PUBLIC ENEMY >> REBIRTH OF A NATION
REBIRTH OF A NATION
Studio album number 11 is a throwback. Intended as a special project, Rebirth Of A Nation is a full-fledged collaboration between Paris and Public Enemy, with Paris taking on all production duties to deliver one of PE's most focused projects to date.
With numerous references to Golden-era PE, Rebirth Of A Nation effectively presents the messages of self-sufficiency and empowerment that are Public Enemy hallmarks, but with an updated 2006 sensibility, as Paris pulls out all of the musical stops in the way that only he can. The opening "Raw Shit" blazes with urgency as MC Ren of the legendary NWA joins Chuck D and Paris to put all on notice that voices of resistance are still alive and well - and more necessary than ever. "Hard Rhymin'" and "Rise" continue in the blueprint of classic Public Enemy. Still, the Curtis Mayfield-inspired first single, "Can't Hold Us Back," really sets the tone, intended to showcase the unified force of Chuck D, Paris, dead prez, and Kam, four of the most distinctive revolutionary forces in hip-hop.
And the magic continues. From the hard-rock edge of "Hard Truth Soldiers" and the title track to the jazzy "Show 'Em Watcha Got"-esque "Pump The Music, Pump The Sound," Public Enemy and Paris are in rare form indeed, with the necessary attention paid to not only the lyrics and the music, but to the legacy that is PE.
From the War on Terror to racism to black self-hatred and police brutality, every topic is covered. Rebirth Of A Nation is a sonic onslaught aimed at the wrongs of society as only Chuck D and Paris can - only this time out, they are joined by fellow revolutionary allies dead prez, Kam, Immortal Technique, MC Ren, and The Conscious Daughters - all with striking effectiveness.
In an era where buffoonery is encouraged and rewarded by big business hell-bent on the degradation and exploitation of people of color in the name of profit, Rebirth Of A Nation is a welcome and necessary elixir. With strong beats and rhymes, it poses the questions many choose to avoid and offers solutions many choose to ignore - a landmark achievement.
"PE's best album in nearly a decade...functional funk and unyielding class consciousness..."
- The Village Voice
"...a much-needed message and reminder of what "conscious hip-hop" once stood for..."
"...distinctly Public Enemy, with Chuck's signature gruff delivery, but Paris's powerful rock-infused production - old-school funky basslines and peppering of political samples - raises this album above..."
- Syndey Morning Herald
"...PE hold true to their critical-minded mantra...Paris successfully manages to mimic the Bomb Squad's patented PE sound with grumbling bass lines, flat drum slaps and dizzying turntable scratches...the music feels fresh without being forced...it's sure to satisfy faithful followers longing for a bygone era."
"...a ticking musical timebomb with the raw anger...seething just under the surface...a lot of hard-hitting topics on this album, which is exactly what you'd expect from a Public Enemy/Paris collaboration..."
"...sophisticated politics are Rebirth's strongest suit....Paris has been around the block, he's done his homework, and he consumes current events like some folks eat at Mickey D's. On top of that, he's a successful businessman; only the Coup's Boots Riley can break down the world as Paris can..."
- San Francisco Bay Guardian
"...a return to form for Public Enemy in unexpected ways...still lives up to the PE brand name, thanks to plenty of conspiracy theories, strident media analysis, and, in the words of Chuck D., "the antidote to dope, Interscope, and fake gangsta quotes."
- SF Weekly
"...the album contains a lyrical might and sense of urgency sorely missing from much of today's popular rap...rallies for unity against oppression and offers sharp insights..."
- Los Angeles Times
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