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Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and his S1W group, DJ Lord (DJ who replaced Terminator X in 1999), and Music Director Khari Wynn. Formed in Long Island, New York, in 1982, Public Enemy is known for their politically charged lyrics and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community.
In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Public Enemy number forty-four on its list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Acclaimed Music ranks them the 29th most recommended musical act of all time and the highest hip-hop group. The group was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
Developing his talents as an MC with Flavor Flav while delivering furniture for his father's business, Chuck D (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour) 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 Sam the Assassin 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 ."
Public Enemy started out as opening acts 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 91â€¦ 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.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments