render wind sounds more like sirens than acoustic instruments. Perhaps the most pleasurable cut though is ‘Countdown to Armageddon’, where the group’s wild live presence is captured and crowds scream madly amongst wailing air raid sirens and an apocalyptic call to arms.
- 1 Countdown To Armageddon 0:30
- 2 Bring The Noise 0:30
- 3 Don't Believe The Hype 0:30
- 4 Cold Lampin' With Flavor 0:30
- 5 Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic 0:30
- 6 Mind Terrorist 0:30
- 7 Louder Than A Bomb 0:30
- 8 Caught, Can We Get A Witness? 0:30
- 9 Show 'Em Watcha Got 0:30
- 10 She Watch Channel Zero?! 0:30