Public Enemy: Revolution, Scandal, and a Message Louder than a Bomb
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Public Enemy were revolutionaries – both in their message and their music. In the 1980s and 1990s, they elevated hip-hop to an art form. They did this with Chuck D's booming voice, Flavor Flav's comic levity, and the auditory assault of the Bomb Squad's production. But with that revolution came scandal. Their hype man allegedly tried to shoot his neighbor while high on crack cocaine. Their so-called "Minister of Information" was so controversial that his words alone nearly derailed the group's success. They performed at a prison – after just releasing a song about a prison break. And in the summer of 1989, Public Enemy released a song that was so powerful, it put them in the middle of the cultural zeitgeist at the very moment that it seemed they were splintering apart. To see the full list of contributors, see the show notes at To listen to Disgraceland ad free and get access to a monthly exclusive episode, weekly bonus content and more, become a Disgraceland All Access member at Visit Tecovas in store or go to and find your new favorite pair of boots today! Sign up for our newsletter and get the inside dirt on events, merch and other awesomeness - GET THE NEWSLETTER Follow Jake and DISGRACELAND: Instagram YouTube X (formerly Twitter)  Facebook Fan Group TikTok Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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