What's the Future of Public Enemy?

onetetonetet 1,754 Posts
edited October 2007 in Strut Central
So can anyone else picture Public Enemy having a bona fide comeback album? It seems obvious that the hip-hop climate has left them far behind, and even as certain late-80s/early 90s artists and sounds come back into vogue, no one looks to P.E. for new material. Also, they've bounced around on labels so much -- and Flavor Flav has become such a strange, sad personality in his own right -- that I doubt most people are even aware that PE still exists as a group.That said, I've been listening to their new record a bit (I think it's already been discussed here, couldn't find the thread), and it's not terrible. After I sliced off a few tracks (namely, those on which Chuck D doesn't appear), I can actually listen to the damn thing from start to finish -- something that hasn't been true of any PE record I've owned since Apocalypse 91. Chuck sounds more focused and motivated than he has in ages, the beats are decent (some mimic mid-90s Premier, others sound like the stand-out cuts on Chuck's solo album) -- nothing fantastic, but I can actually listen to it for pleasure rather than out of pity or morbid curiousity. I can't imagine a PE album that the current hip-hop scene saw as relevant, but what about a record that gets good press, their old fans can own with pride, and crosses over a little into the current nerd-rap demographic? Listening to this new one makes me think they could be an album away from something like that... I could see Def Jux picking them up, bringing like-minded MCs into the studio (Boots Riley, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Sage Francis, Buck 65, Mr. Lif, etc etc) and making something decent happen. Thoughts?
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  • CosmoCosmo 9,767 Posts
    I met their DJ in Atlanta on Wednesday. DJ Lord I think? Nice dude.

  • Future of Public Enemy got a

  • Birdman9Birdman9 5,417 Posts

    Listening to this new one makes me think they could be an album away from something like that... I could see Def Jux picking them up, bringing like-minded MCs into the studio (Boots Riley, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Sage Francis, Buck 65, Mr. Lif, etc etc) and making something decent happen.

    Thoughts?

    How is Chuck D like-minded to the completely talent-impaired and unlistenable Buck 65?

  • spelunkspelunk 3,400 Posts
    I doubt they have a future in terms of making dope records but their performances are still on a level way beyond what 98% of artists are bringing today.

  • DJ_EnkiDJ_Enki 6,471 Posts
    So can anyone else picture Public Enemy having a bona fide comeback album?


    No.

    I mean, it'd be great if they could pull that off, but I just don't see it happening. Now, the group will be fine for years to come just getting that tour money, and they're still the greatest hip-hop group of all time, but I find their music pretty uninteresting these days.

    DJ Lord is Frickin' ill, though.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    They will never get the public attention again. Its a wrap. Chuck and them have their loyal fans and that the extent of it.

    Im a proponent of GrownAssMan Rap but I just cant see a "comeback".

    A comeback means being on TRL like T.I..

  • spelunkspelunk 3,400 Posts
    Listening to this new one makes me think they could be an album away from something like that... I could see Def Jux picking them up, bringing like-minded MCs into the studio (Boots Riley, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Sage Francis, Buck 65, Mr. Lif, etc etc) and making something decent happen.

    Thoughts?

    I would really cringe to see them working with any of these artists.

  • Mike_BellMike_Bell 5,736 Posts
    Listening to this new one makes me think they could be an album away from something like that... I could see Def Jux picking them up, bringing like-minded MCs into the studio (Boots Riley, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Sage Francis, Buck 65, Mr. Lif, etc etc) and making something decent happen.

    Thoughts?

    I would really cringe to see them working with any of these artists.
    Even Boots Riley?

  • DONE SON

  • onetetonetet 1,754 Posts

    Listening to this new one makes me think they could be an album away from something like that... I could see Def Jux picking them up, bringing like-minded MCs into the studio (Boots Riley, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Sage Francis, Buck 65, Mr. Lif, etc etc) and making something decent happen.

    Thoughts?

    How is Chuck D like-minded to the completely talent-impaired and unlistenable Buck 65?

    That's valid. I chose those names based on who I thought young-ish "nerd-rap" fans pay attention to -- and the fact that Chuck is a big Sage Francis booster suggested Buck 65 as well.

    Of those I mentioned, only Boots Riley is consistently great to me lyrically, although I also like Mr. Lif most of the time.

  • onetetonetet 1,754 Posts
    Listening to this new one makes me think they could be an album away from something like that... I could see Def Jux picking them up, bringing like-minded MCs into the studio (Boots Riley, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Sage Francis, Buck 65, Mr. Lif, etc etc) and making something decent happen.

    Thoughts?

    I would really cringe to see them working with any of these artists.

    I'm just saying that's one direction I could see a PE comeback album trying to go. Is there a set of names you'd both like to see them (ok, Chuck under the PE banner) work with that you also think could get some critical attention and broaden their fan base?

  • DJBombjackDJBombjack Miami 1,665 Posts
    Last week I was DJing and I thought "Fuck it. I'm gonna play some P.E."
    So I dropped 'Baseheads' and it got me really yearning for the days when I would listen to an album non-stop for a couple of months. These days i'm lucky to make it once through and that's just to see if I CAN make it through an album.

    I miss hip hop.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    I'm just saying that's one direction I could see a PE comeback album trying to go. Is there a set of names you'd both like to see them (ok, Chuck under the PE banner) work with that you also think could get some critical attention and broaden their fan base?

    If the "comeback" album had a bunch of collaborations, it really wouldnt be a pure P.E. album..IMO.

    Now they can still do whatever as an artists but to think the Ipod generation is gonna embrace Public Enemy like it was 1987 again is silly. No dis.

  • volumenvolumen 2,529 Posts
    "What's the future of Public Enemy....none of your god damm bidness!!!!"

  • onetetonetet 1,754 Posts


    Now they can still do whatever as an artists but to think the Ipod generation is gonna embrace Public Enemy like it was 1987 again is silly. No dis.

    None taken, although I don't think people really have latched on to what I was suggesting. It just occured to me that we're approaching the time when some classic hip-hop era is going to get the elder-statesman makeover treatment a la Rick Rubin's guidance of Johnny Cash.

    Public Enemy occured to me as prime for this sort of treatment, mainly because a)they're getting up there in years and b)I feel like they need some guidance to reconnect with people who would potentially appreciate their outlook.

    I was thinking it would go in a collaborative direction because that's how hip-hop sells itself these days.

    I don't picture an album that goes gold, just one getting good reviews that introduces the group to some younger fans and seems more relevant than what they've been up to for 15+ years now.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    "What's the future of Public Enemy....none of your god damm bidness!!!!"


  • nzshadownzshadow 5,516 Posts
    "What's the future of Public Enemy....none of your god damm bidness!!!!"



  • alieNDNalieNDN 2,181 Posts
    it would be like watching a sex pistols reunion

  • onetetonetet 1,754 Posts
    it would be like watching a sex pistols reunion

    How so? They've released albums continuously since the mid-80s.

  • LamontLamont 1,087 Posts

  • onetetonetet 1,754 Posts
    I'm starting to get the sense that you guys disagree with me on this one...

  • BsidesBsides 4,244 Posts
    I think the future of public enemy involves mabye a guest appearance on flavor of love part 8 on vh1. Other than that, they are just too old. No disrespect because they were one of the greatest, but yeah, sex pistols reunion.

  • onetetonetet 1,754 Posts
    I think the future of public enemy involves mabye a guest appearance on flavor of love part 8 on vh1. Other than that, they are just too old. No disrespect because they were one of the greatest, but yeah, sex pistols reunion.

    See, I find this interesting because the assumption seems to be that there will never be a wave of nostagia for aging hip-hop artists. I assume that was thought about punk and post-punk, too, and sure the Sex Pistols reunion was an atrocity, but for every Sex Pistols reunion you have a Wire or Mission of Burma that pulls it off tastefully, or even adds to their legacy -- or a Julian Cope or Thurston Moore, who keep finding ways to stay interesting and relevant.

    So do people think that there will never be any interesting music made by aging hip-hop figures, or just think that Public Enemy is specifically an unlikely pick to make that happen? If that latter, who would you say is more likely?

    Bearing in mind that

    a)unlike the Sex Pistols, PE never stopped recording
    b)Flavor Flav wasn't exactly the picture of dignity in 1987, either, and
    c)Chuck and Flavor started recording at a relatively old age for hip-hop to begin with.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    I think the future of public enemy involves mabye a guest appearance on flavor of love part 8 on vh1. Other than that, they are just too old. No disrespect because they were one of the greatest, but yeah, sex pistols reunion.

    See, I find this interesting because the assumption seems to be that there will never be a wave of nostagia for aging hip-hop artists. I assume that was thought about punk and post-punk, too, and sure the Sex Pistols reunion was an atrocity, but for every Sex Pistols reunion you have a Wire or Mission of Burma that pulls it off tastefully, or even adds to their legacy -- or a Julian Cope or Thurston Moore, who keep finding ways to stay interesting and relevant.

    So do people think that there will never be any interesting music made by aging hip-hop figures, or just think that Public Enemy is specifically an unlikely pick to make that happen? If that latter, who would you say is more likely?

    Bearing in mind that

    a)unlike the Sex Pistols, PE never stopped recording
    b)Flavor Flav wasn't exactly the picture of dignity in 1987, either, and
    c)Chuck and Flavor started recording at a relatively old age for hip-hop to begin with.

    You think Punk is relevant today?

    Even if there is a nostalgia for older artists, its such a stretch to think that a big movement for the golden age resurvaces that still doesnt mean that the art made then will suddenly become dominant.

    I think ur probably missed the actual era of Public Enemy's Dynasty and ur wishing these 40+ year old can rekindle the flame.
    Hip Hop like basketball is a youth game.Deal.
    And comparing PE to Rock N Roll canon/pantheon is Bullshit.

  • the_dLthe_dL 1,531 Posts
    2 words sample clearance
    those 2 words killed hip hop

  • JoeMojoJoeMojo 720 Posts
    None taken, although I don't think people really have latched on to what I was suggesting. It just occured to me that we're approaching the time when some classic hip-hop era is going to get the elder-statesman makeover treatment a la Rick Rubin's guidance of Johnny Cash.

    Isn't this kind of like what Rawkus tried to do with G Rap, or what Dre was supposedly doing with Rakim?

  • KineticKinetic 3,738 Posts
    Future of Public Enemy got a

    As soon as I read the title of this thread I knew someone else would already have posted this!

  • onetetonetet 1,754 Posts
    I think the future of public enemy involves mabye a guest appearance on flavor of love part 8 on vh1. Other than that, they are just too old. No disrespect because they were one of the greatest, but yeah, sex pistols reunion.

    See, I find this interesting because the assumption seems to be that there will never be a wave of nostagia for aging hip-hop artists. I assume that was thought about punk and post-punk, too, and sure the Sex Pistols reunion was an atrocity, but for every Sex Pistols reunion you have a Wire or Mission of Burma that pulls it off tastefully, or even adds to their legacy -- or a Julian Cope or Thurston Moore, who keep finding ways to stay interesting and relevant.

    So do people think that there will never be any interesting music made by aging hip-hop figures, or just think that Public Enemy is specifically an unlikely pick to make that happen? If that latter, who would you say is more likely?

    Bearing in mind that

    a)unlike the Sex Pistols, PE never stopped recording
    b)Flavor Flav wasn't exactly the picture of dignity in 1987, either, and
    c)Chuck and Flavor started recording at a relatively old age for hip-hop to begin with.

    You think Punk is relevant today?

    Even if there is a nostalgia for older artists, its such a stretch to think that a big movement for the golden age resurvaces that still doesnt mean that the art made then will suddenly become dominant.

    I think ur probably missed the actual era of Public Enemy's Dynasty and ur wishing these 40+ year old can rekindle the flame.
    Hip Hop like basketball is a youth game.Deal.
    And comparing PE to Rock N Roll canon/pantheon is Bullshit.

    Why the hostility, chief?

    I'm in my early 30s and "911 Is a Joke" was my high school's homecoming theme. I saw PE twice in the 80s and bought Fear of a Black Planet on its release date. Like many people here my age, my interest dropped off around and/or because of Muse Sick N Hour Mess Age.

    I don't have anything invested in a PE comeback album, I just heard their new record, thought it wasn't absolute garbage, and wondered if anyone else thought they might have a second or third wind left in them. If so, I wondered aloud what form that 2nd or 3rd wind would take.

    I didn't say punk is relevant today, I said Thurston Moore and Julian Cope have found ways to remain relevant. I said that Wire and Mission of Burma pulled off tasteful reunions, unlike the Sex Pistols.

    This is the third or so time I've said this in this thread, but I never suggested that there would be a PE comeback that appealed to a mass audience, let alone "suddenly become dominant." I was wondering aloud if there could be a modest market and positive critical reception for a well-done and well-marketed Public Enemy album.

  • the title of this thread is headboggling

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    I was wondering aloud if there could be a modest market and positive critical reception for a well-done and well-marketed Public Enemy album.

    Cabn U describe your idea of "Well-Marketed"?

    Hasnt Chuck been workin' the internet for a minute? After that level where should PE try to promote themselves? BET Rap City?
    Theres a gang of MCs from the "Golden Era" that continue to put out albums. Unless the Grown Ass Man Rap Market is established , I just dont see these dude garnering the attention of cats outside thier loyal fanbase.

    I liked last Krs-One & Marley Marl collabo. Was that well marketed? Were there "Positive" critques? NO.

    What your basically asking is "Can people out there like PE like I do."

    Ive got the right to be hostile.
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