Fear of a Black Planet

Fear of a Black Planet

Infobox Album |
Name = Fear of a Black Planet
Type = Album
Artist = Public Enemy


Released = March 20, 1990
Recorded = June 1989-October 1989 at Greene Street Recording in New York City; The Music Palace, West Hempstead and Spectrum City Studios in Long Island
Genre = Political hip hop, East Coast hip hop, Hardcore hip hop
Length = 63:21
Label = Def Jam/Columbia Records
CK-45413
Producer = The Bomb Squad
Reviews = *Allmusic rating|5|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:3pfoxqu5ldhe~T1 link]
*Robert Christgau (A) [http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=public+enemy link]
*Rolling Stone rating|4|5 [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/publicenemy/albums/album/141155/review/5941905/fear_of_a_black_planet link]
*RapReviews.com rating|10|10 [http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_fearofablackplanet.html link]
*"NME" rating-10|10 [http://www.nme.com link]
*Yahoo! Music (favorable) [http://music.yahoo.com/read/review/12036894 link]
Last album = "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back"
(1988)
This album = "Fear of a Black Planet"
(1990)
Next album = "Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black"
(1991)

"Fear of a Black Planet" is the Grammy Award-nominated third album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released on March 20, 1990 on Def Jam Recordings. This album debuted at #10 on the Billboard 200 (in the week of May 26, 1990), and was the group's first highest-charting selling rap album, the album was #1 on the Billboard Hip Hop/R&B Albums chart as well.

Album information

The album's musical qualities were overshadowed by a controversy surrounding alleged anti-Semitic remarks by group member Professor Griff. After the controversy had been forgotten, however, the album's critical reception was generally very positive, with many commentators ranking it equal to or better than the previous album, "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" (1988).WW In particular, critics were favorable to The Bomb Squad's innovative and diverse production and Chuck D's songwriting. The "Encyclopedia of Popular Music" credits "Fear of a Black Planet"'s atmosphere to the "bunker mentality" of "clashes with the press", and specifically cites "Fight the Power", which "bites harder than just about any other track in rap's history" (p. 1864).

Reception and influence

It was ranked 21 in "Spin"'s "100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005". In 1998, the album was selected as one of "The Source" Magazine's "100 Best Rap Albums". [cite web |url=http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/source.htm |title=100 Best Rap Albums |accessdate=2007-11-10 |format= |work= |publisher=The Source #100 |date=January, 1998] RS500|300 In 2004, "Fear of a Black Planet" was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

"Professional reviews":
*"Rolling Stone" (5/17/90) – 4 Stars – Excellent – "Public Enemy has never aimed for anything less than a comprehensive view of contemporary black America...Fear of a Black Planet complements this ambition with stunning maturity and sophistication."

*"Entertainment Weekly" – "...most powerful rap group." – Rating: A

*"Q" magazine (2/91) – 4 Stars – Excellent – Recommended by Q as one of the five best rap albums of 1990 and ranked as one of the Fifty Best Albums of 1990. – "...scalding attack on white supremacy." Q (9/95, p.132) – 5 Stars – "...achieved the near impossible by being every bit as good as its predecessor. The music was Public Enemy's now-familiar scream but was augmented with a percussive tinge that reflected the ever greater Afrocentricity."

*"Melody Maker" (7/22/95, p.35) - Bloody Essential – "...slower, denser...funky. And it was a masterpiece....It's beyond perfect, built like a platinum beehive and stuffed with cordite--The Bomb Squad's last hands-on job for PE before they took on the task of...Ice Cube."

*"NME" (7/15/95, p.47) – 10 (out of 10) – "...where do you go once you've made the greatest hip-hop album ever? Unbelievably, you consolidate that with an equally splendid follow-up....This time the sounds were softened slightly with flashes of `real' instrumentation but the content remained as astonishingly tough and intelligent as before."

Track listing

All tracks were written by Carl Ridenhour, Eric Sadler and Hank Shocklee, except where noted.

#"Contract on the World Love Jam" – 1:44
#"Brothers Gonna Work It Out" – 5:07
#"911 Is a Joke" (William Drayton, Sadler, Shocklee) – 3:17
#"Incident at 66.6 FM" – 1:37
#"Welcome to the Terrordome" – 5:25
#"Meet the G That Killed Me" – 0:44
#"Pollywanacraka" – 3:52
#"Anti-Nigger Machine" – 3:17
#"Burn Hollywood Burn"(Featuring Ice Cube And Big Daddy Kane) (Antonio Hardy, O'Shea Jackson, Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee) – 2:47
#"Power to the People" – 3:50
#"Who Stole the Soul?" – 3:49
#"Fear of a Black Planet" – 3:45
#"Revolutionary Generation" – 5:43
#"Can't Do Nuttin' for Ya Man" – 2:46
#"Reggie Jax" – 1:35
#"Leave This Off Your Fu*kin Charts" (Norman Rogers) – 2:31
#"B Side Wins Again" – 3:45
#"War at 33 1/3" – 2:07
#"Final Count of the Collision Between Us and the Damned" – 0:48
#"Fight the Power" (Ridenhour, Sadler, Hank Shocklee, Keith Shocklee) – 4:42

Billboard music charts

Album

ingles

:* First Sales Only Hot 100 single

Personnel

*Chuck Drapper
*Flavor Flav – rapper
*Professor Griff – rapper
*Big Daddy Kane – rapper
*Ice Cube – rapper
*Chris Champion – assistant engineer
*Paul Eulin – engineer, mixing
*Rod Hui – engineer, mixing
*Steve Loeb – engineer
*Branford Marsalissaxophone
*Carl Ryder – arranger, director, producer, sequencing
*Nick Sansano – engineer, mixing
*Keith Shocklee – arranger, director, producer, sequencing
*Paul Shabazz – programming
*Christopher Shaw – engineer, mixing
*Hank Shocklee – arranger, director, producer, sequencing
*Howie Weinberg – mastering
*Kirk Yano – engineer
*Eric "Vietnam" Sadler – arranger, director, programming, producer, sequencing
*Mike Bona – engineer, mixing
*Norman Rogers – scratching
*Jules Allen – photography
*Dave Patillo – assistant engineer
*Dan Wood – engineer, mixing
*Tom Conway – assistant engineer

Partial list of samples

The following lists some of the songs and sounds sampled on "Fear of a Black Planet".

;"Contract on the World Love Jam" (instrumental):*"Summertime" by Billy Stewart:*"What'cha Say" by The Meters:*"Uphill Piece of Mind" by Kid Dynamite:*"I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown:*"Get Off Your Ass and Jam" by Funkadelic:*"Take Me to the Mardi Gras" by Bob James

;"Brothers Gonna Work It Out":*"Let's Go Crazy" by Prince:*"Atomic Dog" by George Clinton:*"Buffalo Gals" by Malcolm McLaren:*"Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss:*"Brother Green, the Disco King" by Roy Ayers:*"Sing a Simple Song" by Sly & the Family Stone:*"Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved" by James Brown:*"Fantastic Freaks at the Dixie" by DJ Grand Wizard Theodore:*"Rappin' Ain't No Thang" by Boogie Boys featuring Kool Ski, Kid Delight & Disco Dave:*"Bring the Noise", "Don't Believe the Hype", & "Rebel Without a Pause" by Public Enemy

;"911 Is a Joke":*"Flash Light" by Parliament:*"Thriller" by Michael Jackson:*"Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins:*"Gottago Gottago!" by Robin Harris:*"Devil With the Bus" by Sound Experience:*"Feel Like Dancing" by Wilbur 'Bad' Bascomb:*"Hit by a Car" and "Singers" by Eddie Murphy

;"Welcome to the Terrordome":*"AJ Scratch" by Kurtis Blow:*"Bon Bon Vie" by T.S. Monk:*"Jungle Boogie" by Kool & the Gang:*"Train Sequence" by Geoffrey Summer:*"Hum Along and Dance" by Jackson Five:*"Psychedelic Shack" by The Temptations:*"You're Gonna Get Yours" by Public Enemy:*"Cold Sweat", "I Got to Move", "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose", "Soul Power, Pts. 1 & 2", "Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved" by James Brown

;"Pollywanacraka":*"Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins:*"Atomic Dog" by George Clinton:*"Different Strokes" by Syl Johnson:*"Schoolboy Crush" by Average White Band:*"P.S.K. What Does It Mean?" by Schoolly D:*"I Wanna Do Something Freaky to You" by Leon Haywood

;"Anti-Nigger Machine":*"Nautilus" by Bob James:*"Flash Light" by Parliament:*"There It Is" by James Brown:*"Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins:*"Buffalo Girls" by Malcolm McLaren:*"Funky Hot Grits" by Rufus Thomas:*"Jungle Boogie" by Kool & the Gang:*"More Bounce to the Ounce" by Zapp:*"Change Le Beat" by Fab Five Freddy:*"P.S.K. What Does It Mean?" by Schooly D:*"We Got More Soul" by Dyke & the Blazers:*"South Bronx" by Boogie Down Productions:*"Love Child" by Diana Ross & the Supremes:*"Dance to the Drummer's Beat" by Herman Kelly:*"Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" by Public Enemy:*"Last Night Changed It All (I Really Had a Ball)" by Esther Williams

;"Burn Hollywood Burn":*"Hot Wheels (The Chase)" by Badder Than Evil:*"Give It up or Turnit a Loose [Remix] " by James Brown

;"Power to the People":*"Gimme Some More" by The J.B.'s:*"Theme from Shaft" by Isaac Hayes:*"Turn Me Loose" by Sly & the Family Stone

;"Who Stole the Soul?":*"Getting Better" by The Beatles:*"Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins:*"Amen, Brother" by The Winstons:*"Stand! by Sly & the Family Stone:*"Bring the Noise" by Public Enemy:*"The Elevator" by Bob Prescott & Cy Harrice:*"It's a New Day (Live)", & "Make It Funky" by James Brown:*"Blow Your Whistle" by Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers

;"Fear of a Black Planet":*"Long Red (Live)" by Mountain:*"Holy Ghost" by The Bar-Kays:*"Summertime" by Billy Stewart:*"Flyte Time" by The Blackbyrds:*"Different Strokes" by Syl Johnson:*"Underdog" by Sly & the Family Stone:*"Spirit of the Boogie" by Kool and the Gang

;"Revolutionary Generation":*"Deep" by Parliament:*"Listen to Me" by Baby Huey:*"Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth:*"Ain't We Funkin' Now" by Brothers Johnson:*"Lesson 2 (The James Brown Mix)" by Double Dee and Steinski:*"I Don't Know What This World Is Coming To" (Live) by Soul Children

;"Can't Do Nuttin' For Ya Man":*"Hot Pants... I'm Coming, I'm Coming, I'm Coming" by Bobby Byrd:*"If You Don't Get It Right, Back Up and Try It Again, Party" by The J.B.'s

;"Leave This Off Your Fuckin' Charts":*"I Can't Go For That" by Hall and Oates:*"Self-Destruction" by Stop the Violence Movement:*"It's Nasty (Genius of Love)" by Grandmaster Flash

;"B Side Wins Again":*"N.T." by Kool & the Gang:*"Tougher Than Leather" by Run-D.M.C.:*"Live Convention '82, Pts. 1 & 2" by Master Rob

;"Fight the Power":*"Teddy's Jam" by Guy:*"Bird of Prey" by Uriah Heep:*"Hot Pants Road" by The J.B.'s:*"Pump Me Up" by Trouble Funk:*"Different Strokes" by Syl Johnson:*"I Shot the Sherriff" by Eric Clapton:*"Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa:*"I Know You Got Soul" by Bobby Byrd:*"Sing a Simple Song" by Sly & the Family Stone:*"Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" by The Dramatics:*"Let's Dance (Make Your Body Move)" by West St. Mob:*"Funky President" and "Funky Drummer" by James Brown

In Popular Culture

*For a time in Comedy Central, commercials for Reno 911 were shown with the cast rapping the refrain of "911 is a Joke".

*The main theme song in the Spike Lee movie "Do The Right Thing" was "Fight The Power".

References

*"The Encyclopedia of Popular Music". Edited by Colin Larkin. 1992. London. Muze UK Ltd. ISBN 0-333-74134-X
* [http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2005/05-087.html Librarian of Congress Names 50 Recordings to the 2004 National Recording Registry]

Notes


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