Public Proof of the Power of Rap Music; SIX in the City

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), October 16, 2006 | Go to article overview

Public Proof of the Power of Rap Music; SIX in the City


Byline: Tonight: LAWRENCE WESTGAPH

EVEN without our new arena, Liverpool really is starting to attract the big names in music.

I recently went to see Public Enemy at the Carling Academy. Public Enemy were the most important rap group of the 80s and early 90s and paved the way for performers like Eminem and 50 cent who have made rap the most popular music on the planet today.

But Public Enemy were different. No skimpily clad women gyrating their derrieres in their videos. No waving hundred dollar bills at the camera.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, JB Lenoir and Jimi Hendrix, Public Enemy added social commentary to their music, making it a vehicle for political change.

When others were rapping about their Adidas, Public Enemy were discussing media bias, racism in America, alcoholism, drug abuse and poverty.

Although not the first rappers to discuss these issues, they were certainly the most vocal and popular, their records went platinum at a time when hip hop was given very little airplay.

They were the first rap group to make extended world tours, which led to huge popularity and influence on hip-hop communities in Europe and Asia. …

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