Public Enemy released its Man Plans God Laughs album in July. Chuck D, the group’s frontman and one of its producers, examined with Rolling Stone eight songs from other artists, some of whom the group has sampled and has been inspired by.
Among them was N.W.A’s landmark 1988 single “Fuck Tha Police.”
“Police one-sidedness seemed to work well with individuals, but a group of similar thinkers was not only a force, but a threat to the core of Amerikkka,” Chuck D says.
He then compares N.W.A to the Chicago Bulls players of the 1990s.
“Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, Eazy E and DJ Yella knew as a team that the USA could be won from the West,” Chuck D says. “And the Jordan-Pippen combo of Cube and Ren was straight spit. Give it Dre’s Phil Jax, Yella’s John Pax and Eazy E’s Dennis Rodman. This group was tough when it was together. “
When asked about Run The Jewels‘ 2014 song “Close Your Eyes and Count to Fuck,” the PE rapper notes the impact a Rage Against The Machine member had on the track.
“Zack de la Rocha added his instrument to the already wise Southern vet, Killer Mike, on top of El-P rounding the spit over his lab explosives,” Chuck D says. “This record is like running into a [Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim first baseman Albert] Pujols swing head first, with jarring info slicing at you. If you love tender rhymes, this song is intentionally out to hurt you — with damn good reason.”
Chuck D also discusses Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 single “King Kunta.”
“Kendrick must love unorthodox arrangement,” he says. “I can dig the fact that he cares less if you can maintain balance as he chops into the listener’s head. He fills every space with a lot of damn nerve. Smacks you when you least expect it. We can thank the Nola MC Mystikal for carving that style for rap confidence.”
For additional Chuck D coverage, watch the following DX Daily: