Here we go again. Public Enemy‘s Fight The Power is one of the most important, exciting and truthful anthems of all time. Since first introduced in Spike Lee’s brilliant and hyperkinetic opening to the 1989 classic Do The Right Thing, it has become protest song that has resonated with audiences seeking change. In the year of 2020, it could not be more relevant.
A day after the dark and dystopian-like RNC Convention ended with a frightening 70-minute speech from incumbent President Donald Trump against a backdrop of fireworks and way too many American flags, the legendary group has dropped a 2020 remix of the track, featuring contributions from music stars including Nas, Black Thought (The Roots), Rapsody, Questlove, YG and Jahi.
The track is meaningful after a summer of unarmed Black deaths, Black Lives Matter marches and protests amid a pandemic. Listen below:
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Chuck D and Flavor Flav, along with DJ Terminator X and Professor Griff, formed Public Enemy on Long Island, New York, in 1985. Famous for their politically-charged music and unabashed criticism of the media, the group quickly caught on with audiences with their debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, in 1987 and second album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988).
The band’s first four albums during the late 1980s and early 1990s were all certified either gold or platinum. They were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. They were honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 62nd Grammy Awards.
Speaking about the icons return to Def Jam, the label’s chairman Jeff Harleston told NME who first reported the story, “Like so many of us, I have long been a Public Enemy fan, and the group was incredibly formative for me and the path I would take.
“[Public Enemy have] consistently been a living example of how music can profoundly move and unite people, and affect real change in the national conversation. As we continue to confront inequality and injustice, we need PE’s voice in the national dialogue. Def Jam is proud to partner with Chuck and welcome Public Enemy home.”
Speaking about the new record, band leader Chuck D told eurweb, “Cultural Institutions are important. Being an integral part of one is an honor bestowed and to uphold. Public Enemy songs are forever sonic prints in the sands of time. And it’s time – it’s necessary – to bring the noise again from a place called home. Def Jam. Fight The Power 2020.”
Bandmate, Flavor Flav added, “Def Jam is like the house we grew up in. It’s cool to be home.”
This isn’t the first single PE has released lately. In In June, the band told Trump to “shut the f*ck up” with their single State of the Union. Have a listen to it via the player below:
Below is the cover art for What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down? below. The album drops Sept. 25. Pre-orders available here.