20 years after the release of their astonishing debut album, Public Enemy returns with the provocative How You Sell Soul To A Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul (in stores August 7th). The group reunited with Bomb Squad member Gary G-Wiz to produce the album, who effortlessly built it out of vintage roots and new fervor. How You Sell… features KRS-ONE on “Sex, Drugs and Violence” and Redman as special guest producer on “Can You Hear Me Now.” Public Enemy will kick off a national festival tour this summer at the Rock The Bells concerts in New York City on July 28th and 29th. The group will also appear at two more Rock The Bells events, one in San Bernardino (Los Angeles), CA on August 11th and another in San Francisco, CA on August 18th as well make an appearance at the Santa Fe Music Festival on August 10th. Additional concerts will be announced in the coming weeks.
Perhaps no other song on the album marks the 20th anniversary of PE better than the first single, “Harder Than You Think.” “It’s symbolic of the first PE release 20 years ago,” says frontman Chuck D. “Flav pays homage to his “Public Enemy Number One” vocals and the song welds two eras together with uncanny precision.” The second single, “Amerikan Gangster,” introduces Texas rapper E. Infinite (who also goes by EDOT) joining Chuck D in dissecting the “overplayed phenomenon about what gangster really is.” Even more philosophical is “Sex, Drugs and Violence,” where KRS-ONE, Chuck D and Flavor Flav advocate young fans to still enjoy their favorite songs without taking lyrics literally. “Sex, Drugs and Violence is blessed by the most feared rapper and MC of all time, blastmaster KRS-One,” says Chuck D. “To call him the greatest MC is an understatement. The song is a testament to his commitment and opinionated consistency.”
One of the most critically acclaimed acts in contemporary music, Public Enemy’s messages remain as urgent and compelling as ever, with performances that are nothing short of electrifying. To date, the band has embarked on over 58 tours, performing over 1500 concerts to fans in 55 countries. Earlier this year, they performed to a crowd of 25,000 at the South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX and closed last month’s BET Awards with their show-stopping tribute to James Brown.
A group whose musical style and incendiary delivery have earned them sweeping acclaim and millions of fans worldwide throughout their career, Public Enemy continues to blaze musical and technological trails with new songs and new media, pulling rap music into the future all while keeping its musical roots firmly intact. At the same time, PE transcends the boundaries of rap and pop music, remaining one of the Black community's most important messengers, digital music's greatest champions, and a rare rap group whose lyrics are dedicated to analyzing, uplifting and empowering all of humanity.
The group burst onto both the rap and pop music world in 1987 with their first single, "Public Enemy #1," a startling combination of Chuck D's commanding orations and Flavor Flav's show-stopping antics to keep the message entertaining. The song is not only known for introducing a whole new sound to the rap genre, but for giving the group their name. At the close of 1999, The New York Times named Public Enemy’s music to their list of the “25 Most Significant Albums of the Last Century” and in May 2005 The US government’s Library of Congress included Fear of a Black Planet in a list of 50 recordings worthy of preserving in the National Recording Registry. Rolling Stone magazine called the group one of the fifty greatest artists of all time, and in 1999 Vanity Fair profiled the group in their Icons of Rock special section while Spin magazine chose two PE albums for their “100 Greatest Albums (1985-2005)” list, with It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back coming in at #2 and Fear of a Black Planet at #21.
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