Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rolling Stone 500: (497) Yo! Bum Rush the Show by Public Enemy [1987]

Wow. The first Public Enemy record sounds different from their songs I know from a few years later. The beats and rhyming are really old school. The good thing about even average hip-hop is it will almost always have a good beat. But the lesser songs on "Yo! Bum Rush the Show" do drag this record down.

After a pretty average introductory song, "You're Gonna Get Yours," the album picks up with "Sophisticated Bitch." Not very p.c, but still a good song and a nice, heavy beat. A few decent songs later, a really, really good set of songs elevates this to Top 500 status.

"Too Much Posse" is Flava Flav's best effort by far on the record. "Rightstar (Message to the Black Man)" sounds more like what I think when I think of Public Enemy. Chuck D tears up the track and the beat is bad (in the good way). It's "socially conscious" and funky. I love it. And the song rounding out this great trifecta is "Public Enemy No. 1." The beat is just classic old school stuff.

As far as the rest of the record goes, it is just tolerable or not very good ("Terminator X Speaks With His Hands"). The beat on "Terminator X" leaves a lot to be desired. I think I could have made that back in the early part of this decade on an old computer at my high school with the crappy, little, cheap audio editor we had.

Exactly half of the record is really good and half is average at best. You can hear how Public Enemy try to find where they are going with their sound. Luckily, they took what worked best and honed that sound. At least one of their later records is later in the list.

Public Enemy No. 1

Too Much Posse

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