Public Enemy

Public Enemy

They brought a political consciousness to hip-hop.

Founded

1985 in Long Island, New York

Full Name

Date of Birth

1985 in Long Island, New York

Still Alive

Date of Death

Influenced By

Grand Master Flash, Melle Mel, Run DMC, Huey Newton, Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets

Later Influenced

Gang Starr, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, N.W.A., Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine

Public Enemy. From left: Norman Rogers, William Drayton Jr., Carlton Ridenhour, Richard Griffin
Public Enemy. From left: Norman Rogers, William Drayton Jr., Carlton Ridenhour, Richard Griffin

About The artist

When Public Enemy exploded on the scene with their debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show!, they immediately claim the position as the racial conscience of Hip Hop. Chuck D was unmatched as a lyricist and vocalist, and his thunderous voice was backed by dense, layered beats. Flavor Flav acted as the group's court jester, but he was no buffoon. Many of his verses hid trenchant social commentary.

Prominent Members

Chuck D. (Carlton Ridenhour), Flavor Flav (William Drayton, Jr.), Professor Griff (Richard Griffin), Terminator X (Norman Rogers)

Did you know...

Public Enemy was one of the first Hip Hop acts to blend rap with heavy metal. They recorded with rock bands such as Living Colour and Sonic Youth, and they've toured with Anthrax and Rage Against the Machine.

Other Artists from this genre

The Originators

The Originators

The "old-school" creators of hip-hop.

Run-DMC

Run-DMC

The Kings of Rock from Hollis, Queens.

N.W.A.

N.W.A.

Unapologetic conveyors of urban life in LA.

2Pac

2Pac

A) poet, B) rebel, C) gangsta, D) All the above √

The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G.

Brooklyn's Big Poppa.

Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott

Missy Misdemeanor conquered a male dominated genre.

Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan

Rap's greatest musical collective.

Genres from this era

Hip Hop & Rap

Hip Hop & Rap

Two turntables and a microphone.

House

House

Birthed from the underground clubs of Chicago and New York.

Techno

Techno

Electronic dance music born in Detroit.

Neo Soul

Neo Soul

Soul music makes a return.