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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Public Enemy Raps the System

Critics’ choice. According to the Village Voice, the No. 1 album band in the land.

Public Enemy, that is--deejay Terminator-X, emcees Flavor Flav and Chuck D--brought its hip-hop sounds to town Thursday night, and UCLA’s Ackerman Ballroom was the site, where black and white, college and street kids alike heard the word that disturbs and distills all the anger and fear that a young black person must feel on the street, in the schools and the jails when the System fails to take heed of those people in need.

“Murder is the No. 1 cause of death among black males under 25.”

--Los Angeles Times, March 9

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Boyeeee, this music is an outlet for the rage and the message of those denied access to any other medium. It speaks to its audience in a way that is clear to them about what a waste it is to freebase or watch television. About pride in one’s race and one’s history. About media hype and economic self-sufficiency.

“Nearly three of every four black children live in poverty, more than half in single-parent homes.”

--Los Angeles Times, March 9

Yo, the music is an angry, harsh, noisy bed, with razor-sharp cuts that go upside your head where Flavor Flav’s jokin’ and Chuck D’s stentorian delivery merge with the urge to move your feet to the beat of the boots of the Uzi-toting honor guard that accompanied the 90 minutes’ worth of facts that were rapidly rapped to a half-capacity crowd that was rapt and wowed by those with the courage to say what’s on black minds in 1989. Terminator-X, bring the noise!

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