Friday, April 11, 2014

48 It takes a nation of millions to hold us back (1988) Public Enemy

  1. Countdown to Armageddon
  2. Bring the Noise
  3. Don't Believe the Hype
  4. Cold Lampin' with Flavor
  5. Terminator X to the Edge of Panic
  6. Mind Terrorist
  7. Louder Than a Bomb
  8. Caught, Can We Get a Witness?
  9. Show 'Em Whatcha Got
  10. She Watch Channel Zero?!
  11. Night of the Living Baseheads
  12. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos
  13. Security of the First World
  14. Rebel Without a Pause
  15. Prophets of Rage
  16. Party for Your Right to Fight

I'm delighted to announce that I no longer need to listen to any rap albums. I'm done. I'm retiring my rap-listening hat and moving on. From this day forward I will no longer put aside music I love in order to dedicate time to listen to hip-hop, rap, old school, new school or any kind of school. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back is the final rap album I will hear from start to finish (four times) and it's a huge relief.

I've tried to appreciate rap. I've made a huge effort to change my ways from rap atheist to at least become a rap agnostic. Please believe me when I say one of my hopes when starting this list was that I would actually develop an appreciation for hip hop. I would have been delighted if I'd finished this project able to say that I'd become a rap fan. Sadly it just wasn't the case.

Including this album, I've listened to 26 Hip Hop albums and I've heard each of them four times. Assuming that the average album length is 45 minutes, this means I've listened to exactly 78 hours of rap music in the course of the last few years. I think that permits me to safely say I've given the genre a chance. When you've dedicated 3.25 full days listening to something it qualifies as a decent exploration I would have said. I had an open mind for that entire time but I've come to the conclusion that Rap just isn't for me.

I don't like the self posturing nature. I don't like the fact that rappers are telling me how great they are all the time. I don't like the music which places all the emphasis on the vocals with nothing recognizable behind to latch onto. I don't like the mysogyny and nasty aspect which some (but definitely not all) rap feels the need to propagate. I don't like the aggression, the over production or the stance most of the artists take. It doesn't move me, speak to me or excite me. I can appreciate that others have a different reaction and good for them.

I'm capable of respecting a band like Public Enemy. Their message and ideals aren't something I find repulsive but I don't feel the need to listen to them any further. If you love them then good for you, but I gave them a chance and they couldn't win me over.

For the record if it takes a nation of millions to hold Public Enemy back then their progress can impeded by nations as small as Macedonia, Botswana and Lesotho. I'm not saying I think there's a huge chance that the good people of Lesotho are likely to organise themselves into a force that will detain Public Enemy in some way, I'm just saying that when you could have renamed your album "Not as tough as Botswana" you might like to rethink your title choice. Either way I don't care because rap is not my concern any longer.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "this is the best country music album of all time but if they had gotten rid of flava flav it would be even better wazzup wit dem clocks!?!?"

Wait- Country Music? Country music?

So do you think a nation of millions should be mobilized to hold Public Enemy back? If so which one? Let me know below.


  1. wow, 3.25 days. that is 3.25 days you will never get back. Well done, you took a hit for the 500 horizons community again. Now lets get back to some music again.

  2. Clearly hip hop is obviously not your favorite, but if I could recommend at least a few albums to you:
    "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" - Kanye West
    "Madvillainy" - Madvillain
    "The Heist" - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
    "good kid, m.A.A.d. city" - Kendrick Lamar
    you may or may not like these albums

    1. Thanks for the suggestions but I have to say I'm simply not interested. It's not that Hip Hop isn't my favourite, I just don't like it at all. It doesn't matter how good the Hip Hop is, I'm not going to enjoy it..