Monday, December 3, 2007

Old School Mondays:: Public Enemy - Apocalypse 91 Style

Last night found me trying to think of something for today's OSM, and generally drawing a blank. I was also haphazardly jotting some notes down about Friday night's Feist show at the Cunard Centre for a show review (which I haven't done), when I remembered an interesting tidbit from the evening that set me on my way. After Chester's banjo maestro Old Man Luedecke had warmed up the crowd with a nice set of songs, we were waiting patiently as the stage was prepped for Feist. Whilst that was going on, the usual pre-show generic rock was playing, and as usual it was bland stuff I didn't recognize and was largely ignoring it, until the unmistakable voices of Chuck D and Flav boomed "Here come the Drums!" and "Confusion!" simultaneously.

That is of course the opener to PE's classic jam Can't Truss It from the awesomely titled (in a groan-inducing way) Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black. As I might've mentioned on the hill once or 15 times before, I was a large PE fan ack in the day. In fact they are why I started listening to hip hop in a serious, non "RUn-DMC & Aerosmith are on Video Hits!" manner. Of course, like many, I stopped checking for new PE releases ages ago, but their albums from the late 80's and early 90's will never lose their appeal to me. So hearing Can't Truss It in such a random situay reminded me how much I loved that song, and since that album was pretty much PE's last really relevant release, I thought I'd post some songs from it.

MP3:: Public Enemy - Can't Truss It
I talked last week about Redman's awesome intro on EPMD's Headbanger, well this song's opening also has to be considered a classic. I can certainly understand why Chuck yells "here come the drums", as the drums are indeed coming, but as for why Flav yells "Confusion!", I have no idea. Perhaps it was part of some therapy and/or rehab Flav was undergoing at the time where he was encouraged to randomly yell out how he was feeling from time to time. Perhaps we'll never know. But Chuck's right on the money, as this jam is driven by it's relentless, Sly Stone drum loop which I know as the "Humpty Drums" due to their use on the Humpty Dance. Not sure if the bomb squad produced this album, but this beat certainly fits their style with it's dense layers of music-like noise. Lyrically, it's a reminder of why Chuck & PE were so awesome, and also how far removed hip hop is now from what it once was. Honestly, have a listen to this song, or watch the video below. Essentially the song is saying that the living and working conditions of American black people in 1991 aren't that different from the everyday lives of slaves a couple hundred years ago. The judge is the plantation owner, the factory foreman is the overseer, etc and so on. Honestly, who in hip hop do you see doing that song in 2007? Nevermind that labels would never put it out and that it would no doubt go wood in the hood as people would shun it because it had no accompanying dance. If you didn't think hip hop was different back in the day, have a listen.

MP3:: Public Enemy - 1 Million Bottlebags
MP3:: Public Enemy - Get The F--- Outta Dodge
I know what you're saying: "Old School Mondays is usually only two songs, what in the hell is going on!". Well no need for the blown gasket routine Charlie, it's my birthday tomorrow and I'm feeling generous, so I upped the ante. Well that and I don't have a ton to say about either of these songs individually, but put them together and blam, content doubled. 1 Million Bottlebags is an anti-malt liquor rant which seems antiquated now, but at the time malt liquor was the hip hop beverage of choice (if you're like me you know you bought a 40 the first time you were of age in the US). Other rappers were doing commercials for St. Ides (Ice Cube, Tupac, Snoop) but Chuck & Flav wanted brothers to put the bottle down (ironic message from coming from Flav, but I digress). That's all well and good, but this song is famous at the hill for one reason only, Gio Massimi used to blast it while he drove the Ack and I to basketball practice in high school. The G man drove a sweet-ass silver Dodge Diplomat (the original Diplo, forget that dude down with MIA), which didn't have a tape player, but that wasn't anything a ghetto blaster and some batteries couldn't fix. It was truly riding in style, so this song will go down in history cause of that. Get The F--- Outta Dodge was my second favorite song on the album, and plus it uses the same beat as Louie Rankin's The Sting, and that's just awesome.

Video:: Public Enemy - Can't Truss It

Posted at 11:36 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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