3 Dope Songs from Public Enemy: The Hard Rhymer Never Lets Up

public Enemy ptAs we celebrate Public Enemy being inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight.. We wanted to remind people of some of their work.. What they have on deck is impressive.. These were some of the songs I really dug.. Enjoy..

So Whatcha Gonna Do Now This is one of my favorite songs from Public Enemy.. It was off the Muse Sick in Our Message album and sadly was overlooked by a lot of folks..  This song spawned one of  the first videos to show a Black President…15 years before Obama takes office..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhKqsIe283c

You can’t really talk about Public Enemy without making mention of this classic song ‘By the Time I get to Arizona‘. The video to this song sent shock waves throughout the country as the group depicted themselves killing two Senators and Governor  who opposed the Martin Luther King Holiday in Arizona.. The resulting controversy had critics calling rap and Public Enemy violent and a bad influence on kids.. Others said Dr King wouldn’t have like the video.. Those of us who tired of Arizona’s out right racism cheered the group on…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrFOb_f7ubw

Burn Hollywood Burn brought together 3 legends, Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube and Chuck D who killed in both subject matter (Black stereotypical images in Hollywood and their performance.. This is a must for anyone who is a student of Hip Hop… It’s what made the so called Golden Era so powerful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhQGH6CbKhw

I know I said 3 Dope Songs, but I’m gonna toss this bonus cut in from Terminator X‘s album called Buck Whyling. Although known throughout New York for her activism.. Lisa Williamson became known to us as Sister Souljah and is the star of this video..She later went on to do her own album with production from the Bomb Squad … I wish PE and Souljah had done more songs together.. She was and still is a force to be reckoned with and her voice was able to cut through the noise like Chucks.. I don’t think America and maybe even the group itself was ready for that pairing..

On another note Terminator X’s album was butter.. he had a number of dope songs and was the first to pay tribute to Hip Hop pioneer Kool herc by actually having him do a song for the album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHBwwdegvSc

Lastly what y’all know about this song and rarely seen video? I’ll let it speak for itself.. I remember when the group performed this outside the GOP convention..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGFj7ypDfXQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am9BqZ6eA5c

A must see is this documentary about Public Enemy Prophets of Rage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fM_VXPZqBg

Martin Luther King: The Importance of Black Radio & Using Words as Weapons

This weekend we’ll be celebrating what would’ve been Dr Martin Luther King‘s 82cd birthday and in doing so we should all be mindful of the power of his words. We should be mindful of King’s words as we continue to dialogue about what sort of responsibility those who speak to the public have especially via broadcast medium.

King who challenged Jim Crow laws and discrimination was considered by his enemies to be a rabble rouser who was creating a dangerous climate with ‘incendiary’words. His words were so powerful that former FBI headJ Edgar Hoover saw fit to follow him and try to disrupt his activities via a program called Cointel-Pro.

There were many including some Black preachers who did not want King to come to their towns and speak because he would stir things up. His ability to move the masses was threatening.

Now at the end of the day, King was able to help push through the Civil Rights Bill of  1964 which put an end to most Jim Crow Laws. He was able to  help get the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed which ended discrimination practices at the polls. At the same time Kings powerful words so enraged folks, that he was constantly receiving death threats. He also ruffled the feathers of powerful people including President Lydon Johnson after he spoke out against the Vietnam War.

If Kings words were seen as important weapons against discrimination, why are we not seeing the words of today’s far right punditry weapons to support oppression and draconian behavior and policies?

The other thing to keep in mind about Dr King was his shrewd understanding of media in particular radio and what a powerful tool it was. many do not talk about the special relationship King had withJack ‘Jack tha Rapper Gibson and the nations first Black owned radio station WERD founded in 1949 which was housed in the same building as King’s SCLC headquarters on Auburn street in Atlanta.

Gibson is credited with being the first to broadcast King and other Civil Rights leaders on public airwaves. There are stories about how when rallies and special events were unfolding, King would bang on the ceiling with a broom to the studio housed above him, the disc jockey would lower the boom mic and King would speak to the people via radio.

In 1967 Dr King delivered a rare and powerful speech in Atlanta to NATRANational Association of Television and Radio Announcers). The members of this important African American organization were very appreciative as King laid out the indispensable role Black radio had played  in shaping and furthering the Civil Rights struggle. King names off some of the key unsung radio heroes who he says there would not have been a Civil Rights movement had they not reflected the mood of the people and brought critical information to the masses.

King also talks about how radio is the most important and predominant medium in the Black community. It has far more reach and influence than television. He also talks about how the music these Black radio announcers played. King asserted that it helped united people. King pointed out how Blacks and Whites were listening to the same songs and doing the same dances and that the Soul Music these disc jockey’s played had served as an important cultural bridge.

He also talks about how some of them were vilified for ‘creating a climate’ that led to the unrest in American cities. Most notable was the radio announcer namedMagnificent Montague who had coined the phraseBurn Baby Burn to describe a hot record, but was later used a rallying cry for the Watts Riots of 1965.

Montague who was good friends with Malcolm X who had been assassinated earlier that year, was on the air at  KGFJ was accused of riling the people up and causing the mayhem. He had done no such thing, nevertheless LAPD paid him a visit. Montague was made to drop the slogan Burn Baby Burn to Have Mercy Baby.

Below is a special mix I did called MLK vs the Radio.. It contains excerpts from that rare NATRA speech..

I am also posting up the entire speech which is absolutely brilliant  Dr Martin Luther King NATRA-Full speech

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHdnMfGtAxM

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