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 Chuck D and Paris are joined by MC Ren of the legendary NWA 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, but it is the Curtis Mayfield-inspired first single, "Can't Hold Us Back" that 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-on-black crime and police brutality, every topic is covered, and 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.
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