(from October 1999)
Flav Debut Pushed Back: Solo disc 'It's About Time,' due in January, to be
preceded by downloadable track.
The solo debut from Public Enemy funnyman Flavor Flav, It's About Time, has been
pushed back to a Jan. 4 release, to avoid getting lost in the rush of holiday
albums, a spokesperson for the rapper said. The disc will be preceded in early
November by the radio single "Get On Down" and the Internet track
"Flav 2K." The latter is slated to be available for download on www.flavorflav.com
beginning Nov. 20, the spokesperson said.
exposure: Legendary rappers venture into Canada
(from Jam Showbiz
website) by Steve Tilley -- Express Writer
For one of the most
influential rap groups in history, Public Enemy is having trouble getting the
The rap legends, who play Red's in West Edmonton Mall tomorrow, seem to be
obscured these days by a morass of radio-friendly imitators, descendants and
others who owe them a massive musical debt.
Suddenly, ironically, Public Enemy's music is deemed too hard, too political,
too inaccessible to those accustomed to Puff Daddy, Will Smith or embarrassing
white boy bands who have mutated hip-hop into something that graces the cover of
Chuck D isn't bitter, though.
"Hip-hop is a subculture that evolved out of the black community, as a
hybrid of people doing different things with the music, and rap music is a
vocalization style," explained Public Enemy's leader and voice.
"The whole aspect of music is to share all, and communicate, and if people
think that's cool, then that's cool," said Chuck D, speaking to The Sun
while en route to Victoria for yesterday's show there.
Along with hyperkinetic sidekick Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and DJ Lord Aswad
(replacing DJ Terminator X on this tour), Chuck D is making a set of rare
Canadian appearances, part of a North American tour to promote the new album
There's a Poison Goin On.
The album has made headlines for more than its critically hailed content. In a
highly publicized break from longtime label Def Jam, Chuck D took his songs to
Internet record label Atomic Pop, making There's a Poison Goin On one of the
first albums released entirely to the Net in the popular MP3 format before it
was available on CD.
A longtime proponent of Internet music distribution, Chuck D vows corporations
will not win in the fight for control of downloadable music.
"Not over my dead body. They're not half as passionate as I am about this
new process, or this art itself - the combination of the two.
"This is necessary for my genre and the artists who basically don't want to
go through the politics that the big boys are dictating."
Casual music fans can likely name only a handful of Public Enemy songs, all from
early in their 12-year career - Fight the Power, Bring the Noise, maybe 911 Is a
Joke. In Canada's case, the exposure has been even more limited.
"We haven't been to Canada because we haven't been able to get through
immigration in the past." (Someone should have told them to try a rusty
"Public Enemy has been to 41 countries, around the world consistently. It's
very strange that we couldn't get in Canada, which is practically upstate New
But Public Enemy relishes the opportunity to acquaint themselves with longtime
supporters - as well as opening the eyes of new fans.
"It's a revelation to them to find out that rap music is a lot deeper than
the eye can see, deeper than what their radio station can play or their video
station can play.
"When they see us, people are like, 'Whoa, this is how a rap show should
10.23.99 Public Enemy Tour Crippled by Car Crash
The Public Enemy tour went
through some unexpected changes when DJ Addverse, the turntablist for the
opening act, Detroit Champton, was involved in a car accident that has placed
her in intensive care at Queens Peninsula Hospital. The accident occurred while
the female DJ was on her way to New York for an event. The group will have to
continue without their DJ for the rest of the tour dates.
pm pdt Chuck D: 'Gotta Share the Tunes'
website) by Christopher
EMERYVILLE -- The record
industry's goal of creating a cohesive business model for online music is
quickly turning into a free-for-all.
At the Music Biz 2005 conference
last weekend, record industry executives met with artists and tech companies to
map out some direction for selling music on the Internet. While the label
representatives continued to promote their view of a secure digital distribution
system, artists were more focused on the new creative and promotional
opportunities the Net presents.
Chuck D, a co-founder of hip hop's Public Enemy -- and one of the first
high-profile musicians to adopt MP3 and online distribution -- said the Internet
is causing a top-to-bottom shift in the music industry.
"What you've got is not an
eradication of the middleman, but a balancing out ... everybody will have to
share a little bit more," he said.
Kevin Conroy, senior vice
president of marketing at BMG Entertainment, said the Internet offers three
applications for digital music: media, an efficient way of ordering 'product,'
and digital distribution, which are at very different stages of development.
While the Internet as a medium
has exploded and e-commerce has begun to take off, digital distribution is still
very complicated and in its early stages. And until the Secure Digital Music
Initiative (SDMI) is completed, most record companies are not ready to send out
music as bits on the wire.
"The end goal for SDMI is to
create a marketplace in which companies can all operate with a degree of
security that people can be comfortable enough with so that we can actually
create a commercial marketplace," Conroy said.
Left Bank Management CEO Allen
Kovac said that he's advising his clients not to worry about which file format
to use right now, because "the great thing about these companies is their
avarice. One of them will win, and we'll pay them a toll."
"The record companies need
to hear something really clearly: Distribution is no longer your gig, banking is
no longer your gig. Your gig is to market. And you're going to have to market
outside of radio, outside of MTV, and outside of conventional retail. And that
challenge is right now," Kovac said.
But Universal E Cat executive
Lisa Farris quickly disagreed.
"I think it's about digital
rights management, and if you believe that you are going to take your artists'
intellectual properties and say, 'Oh, I dunno, Microsoft, a2b, any of those
people, somebody will win.' If that is the attitude you're going to take,
without saying we have a responsibility to create a digital rights management
system ... that is an ignorant position to take."
Another persistent issue
throughout the conference was the bugaboo of MP3 and pirated music, which many
in the industry still view as synonymous.
"We have artists that are
very upset about the fact that people who call themselves fans of the artists
are in fact taking their music and making it available for free to large numbers
of people," said Conroy.
But many of the artists on hand
were optimistic that the Internet will open up enough new business opportunities
for musicians to offset the inevitable increase in pirating. Some artists even
suggested that pirating is a form of feedback that some musicians enjoy.
"Most artists that you talk
to ... the chances of them saying, 'I want to protect my intellectual property,
I absolutely believe that this has to be protected, I expect my record company
and the RIAA to take any means possible to prevent piracy...' You're never going
to hear that from an artist," said Beatnik.com
founder Thomas Dolby Robertson. "What you're going to hear is 'Man, I made
some impact, I got 20 million downloads out there....'"
Dolby also said that long-term
deals and constraining technology --CDs -- have kept the record industry in
control of artists for years. But he expects the Internet to change this
situation, giving artists an opportunity to present their work in different
ways, and at different costs to the fans.
Jeff Patterson, who brought his
band to the Net in 1993 and later founded the Internet
Underground Music Archive, agreed with Dolby's projection that music may
become a service-oriented business, fed to consumers via different types of
"I get upset hearing the
[record] industry trying to make technology conform to its rules. As new blood
is coming in I think we'll see a big change to that, but I think we have to go
through this SDMI stuff to get there, to move to this service model that may
Summing up the feelings of many
musicians who have used the Internet to distribute music, Chuck D said the
medium allows almost immediate gratification, which is a notion all but lost on
the industry these days.
"When I first started in
'86, you turned your master tapes in and had a 65-day turnaround, or as short as
30. Now, it's as long as 10 months! I mean, you could have a baby in that time,
and start yourself on another one," he said.
"The beautiful thing [now]
is I'll have a producer, I'll have an artist, and he'll go and cut [a song] and
the next day it's up, like Stax records or something. It's like -- boww! -- it's
10.4.99 10:30 am edt
Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy Campaign In
New York: Political rockers preview tunes from third album; rap veterans open.
website) Christopher O'Connor reports:
NEW YORK — The new songs Rage Against the Machine played here Saturday night
were a bit more melodic than the old ones. But that doesn't mean the Los Angeles
band is giving up the rage that's built into its name.
Showcasing songs from their upcoming third album, The Battle of Los Angeles, at
the Roseland Ballroom, Rage Against the Machine still brought a sonic assault of
guitar riffs and noise while offering lyrics about controversial death-row
inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal and the injustices of war.
They also brought along an equally political opening act — hip-hop veterans
Public Enemy, who mixed snippets of their classic battle-cries "Bring the
Noise" and "Welcome to the Terrordome" with full versions of
excerpt), "Crayola" and other songs from their most recent album,
There's a Poison Goin' On.
Direct as usual, Rage singer/rapper Zack de la Rocha shouted, "Good evening
— we are Rage Against the Machine from Los Angeles, California," as his
band launched into an incendiary 11-song aggression-fest, which included five
songs from The Battle of Los Angeles (Nov. 2).
Fans jammed into the old midtown Manhattan club jumped and screamed throughout
both bands' sets. Afterward, hundreds of them were left soaked in sweat, leaning
on pillars to catch their breath. Even Rage guitarist Tom Morello's blue T-shirt
came off after around 20 furious minutes of music.
"I have no voice because of [the groups]," 20-year-old Jose Rodriguez,
from the Bronx, N.Y., said. "But it's all f---ing awesome. I love what
they're doing politically."
Rage's set was an exercise in "heard that, ain't heard that." When
they played the anthemic showstoppers "Killing in the Name" and
Audio excerpt) — each a call to rebellion — the crowd erupted in the
face of the songs' raw energy. When they got to one of their new songs, which
tended to be tighter and shorter, the crowd stilled and the event became more of
a listening party.
"We've got to get used to the new songs," said Matt Cozen, 24, who
traveled about 200 miles from suburban Boston with three friends for the show.
"I like [the new songs]," Cozen said. "They sound more old-school
rock." Classic-rock leanings and a newfound melodicism notwithstanding,
Rage's attack remained familiar. On the new songs, bassist Tim Bob and drummer
Brad Wilk played loud and heavy but remained largely anonymous onstage, while
Morello built guitar solos out of mangled collages of noise and de la Rocha
jogged across the stage, letting his long dreads flap as he recited politically
aggressive lyrics. The new songs they played included the single "Guerrilla
excerpt), "Testify" and "Calm Like a Bomb."
Public Enemy rapper Chuck D challenged the crowd's politics, too. Twisting a
famous lyric from the 1989 single "Fight the Power" to aim it directly
at the young and mostly white audience, he rapped, "Elvis was a hero to
you, but he never meant shit to me."
Chuck D (born Carlton Ridenhour) was dressed in black shorts, black shirt and
black hat. His partner Flavor Flav (born William Drayton) wore the usual
oversized clock around his neck and provided chaotic movement and machine-gun
verbiage. Flavor Flav served as both comic relief and conscience for the
audience. He shared a 1988-style stage jump — join hands, jump and push off
— with Chuck D.
When he wasn't punctuating Chuck D's rhymes or screaming the word
"f---," Flavor Flav engaged the crowd in 30 seconds of persistent
screaming for no apparent reason. He won cheers for renouncing police brutality
before his rendition of "41:19," which protests the February shooting
of unarmed 22-year-old immigrant Amadou Diallo by four New York police officers
in the Bronx.
"Police be doing some f---ed up sh-- out there," Flav screamed.
Saturday's show was one of several spot shows Rage Against the Machine have
scheduled in advance of the release of The Battle of Los Angeles, their first
album since Evil Empire (1996). They're scheduled to be back in New York on Nov.
2, the day the album comes out, to perform on an outdoor stage on 53rd Street
for "Late Show With David Letterman."
10.4.99 11:00 am edt Rage, Public Enemy Bring Politics To N.Y.
by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
It was an evening of
old-school rock and rap Saturday at New York's Roseland Ballroom, as Rage
Against The Machine and Public Enemy -- two groups driven by music's power of
expression -- preached to the masses. Neither of the two acts have ever shied
away from confrontation, be it lyrical or musical, and on this night -- the
first of several shows Rage is playing to preview its forthcoming Epic album,
"The Battle Of Los Angeles" -- the ideologies flew by as quickly as
Live, Public Enemy isn't what it
used to be, but rapper Chuck D still commands attention and respect. Decked out
in New York Knicks shorts and a black jersey, he paced the stage and rattled off
rhymes old and new, still fueled by attention to the social injustices that made
P.E.'s music so incendiary earlier this decade.
Equally careful to mention his
Web site address as he was to include classic anthems like "Fight The
Power" and "Bring The Noise," the rapper showed little sign of
mellowing with age.
The rest of the P.E. ranks
sounded rusty, though, with Flavor Flav showing up late and appearing just in
time to fire off "911 Is A Joke." Professor Griff was relegated to the
background after Flav arrived, and little explanation was given for the absence
of DJ Terminator X, who was replaced ably by DJ Lord Aswad (of Chuck's
Concentration Camp side project).
Rage got the audience worked up
in a hurry, inciting huge mosh pits despite opening with two new songs,
"Testify" and "Guerrilla Radio." Recalling the thrashy
groove of earlier Rage singles such as "Killing In The Name," both
tracks hint at the rock power of the forthcoming set, due Nov. 2.
Other new songs performed by the
band reflected a newfound willingness to incorporate more traditional rock
melodies into the music. For example, "Sleep Now In The Fire" employed
a slower tempo than previous work.
In addition to the new material,
Rage revisited its earlier, body-crunching assaults during the set, with
"Bulls On Parade" and "Killing In The Name" closing the
evening on definite high notes.
The show was the first of a
handful of pre-album release performances for Rage. Other stops include a set at
the Coachella Festival in Indio, Calif., on Oct. 10 and shows in Las Vegas,
Mexico City, and Washington, D.C.
In addition, Rage's first single
from "The Battle For Los Angeles," "Guerrilla Radio," is
available for free at www.realguide.com/ratm.
The track hits commercial radio this week.
Rage's last album, 1996's
"Evil Empire," peaked at No. 1 on The Billboard 200.
Website Review: Chuck D's Rapstation.com
PFlash website) by Lauren Andrews
Finally, the culture
called hip-hop has a comprehensive information center it can boast about --
www.rapstation.com-- a new website spearheaded by Public Enenmy's Chuck D.
At the site, Chuck D. explains
that, "At Rapstation our goal is to empower artists so they can break free
from the Matrix and learn about the business of the recording industry."
And empower it does. Rapstation
is unique in that it caters to today's hip-hop artists singularly, offering help
in the forms of constructive essays, hints, and tidbits from bigger names in the
business, and a place to upload MP3's.
In addition to the tips and aid
it provides, Rapstation also contains phat interviews with some of hip-hop's
most promising and talented artists. For example, right you can check out a dope
group discussion with The Roots in the section dubbed Inside the Rhyme.
However, MP3Jamz is probably the
most intriguing area of this site. Basically, MP3Jamz allows artists to upload
their music, including cover art work and production notes, to Rapstation where
it will be posted in a list. From there, who knows? Anything could happen, which
is what Chuck D seems to be saying with his creation of this website.
All in all, Rapstation is a
promising new website which contains a large amount of valuable info for hip-hop
artists and fans alike. Either way, this is one you don't want to miss, so check
it out for yourself at www.rapstation.com.Back
to Dean's Tribute to Public Enemy (Main)
10.1.99 Enemy of the Web
website) by Kenji Jasper
his nearly 20-year rhyme career, Public Enemy front man Chuck D has tackled
every form of the media from music to books and television. Keeping with that
tradition, Chuck is continuing his media assault through the Internet with his
new website, Rapstation.com,. According to Sonicnet, the site's aim is to
"enlighten, empower and entertain hip-hop fans and aspiring artists."
Rapstation will allow visitors to read interviews with artists and political
commentary through the use of streaming video and Internet radio and will also
feature a space for aspiring artists to upload and trade their MP3 music files.
Most importantly the site has also entered into a partnership with the House of
Blues to air a series of pay-per-view online concerts and will be the primary
sponsor for Public Enemy's upcoming 40-city US tour. For more information you
can log on to the site at www.rapstation.com.