Sunday, 21 June 2020
State Of The Union
On Friday night Public Enemy returned with a new single, State Of The Union, Flavor Flav and Chuck D at the forefront with DJ Premier at the decks.
There's no nuance or subtlety about this song, it is direct and furious and confrontational. It is a message aimed directly at Donald Trump and the USA's white supremacists. The chorus leaves no room for doubt 'State of the union/ Shut the fuck up/ Sorry ass motherfucker/ Stay away from me'.
In a brief message to go with the song Public Enemy said this...
'All we know is Trump has gotta go…. We shot this video in secret in the dead of the night. PEace Chuck D and Flavor Flav'
Chuck D at sixty still raging with the energy of a man forty years his junior.
Back in 2007 Public Enemy proved they were still alive and kicking with the Shirley Bassey horn sampling Harder than You Think. The song had a UK resurgence in 2010 when it was used as the music for Channel 4's TV coverage of the London Paralympics. It still sounds magnificent today.
Harder Than You Think
In 1990 Public Enemy released their third album, Fear Of A Black Planet, a dense, sample heavy, layered album with hard, funky loops underpinning the rhymes. Among the lyrics were calls to organise and become self sufficient, samples dealing with the treatment of black men by white police forces and media coverage of race issues, songs about the stereotypical portrayal of black people in Hollywood films and the inadequacy of the emergency services. Public Enemy made Fear Of A Black Planet thirty years ago. State of The Union is partly asking the question 'what has really changed?' and the answer is nothing, in fact, things under Trump are worse.