THE SUN RISES IN THE EAST
JERU THE DAMAJA
In 1989, the group returned to the studio to record Fear of a Black Planet, which continued their politically charged themes. The album was supposed to be released in late 1989, but was pushed back to April 1990. It was the most successful of any of their albums and, in 2005, was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress. It included the singles "Welcome To The Terrordome", "911 Is a Joke", which criticized emergency response units for taking longer to arrive at emergencies in the black community than those in the white community, and "Fight the Power". "Fight the Power" is regarded as one of the most popular and influential songs in hip hop history. It was the theme song of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing.
The group's next release, Apocalypse '91...The Enemy Strikes Black, continued this trend, with songs like "Can't Truss It", which addressed the history of slavery and how the black community can fight back against oppression; "I Don't Wanna be Called Yo Nigga", a track that takes issue with the use of the word nigga outside of its original derogatory context. The album also included the controversial song and video "By the Time I Get to Arizona", which chronicled the black community's frustration that some US states did not recognize Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday. The video featured members of Public Enemy taking out their frustrations on politicians in the states not recognizing the holiday. In 1992, the group was one of the first rap acts to perform at the Reading Festival, in England, headlining the second day of the three-day festival.
After a 1994 motorcycle accident shattered his left leg and kept him in the hospital for a full month, Terminator X relocated to his 15-acre farm in Vance County, North Carolina. By 1998, he was ready to retire from the group and focus full-time on raising African black ostriches on his farm. In late 1998, the group started looking for Terminator X's permanent replacement. Following several months of searching for a DJ, Professor Griff saw DJ Lord at a Vestax Battle and approached him about becoming the DJ for Public Enemy. DJ Lord joined as the group's full-time DJ just in time for Public Enemy's 40th World Tour. Since 1999, he has been the official DJ for Public Enemy on albums and world tours while winning numerous turntablist competitions, including multiple DMC finals.
In 2007, the group released an album entitled How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?. Public Enemy's single from the album was "Harder Than You Think". Four years after How You Sell Soul..., in January 2011, Public Enemy released the album Beats and Places, a compilation of remixes and "lost" tracks. On July 13, 2012, Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp was released and was exclusively available on iTunes. In July 2012, on UK television an advert for the London 2012 Summer Paralympics featured a short remix of the song "Harder Than You Think". The advert caused the song to reach No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart on September 2, 2012. On July 30, 2012, Public Enemy performed a free concert with Salt-N-Pepa and Kid 'n Play at Wingate Park in Brooklyn, New York as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series. On August 26, 2012, Public Enemy performed at South West Four music festival in Clapham Common in London. On October 1, 2012 The Evil Empire of Everything was released. On June 29, 2013, they performed at Glastonbury Festival 2013. On September 14, 2013 they performed at Riot Fest & Carnival 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. On September 20, 2013 they performed at Riot Fest & Side Show in Byers, Colorado.
In 2014 Chuck D launched PE 2.0 with Oakland rapper Jahi as a spiritual successor and "next generation" of Public Enemy. Jahi had met Chuck D backstage during a soundcheck at the 1999 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and later appeared as a support act on Public Enemy's 20th Anniversary Tour in 2007. PE 2.0's task is twofold, Jahi says, to "take select songs from the PE catalog and cover or revisit them" as well as new material with members of the original Public Enemy including DJ Lord, Davy DMX, Professor Griff and Chuck D. PE 2.0's first album "People Get Ready" was released on October 7, 2014. "InsPirEd" PE 2.0's second album and part two of a proposed trilogy was released a year later on October 11, 2015. Man Plans God Laughs, Public Enemy's thirteenth album, was released in July 2015. Their latest release is “Nothing Is Quick In The Desert”
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FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET
The album received little attention and mixed reviews. On April 2, 2007, during a La Coka Nostra concert at the Gramercy Theatre in New York, Jeru the Damaja came out for a surprise appearance to perform his song "D. Original". His album Still Rising was released on October 16, 2007.
In 2009, Jeru started to collaborate with drum and bass producers. In 2009, he is featured on Kabuki's track "Watch Your Step", produced by Mainframe and on "Open Up Their Eyes" by Italian producer Fabio Musta. He also collaborated with Group Home in 2010 for a song, "Guru" dedicated to the late rapper Guru. The next year, Jeru announced that he would be releasing a new record with production from '90s legends JuJu from the Beatnuts, Pete Rock, Large Professor and old collaborator DJ Premier but the album was not released. The same year he featured in the song "Oddałbym" on the album Reedukacja of Polish hip-hop group Slums Attack (Peja, Dj Decks). Polish rap star OSTR also featured on it, and the album was a remarkable success in Poland, selling out in the first couple of days. In 2012 Jeru was featured in the song "The Mourning Son" on the album Remix with the Sun of French trip hop group Chinese Man.
On June 17, 2014, Jeru released an EP through Hedspinn Records entitled The Hammer for digital download.
Jeru has one of the most consistent tour schedules in hip hop and has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. In between tours Jeru has done joint projects with Grammy nominated UK group Groove Armada, DJ Cut Killa, French actor Doudou Masta , and DJ Honda from Japan. He also worked with Polish artist Slums Attack and O.S.T.R. Jeru has also had songs on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, True Crime: New City and GTA IV video games, as well as collaborating with OG street skater Josh Kalis and DCshoes with the release of the JK7. last but not least, Jeru was also named one of the 50 Greatest Emcees in Kool Mo Dee’s book “There Is a God On the Mic” and is looking forward to continuing that legacy in the future. Look out for a new album from Jeru this year.
Public Enemy consists of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, Khari Wynn, DJ Lord, and the S1W group. Formed on Long Island, New York, in 1986, they are known for their politically charged music and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community. Their first four albums during the late 1980s and early 1990s were all certified either gold or platinum and were, according to music critic Robert Hilburn in 1998, "the most acclaimed body of work ever by a Hip Hop act". Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine called them "the most influential and radical band of their time."
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Public Enemy number 44 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", the highest ranking for a Hip Hop act. The group was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007. The band were announced as inductees for the 2013 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on December 11, 2012, making them the fourth Hip-Hop act to be inducted.
Chuck D and Flavor Flav met at Long Island's Adelphi University in the mid-1980s. Developing his talents as an MC with Flav while delivering furniture for his father's business, Chuck D and Spectrum City, as the group was called, released the record "Check Out the Radio", backed by "Lies", a social commentary—both of which would influence RUSH Productions' Run–D.M.C. and Beastie Boys. Chuck D put out a tape to promote WBAU (the radio station where he was working at the time) and to fend off a local MC who wanted to battle him. He called the tape Public Enemy #1 because he felt like he was being persecuted by people in the local scene. This was the first reference to the notion of a public enemy in any of Chuck D's songs. The single was created by Chuck D with a contribution by Flavor Flav, though this was before the group Public Enemy was officially assembled. Around 1986, Bill Stephney, the former Program Director at WBAU, was approached by Ali Hafezi and offered a position with the label. Stephney accepted, and his first assignment was to help fledgling producer Rick Rubin sign Chuck D, whose song "Public Enemy Number One" Rubin had heard from Andre "Doctor Dré" Brown.
According to the book The History of Rap Music by Cookie Lommel, "Stephney thought it was time to mesh the hard-hitting style of Run DMC with politics that addressed black youth. Chuck recruited Spectrum City, which included Hank Shocklee, his brother Keith Shocklee, and Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, collectively known as the Bomb Squad, to be his production team and added another Spectrum City partner, Professor Griff, to become the group's Minister of Information. With the addition of Flavor Flav and another local mobile DJ named Terminator X, the group Public Enemy was born." According to Chuck, The S1W, which stands for Security of the First World, "represents that the black man can be just as intelligent as he is strong. It stands for the fact that we're not third-world people, we're first-world people; we're the original people." Hank Shocklee came up with the name Public Enemy based on "underdog love and their developing politics" and the idea from Def Jam staffer Bill Stephney following the Howard Beach racial incident, Bernhard Goetz, and the death of Michael Stewart: "The Black man is definitely the public enemy."
Public Enemy started out as opening act for the Beastie Boys during the latter's Licensed to Ill popularity, and in 1987 released their debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show. Over the next few years, Public Enemy released It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, and Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black. In addition to ushering in the golden age of Hip Hop, during this time, Public Enemy reached the height of their popularity, adulation, and controversy. The group then separated from Def Jam and has since been independently producing, marketing, and publishing their music.
Their debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, was released in 1987 to critical acclaim. The album was the group's first step toward stardom. In October 1987, music critic Simon Reynolds dubbed Public Enemy "a superlative rock band". They released their second album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988, which performed better in the charts than their previous release, and included the hit single "Don't Believe the Hype" in addition to "Bring the Noise". Nation of Millions... was the first hip hop album to be voted album of the year in The Village Voice's influential Pazz & Jop critics' poll.
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Jeru the Damaja best known for his 1994 debut album, The Sun Rises in the East, ranked as one of the 100 greatest hip-hop albums of all time by the editors of About.com. He has worked extensively with Guru and DJ Premier of Gang Starr, whom he has known since he was in high school.
Born & raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jeru spent his early years in the borough's East New York neighborhood, where he began rhyming at block parties as a youth.
Jeru first showcased his unique style to audiences on "I'm the Man", a track from Gang Starr's 1992 album Daily Operation. The following year he released his first single "Come Clean" which was produced by DJ Premier and became an underground hit.
Jeru’s first album, The Sun Rises in the East, was released in 1994 and produced entirely by DJ Premier. The album was well-received but was criticized by the Fugees for its lyrics, particularly for the song "Da Bichez". Fugees member Pras lightly mentioned Jeru on the track "Zealots", from the group's landmark 1996 album The Score, with the line "No matter who you damage, you're still a false prophet", referencing Jeru's single "You Can't Stop the Prophet". Jeru responded lightly in the intro of the track "Me or the Papes" and also on the track "Black Cowboys".
Jeru followed up in 1996 with his second album, Wrath of the Math, again produced solely by DJ Premier. The album was also widely acclaimed, although not on the same level as his debut. As on his first album, Jeru was critical of commercial hip-hop artists and the record labels that produced them such as Death Row Records and Bad Boy Entertainment; the latter he criticized on the concept track "One Day". After the release of Math, Jeru reportedly had a falling-out with DJ Premier and Guru. Jeru, however, has dismissed this and claimed that they wanted to go in different directions.
Jeru appeared semi-retired until 1999, when he released his third album, Heroz4Hire, released together with Mizmarvel, which was his first album under his then-newly created Know Savage Records. It featured the single "99.9%". His next album, Divine Design, released in 2003, was the first album under his new record label, Ashenafi Records.