Z.T.~ Chicago, IL It was a rare treat to get to see Public Enemy perform their classic album It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back from beginning to end. It’s been 20 years, but tonight Public Enemy was playing some of the songs live for the first time ever.Hilary captures Flava Flav and Chuck D back to back with the token fist guy.
I had very low expectations, but I swear it was a different Flava Flav up there than the spaz I know and love. It was like watching O.J. Simpson play running back. I knew he had a career before he became a freak show, but I didn’t know he was so good at it. OK, Flav’s no Juice, but dude is a tangible foil to the immense talent that is Chuck D.Most Surprising: Flava Flav only said “Yeahhh boiii” six times. I had the line at a baker’s dozen. He also took off his bling after three songs…and no viking horn! Photo by Hilary
Most Disappointing: Flava Flav’s clock was a dull, ’80s looking, white plastic rim with nothing going for it. Retire that clock, Flav.
Most interesting: Right before the album came out, they swapped side’s A and B to add more bass to the top half.
Flava flav and Chuck D Fight the Power! Photo by Hilary
Public Enemy easily won over what has to be the whitest crowd ever to see them. Flav and Chuck D played off each other with ease. Chuck D does the heavy lifting and Flav fills the gaps. He’ll do more for you than a Lil’ Jon, I’ll tell ya that much. He has a boiii at the end of his yeahh. Seriously though, Flav can hold his own, going back to back, trading lines with Chuck D.
Flav even played drums … not well … but he played them. Photo by Hilary.
Flava Flav may be the “hype man,” but Chuck D riled the crowd up by telling them to put their middle fingers up and yelling “Fuck McCain” and “Fuck The War.” Flav had more trouble. He got booed when he announced he has the most popular reality show. He told the haters “boo is what you call your girl,” not what you say to him. Oh, Flav. So witty.
William Jonathan Drayton Juuuuuuunioor doesn’t roll off the tongue like Flaaava Flav. (photo by Hilary)
They finished the album just at 10, but played on for more than a half hour more, playing “He Got Game” with its Buffalo Springfield sample. The crowd ate up every minute of the show: Swaying their arms, jumping on command and putting up more fists than you’d see at a les … oh, I’ve done this analogy before…FIGHT THE POWER!