Public Enemy

A group of rappers and DJ's influenced by Black nationalism and underground New York.

Public Enemy are an incredible hip-hop revolution.

Their name's a jab at Richard Nixon, who incorrectly

called drug abuse "public enemy number one".

Public Enemy are the second hip-hop wave,

proto-gangsta rap with darker things to say.

Together they're Chuck D, Flava Flav, Professor Griff and formerly Terminator X.

Chuck D came from an activist family who stressed

pro-Black education and helping others.

Public Enemy wove Black Nationalism's core

teachings into every album they produced.

Professor Griff turned to the Nation of

Islam and Farrakhan for inspiration.

 The four met in Adelphi University during early 1980's.

DJ Shocklee (rap radio pioneer) mixed records live

on-air as Chuck and Bill Stephney rapped over them.

They combined young Black power with political cataclysm.

Public Enemy's fusion provoked a direct conversation with America's real gangsters.

But more importantly, it challenged us.

We could no longer run away.

Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine said....

"Can music change the world? Of course it can.

It does every day. Music changed me.

It was the music of Public Enemy and the Clash...

that made me feel less alone in my worldview.

Harmonizing and hell-raising, poetry and politics,

singing and striking, rhythm and rebellion.

The message was a simple one:

“The world ain’t gonna change itself.

That’s up to you.” (LA Times)

Axl Rose felt the same way about Public Enemy, see for yourself.


Their music set a precedent you can track in hip-hop today,

and each is very involved in community activism.

Public Enemy and the spiritual leader have a unique working relationship.

Their raps feature Farrakhan's message of radical

Black Americans as U.S. imperialism's Public Enemy #1.

"Philosophers in the past said as the Govt wrote the laws,

the rebels chose to write the songs."


D.C. Rap

Hip-Hop and Social Commentary

Revolutionary Music