The beginning of the Public Enemy legacy--
Hype Currie | Detroit, Michigan United States | 06/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yo! Bum Rush the Show-
Formerly a loose congregate of college-radio DJs and party promoters in the Long Island area, `Spectrum City' became Public Enemy when Def Jam exec Rick Rubin allegedly badgered Chuck D into accepting a record deal; Chuck insisted that Flav come along, and hip-hop history was begun. Along with producers Bill Stephney and Hank Shocklee, Chuck and company considered themselves hip-hop's answer to the Clash: The first album as almost a punk effort, more about rhythm & noise rather than rhythm & blues. The LP opens with "You're Gonna Get Yours", Chuck and Flav's ode to the Oldsmobile 98: "Smoke is coming, when I burn/ rubber when my wheels turn; tinted windows so super-bad; looking like the car the Green Hornet had." The riskiest cut may have been "Sophisticated Bi*ch": hardcore metal guitar (courtesy of Vernon Reid) and hip-hop bassline make for a powerful punch. The lyrics rail against a loose woman, though later statements by Chuck assert that this was an allegorical rant against the policies of urban radio stations at the time. Other standout joints include "Public Enemy #1" (covered years later by Puff Daddy), "Miuzi Weighs a Ton", "Timebomb" ("They go `ooh!' and `ah!' when I jump in my car, people treat me like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.."), and the anti-crack-cocaine diatribe "Megablast". This is the true beginning of the PE dynasty, even before "Nation of Millions". Not to be missed.
Green Andy Reviews: Public Enemy - Yo! Bum Rush the Show
A. ZIATS | New York, NY, USA | 10/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't want to sound like a negative nancy, but I'm not actually a huge fan of most of Public Enemy's more famous records. IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK and FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET are the albums where PE built their legend, but I find it tough to get into them. This debut album, however: it sends chills down my spine when I hear it. It's clear that the group wouldn't have achieved their place in history without moving away from this sound, but I still love it way more than everything else they've ever done.
Unlike all the rest of their work, Yo! Bum Rush the Show is a true Def Jam album that sounds very much of its time. Produced by Rick Rubin, it's part of his trilogy of truly great hip hop records from the 80's (the other two being the Beastie Boys' LICENSED TO ILL and Run-D.M.C.'s RAISING HELL), and all three of them share a similar aesthetic: production that mimics the hard-hitting feel of heavy rock, with occasional guitars woven into the sound, and drums mixed more for rocking out than dancing. Of the three, Public Enemy seem to be straining against this sound the most, since at the time both the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. were in the heyday of their "rap rock" period, and PE are hip hop through and through. So the group and the producer are working slightly at cross-purposes, but the tension results in some true classics, like "Miuzi Weighs a Ton", where it's difficult to tell which is more aggressive: the percussion, the furious scratching, or Chuck D's strident raps. Then there's "Too Much Posse", where Flavor Flav demonstrates that he's always been the comic relief of the group, but he wasn't always a joke. "Raise the Roof", the title track, the would-be theme song "Public Enemy No. 1" and just about everything else on the record sounds like the best block party you never got to attend.
Certainly, there are some aspects to the classic Public Enemy sound that aren't quite there yet on this album. The ultra-dense soundscapes of the Bomb Squad, which would change the way hip hop production worked in just a few short years, only shows up in bits and pieces on this record, and more often than not cedes control to Rick Rubin's rocker leanings. More significantly, Public Enemy aren't rapping about national or global concerns the way they soon would be. There are a few traces of PE's future revolutionary spirit, like "Rightstarter", but they're still a long way from being "the black CNN". But as I mentioned earlier, I don't really care about that stage of their career, famous though it may be. Anyway, this record is a lot like the self-titled Deep Purple album from back in 1969: almost completely removed from what we normally think of that makes the group great, but completely great in its own right. I feel terrible for anyone that doesn't own this album."
Yo! Get this classic
Nuisance | Miami | 12/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe its just me but when you say an album is a classic, it should get 5 stars. There are reviewers on Amazon that call this album a classic and give it four stars. Hmmmmmmm, interesting. At any rate..
I fell in love with this album when I first heard it. Chuck D has a fantastic flow and a voice that commands authority. Flava Flav was wild and Terminator X comes through with the scratches. Chuck D also had something to say and that a definite plus. He helped open up the doors for social awareness in Hip Hop and still doesnt get enough credit for it.
In closing Public Enemy's Yo! Bum Rush The Show is a classic that should be a part of any hip hop heads collection. The rhymes were excellent and the production is superb. Two thumbs up from me.
Standouts: YOU'RE GONNA GET YOURS, SOPHISTICATED B***H, PUBLIC ENEMY NO.1, RIGHTSTARTER, MEGABLAST, TIMEBOMB, MIUZI WEIGHS A TON and the rest of this album!"