Maybe it's a concept album, but every odd numbered track on Apocalypse is incredible, while the even tracks fall apart or never come together at all. If you listen to the odds, you get PE breaking down issues facing Africa... more »n Americans almost to minutiae, outing everything from corporate sneaker pimps ("Shut Em Down") and 40oz. killers ("One Million Bottlebags") to a racially corrupt government ("By the Time I Get to Arizona"). And, thankfully, most of that dogma is couched inside PE's trademark air-raid drill noisematics so you can shake your ass while PE sublimates the gospel into your brain. Unfortunately, drop the odd tracks and you're listening to a sonically and lyrically inferior album. Suffer through Flav's reprehensible plea for martyrdom in "A Letter to the New York Post," or the inane and superfluous "Bring Tha Noize"--a co-op with Anthrax which takes rap-rock crossover back to a sad place, alongside Lou Reed's "Original (W)rapper". --Todd Levin« less
Maybe it's a concept album, but every odd numbered track on Apocalypse is incredible, while the even tracks fall apart or never come together at all. If you listen to the odds, you get PE breaking down issues facing African Americans almost to minutiae, outing everything from corporate sneaker pimps ("Shut Em Down") and 40oz. killers ("One Million Bottlebags") to a racially corrupt government ("By the Time I Get to Arizona"). And, thankfully, most of that dogma is couched inside PE's trademark air-raid drill noisematics so you can shake your ass while PE sublimates the gospel into your brain. Unfortunately, drop the odd tracks and you're listening to a sonically and lyrically inferior album. Suffer through Flav's reprehensible plea for martyrdom in "A Letter to the New York Post," or the inane and superfluous "Bring Tha Noize"--a co-op with Anthrax which takes rap-rock crossover back to a sad place, alongside Lou Reed's "Original (W)rapper". --Todd Levin
"As I continually turn a contemptuous nose at much of modern hip hop, I'm relieved that there are acts like Public Enemy that remind me of the genre that once had something important to say. Clearly, "Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black" lacks the vitality of "It Takes a Nation of Millions..." or the sucker punch of its masterpiece "Fear of a Black Planet." But there are enough strokes of brilliance and hard-hitting messages to remind us how PE earned its clout in hip hop. Chuck D gives us a chilling account of the slave trade in the single "Can't Truss It (Divided and sold/for liquor and gold/Smacked in the back/ for the other man to mack)," and he justly rakes Arizona over the coals for ignoring the MLK holiday in "By the Time I Get to Arizona." Flava Flav jumps in to denounce the n-word in "I Don't Wanna Be Called Yo Nigga," which seems ahead of its time now that these modern rappers liberally use this, um, term of endearment. I personally could have done without the closer, "Bring the Noize" a track featuring Anthrax that would help shape up the rap-rock craze that's currently being run into the ground by jokers like Limp Bizkit. At times, "Apocalypse..." seems a wee bit like a pale imitation of its last two records, but even a disc as flawed as this still holds up tremendously well. While it's not as essential as "Fear..." or "It Takes a Nation...," Public Enemy's fourth album is still a potent documentary of an America still immersed in friendly fascism."
Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black
Ludacris88 | New York | 02/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my opinion, this is a classic album. It's almost as good as 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back', and I definately think it's one of the best albums of all time, and Chuck D would be in my top 5 rappers or so of all time. (Produced by The Imperial Grand Ministers Of Funk) (Executive Produced by The Bomb Sqauad)
1.Lost At Birth-4.5/5-Chuck D drops only 1 verse on this one, but its a great intro 2.Rebirth-4.5/5-Only 59 seconds, but Chuck drops another hot verse 3.Nighttrain-5/5-Definately one of the best tracks on the CD, great flow and energy from Chuck, and hot production (Samples Kool Moe Dee's 'How Ya Like Me Now') 4.Can't Truss It-5/5-Another stand out, one of the best tracks lyrically from Chuck, and more of some of the best production on an album of all time in my opinion (Samples Run-DMC's 'Dumb Girl') 5.I Don't Wanna Be Called Yo N****-4/5-Flava Flav is basically rambling on the whole track, but there's some stand out production 6.How To Kill A Radio Consultant-5/5-Chuck's flow is especially hot on this one 7.By The Time I Get To Arizona-5/5-One of the great things about Chuck is that he is a smart MC, and raps about social and political issues. Not something you'll find in the average rapper. Another one of my favorites on the CD (Single)(Featured in 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4') 8.Move!-5/5-Another great high energy track (Featured in 'Def Jam Fight For NY') 9.1 Million Bottle Bags-5/5-Great song adressing alchohol in America (over a hot beat, too) 10.More News At 11-5/5-Short song, but a hot flow from Flav 11.Shut Em Down-5/5-Another one of the best on the CD, great lyrically (Later sampled by DJ Premier/The Notorious B.I.G. in 'Ten Crack Commandments') 12.A Letter To The NY Post-5/5-Flav isnt the best lyricist, but he can have a great flow, hot song 13.Get The F*ck Out Of Dodge-5/5-Great song, and the end unfortunately describes many cops today
"Sergent Hawke and i'm down wit' the cop scene I'm a rookie and i'm rollin' wit' a swat team Packin' a nine can't wait to use it Crooked cop yeah that's my music Up against the wall don't gimme no lip son A bank is robbed and you fit the description And i ain't your mama and i ain't your pops Keep your music down or you might get shot This is a warning so watch your tail Or i'm a have to put your a** in jail I'm the police and i'm in charge You don't like it get the f*** outta dodge"
14.Bring Tha Noize (Remix)Featuring Anthrax-5/5-A rock remix to my favorite Public Enemy song, with Anthrax doing the hook and 2 of Chuck's verses, actually a great song
Vastly underrated CD, highly reccomended"
Hardcore Thrillers Of Rap
xklox | 02/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Coming down after the twin high-water marks of It Takes a Nation of Millions and Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy shifted strategy a bit for their fourth album, Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black. By and large, they abandon the rich, dense musicality of Planet, shifting toward a sleek, relentless, aggressive attack -- Yo! Bum Rush the Show by way of the lessons learned from Millions. This is surely a partial reaction to their status as the Great Black Hope of rock & roll; they had been embraced by a white audience almost in greater numbers than black, leading toward rap-rock crossovers epitomized by this album's leaden, pointless remake of "Bring the Noise" as a duet with thrash metallurgists Anthrax. It also signals the biggest change here -- the transition of the Bomb Squad to executive-producer status, leaving a great majority of the production to their disciples, the Imperial Grand Ministers of Funk. This isn't a great change, since the Public Enemy sound has firmly been established, giving the new producers a template to work with, but it is a notable change, one that results in a record with a similar sound but a different feel: a harder, angrier, determined sound, one that takes its cues from the furious anger surging through Chuck D's sociopolitical screeds. And this is surely PE's most political effort, surpassing Millions through the use of focused, targeted anger, a tactic evident on Planet. Yet it was buried there, due to the seductiveness of the music. Here, everything is on the surface, with the bluntness of the music hammering home the message. Arriving after two records where the words and music were equally labyrinthine, folding back on each other in dizzying, intoxicating ways, it is a bit of a letdown to have Apocalypse be so direct, but there is no denying that the end result is still thrilling and satisfying, and remains one of the great records of the golden age of hip-hop."
Josephll | CET | 11/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just read my man Rich's review about this one and realized i had this one too in my Cd Collection. It's been a while i listened to it but it sure brings back some old memories, memories of the time when Rap was still good, and when it actually had a message and not just about ([women], Car's and Cash) or whatever the modern rappers are bragging about. This album is full of great songs with nice sample's and beats. "Lost at birth" is exelent so i "How to kill a radio consultant" and "By The Time I Get To Arizona" and "More News At 11". There's a song called "Don't wanna be called yo nigga" the word nigga got a completely other meaning among rapper nowadays. "A Letter To The New York Post" is good too when they share their view about the media. Most songs are good except, the terrible last one with rock group Anthrax called "Bring tha Noize" ironically a whole genre's with metal-rap popped up in the late 90's with Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Kid Rock. I give this one 5 not only cause im a major P.E fan, also that i think this is a classic peace of rap everyone should have listened too."
The Enemy Strikes Black
Karl | Lansing, NY United States | 01/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the fourth album for Our Heroes(tm) and they've changed quite a bit since the days of Yo! Bum Rush The Show. The group is now made up of: Chuck D, the hard rhymer; Flavor Flav, the juice; Terminator X, the track attacker; as well as Sister Souljah, sister of instruction/director of attitude; Harry Allen, hip hop activist/media assassin; Hank Shocklee, commander of the flight deck; and the S1W's. They're even joined on a few tracks by Frank Able on keyboards; Fred Wells on guitar; Al MacDowell on bass; Allen Givens, Tyrone Jefferson and Lorenzo Wyche on horns; Steve Moss on conga and Ricky Gordon on drums. If you don't know anything else about PE, probably the most well-known rap group of all time, I don't know what else to say to you. So I'll just leave it at that. Now there's been much speculation that our boyz have gone weak, sold out, or lost the funk. Fans have expresed fear that PE was no longer in the house. I admit that while the idea of PE sellin' out never crossed my mind (not PE!), I had despaired that success had been too much for them and the Fear of a Black Planet album would mark the end of an era. Alas, PE, I knew you well. However, as you can tell by my summary up top, all my fears have been a-cast away. This effort strikes me in much the same way that It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back did: hard core and noisy; an album with some great songs and filled out with stuff that three months from now will strike me as classics. By contrast, Fear was a more solid album, but it had no standouts. Having said that, though, I'll also say that this does not sound like either album. It just doesn't. You might not feel that Apocalypse 91 is the best album that they've done (or then you may--personally, I think the sounds have actually progressed, but what the hell do I know?), but it's still miles ahead of 99% of everything out there, from rap to country music and back again. When I first heard Nation I was impressed by "Bring The Noise" "Show Em Whatcha Got" "Rebel Without A Pause" and "Night of The Living Baseheads" but not much else. Months later, it occurred to me that everything on that album was kickin'--I just hadn't paid attention before. Apocalypse is the same way. But this time, I really paid attention. This... is hype. And that's that. But then whaddayawant? Chuck D is still the Blackman and Flavor Flav is still... Flavor Flav. PE is still PE. I think they're trying to go out and try a few different things and for the most part they hit gold. In short, if you haven't bought this yet, go do it now. I'll wait."