Fighting The Power: A Throwback Thought on P.E.

After the verdict from the Oscar Grant trial, and having to hear about Soulja Boy's neck tattoo on V-103 - one of the biggest hiphop and R&B radio stations in the country - after the horrifying news, I'm posting this hoping it'll enter through thick skulls what hiphop REALLY means! I wrote this a while back, but put it up because I didn't want sound too preachy on this blog, but now I feel like being preachy is necessary!

Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared, troops refuse to fight! Matter of fact it's safe to say that they would rather switchhh than fight
- Thomas "TNT" Todd

Hearing this song, after enveloping the atmosphere of its accompanying movie "Do The Right Thing" (at the mere age of six years old), I learned right then and there exactly what hip-hop was. This song was the premiere song for Public Enemy in what they really contributed to hiphop - the idea that hip-hop was revolutionary through its ability to be urgent, street smart, knowledgeable and fun simultaneously.

They set the standard for hiphop records, because other than that, there were songs with an extreme Pan-African message or a lackluster consciousness. Along with Flavor Flav, he was the first to say fuck Elvis and John Wayne, two of the most influential men in entertainment history, yet still say everyone deserves equal rights.

Another memorable thing was the heavy sampling used to convey its message. The DJ, Terminator X, laced in insane drops from Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff" and Guy's "Teddy's Jam" to blend in with the lyrics and the beat. Not to mention the powerful speech in the beginning by Thomas "TNT" Todd, one of the best orators and Civil Rights attorney ever.

Other songs released by Public Enemy were great, but unmatched by "Fight The Power." This song, compared to the rest of their collection, was like the entrée of a three course meal. In this case, the meal was the knowledge dropped by this powerful hip-hop group.

The most memorable thing about this song was its video. It felt good to see Brooklyn covered in "fight the power" rally signs. People from everywhere were representing their home country plus signs with famous Black political figures like Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. This song was the precedent for ALL politically-driven songs, far beyond the hip-hop genre. Any metalhead, punk rocker, or backpacker will refer to "Fight the Power" as inspiration to their personalities.

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