Cover image for Fear of a black planet
Fear of a black planet
Public Enemy (Musical group)
Corporate Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Def Jam Recordings, [1990]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Lyrics on container.

Compact disc (AAD).
Contract on the world love jam (instrumental) -- Brothers gonna work it out -- 911 is a joke -- Incident at 66.6 FM (instrumental) -- Welcome to the terrordome -- Meet the G that killed me -- Pollywanacraka -- Anti-nigger machine -- Burn Hollywood burn -- Power to the people -- Who stole the soul? -- Fear of a black planet -- Revolutionary generation -- Can't do nuttin' for ya man -- Reggie jax -- Leave this off your fu*kin charts (instrumental) -- B side wins again -- War at 33 1/3 -- Final count of the collision between us and the damned (instrumental) -- Fight the power.
Reading Level:
Parental advisory, explicit content.
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library RAP .P976 F Compact Disc Central Library
East Aurora Library RAP .P976 F Compact Disc Audio Visual
Audubon Library RAP .P976 F Compact Disc Open Shelf
East Delavan Branch Library RAP .P976 F Compact Disc Branch Audiobook CD
Kenilworth Library RAP .P976 F Compact Disc Audio Visual
Frank E. Merriweather Library RAP .P976 F Compact Disc Branch Audiobook CD

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At the time of its release in March 1990 -- just a mere two years after It Takes a Nation of Millions -- nearly all of the attention spent on Public Enemy's third album, Fear of a Black Planet, was concentrated on the dying controversy over Professor Griff's anti-Semitic statements of 1989, and how leader Chuck D bungled the public relations regarding his dismissal. References to the controversy are scattered throughout the album -- and it fueled the incendiary lead single, "Welcome to the Terrordome" -- but years later, after the furor has died down, what remains is a remarkable piece of modern art, a record that ushered in the '90s in a hail of multiculturalism and kaleidoscopic confusion. It also easily stands as the Bomb Squad's finest musical moment. Where Millions was all about aggression -- layered aggression, but aggression nonetheless -- Fear of a Black Planet encompasses everything, touching on seductive grooves, relentless beats, hard funk, and dub reggae without blinking an eye. All the more impressive is that this is one of the records made during the golden age of sampling, before legal limits were set on sampling, so this is a wild, endlessly layered record filled with familiar sounds you can't place; it's nearly as heady as the Beastie Boys' magnum opus, Paul's Boutique, in how it pulls from anonymous and familiar sources to create something totally original and modern. While the Bomb Squad were casting a wider net, Chuck D's writing was tighter than ever, with each track tackling a specific topic (apart from the aforementioned "Welcome to the Terrordome," whose careening rhymes and paranoid confusion are all the more effective when surrounded by such detailed arguments), a sentiment that spills over to Flavor Flav, who delivers the pungent black humor of "911 Is a Joke," perhaps the best-known song here. Chuck gets himself into trouble here and there -- most notoriously on "Meet the G That Killed Me," where he skirts with homophobia -- but by and large, he's never been so eloquent, angry, or persuasive as he is here. This isn't as revolutionary or as potent as Millions, but it holds together better, and as a piece of music, this is the best hip-hop has ever had to offer. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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