Friday, November 11, 2016

Public Enemy - "Fight The Power" (information, lyrics, & video)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases the 1989 Public Enemy record "Fight The Power".

This content of this post is presented for cultural, inspirational, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the Hip Hop group Public Enemy for their musical legacy. Thanks to all who have engaged and continue to engage in non-violent strategies to fight injustice and inequality in the United States and elsewhere.

"Fight the Power" is a song by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released as a single in June 1989 on Motown Records. It was conceived at the request of film director Spike Lee, who sought a musical theme for his 1989 film Do the Right Thing. First issued on the film's 1989 soundtrack, a different version was featured on Public Enemy's 1990 studio album Fear of a Black Planet.

"Fight the Power" incorporates various samples and allusions to African-American culture, including civil rights exhortations, black church services, and the music of James Brown.

As a single, "Fight the Power" reached number one on Hot Rap Singles and number 20 on the Hot R&B Singles. It was named the best single of 1989 by The Village Voice in their Pazz & Jop critics' poll. It has become Public Enemy's best-known song and has received accolades as one of the greatest songs of all time by critics and publications. In 2001, the song was ranked number 288 in the "Songs of the Century" list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts...

Lyrical content

The song references musician James Brown with samples of his music and allusions to his lyrics.
The song's lyrics features revolutionary rhetoric calling to fight the "powers that be".[2] They are delivered by Chuck D, who raps in a confrontational, unapologetic tone.[11] David Stubbs of The Quietus writes that the song "shimmies and seethes with all the controlled, incendiary rage and intent of Public Enemy at their height. It's set in the immediate future tense, a condition of permanently impending insurrection".[13]...

The samples incorporated to "Fight the Power" largely draw from African-American culture, with their original recording artists being mostly important figures in the development of late 20th-century African-American popular music.[16] Vocal elements characteristic of this are various exhortations common in African-American music and church services, including the lines "Let me hear you say," "Come on and get down," and "Brothers and sisters," as well as James Brown's grunts and Afrika Bambaataa's electronically processed exclamations, taken from his 1982 song "Planet Rock".[16] The samples are reinforced by textual allusions to such music, quoted by Chuck D in his lyrics, including "sound of the funky drummer" (James Brown and Clyde Stubblefield), "I know you got soul" (Bobby Byrd and Eric B. & Rakim), "freedom or death" (Stetsasonic), "people, people" (Brown's "Funky President"), and "I'm black and I'm proud" (Brown's "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud").[16] The track's title itself invokes the Isley Brothers' song of the same name.[16]"...

(Written by Carlton Ridenhour, Eric Sadler, Hank Shocklee, Keith Shocklee • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC)

1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hittin' your heart cause I know you got soul
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you're missin' y'all
Swingin' while I'm singin'
Givin' whatcha gettin'
Knowin' what I know
While the Black bands sweatin'
And the rhythm rhymes rollin'
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be

Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
We've got to fight the powers that be

As the rhythm designed to bounce
What counts is that the rhymes
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you've realized the prides arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
From the heart
It's a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make a change nothin's strange
People, people we are the same
No we're not the same
'Cause we don't know the game
What we need is awareness, we can't get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved lets get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
(Yo) bum rush the show
You gotta go for what you know
Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the Power

Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
We've got to fight the powers that be

Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant*, to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother**, him and John Wayne
'Cause I'm Black and I'm proud
I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped
Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find
Nothing but rednecks for four hundred years if you check
Don't worry be happy
Was a number one jam
Damn if I say it you can slap me right here
(Get it) lets get this party started right
Right on, c'mon
What we got to say
Power to the people no delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight the powers that be

*This transcription leaves out the word "sh&t".

**This transcription leaves out the "f" word.

For comments about the reasons for these assessments of Elvis Presley and John Wayne, read the Lyrical Content section in the Wikipedia page whose link is given above.

Public Enemy - Fight The Power (Full 7 Min. Version)

VintageHipHopSeattle , Published on Jan 30, 2010
From 1990 Album: "Fear Of A Black Planet". Song first appeared on the 1989 Soundtrack: "Do The Right Thing".....

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