[ Back to Black / LP ]
Release Date: Friday 10 July 2015
Yo! Bum Rush the Show was an invigorating record, but it looks like child's play compared to its monumental sequel, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, a record that rewrote the rules of what hip-hop could do.
That's not to say the album is without precedent, since what's particularly ingenious about the album is how it reconfigures things that came before into a startling, fresh, modern sound. Public Enemy used the template Run-D.M.C. created of a rap crew as a rock band, then brought in elements of free jazz, hard funk, even musique concrète, via their producing team, the Bomb Squad, creating a dense, ferocious sound unlike anything that came before. This coincided with a breakthrough in Chuck D's writing, both in his themes and lyrics.
It's not that Chuck D was smarter or more ambitious than his contemporaries -- certainly, KRS-One tackled many similar sociopolitical tracts, while Rakim had a greater flow -- but he marshaled considerable revolutionary force, clear vision, and a boundless vocabulary to create galvanizing, logical arguments that were undeniable in their strength. They only gained strength from Flavor Flav's frenzied jokes, which provided a needed contrast. What's amazing is how the words and music become intertwined, gaining strength from each other.
Though this music is certainly a representation of its time, it hasn't dated at all. It set a standard that few could touch then, and even fewer have attempted to meet since. 5 / 5 All Music Guide.
Countdown To Armageddon 1:41
Bring The Noise 3:45
Don't Believe The Hype 5:18
Cold Lampin With Flavor 4:16
Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic 4:31
Mind Terrorist 1:20
Louder Than A Bomb 3:37
Caught, Can We Get A Witness? 4:55
Show Em Whatcha Got 1:56
She Watch Channel Zero?! 3:49
Night Of The Living Baseheads 3:13
Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos 6:24
Security Of The First World 1:19
Rebel Without A Pause 5:00
Prophets Of Rage 3:18
Party For Your Right To Fight 3:26