music

Since 1984: Public Enemy releases debut album “Yo! Bum Rush The Show”

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Back in the day on February 10th 1987, Public Enemy released their debut album “Yo! Bum Rush The Show” on Def Jam Recordings.

The group’s logo, a silhouette of a black man in a rifle’s crosshairs, is debuted on the album’s cover. Yo! Bum Rush the Show features a sample-heavy sound by production team The Bomb Squad.

The album peaked at number 125 on the U.S. Billboard Top LPs chart and at number 28 on the Top Black Albums chart. NME magazine named it the best album of the year in its 1987 critics poll. Along with the Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986) and LL Cool J’s Radio (1985), music writer Cheo H. Coker has cited Yo! Bum Rush the Show as one of three of the most influential albums in hip hop history. In 1998, it was selected as one of The Source’s 100 Best Rap Albums. In 2003, the album was ranked number 497 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

According to Jon Pareles of The New York Times, “From its first album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987, the group marketed itself as a distillation of black anger and resistance. It set out to be the voice of a community, not just one more posse of boasters”. Yo! Bum Rush the Show debuts The Bomb Squad’s sample-heavy production style, which is prominent on the group’s following work. Joe Brown of The Washington Post described the album’s music as “a more serious brand of inner-city aggression”, in comparison to Licensed to Ill (1986) by Def Jam label-mates the Beastie Boys. On its musical style, Brown wrote “Public Enemy’s mean and minimalist rap is marked by an absolute absence of melody – the scary sound is just a throbbing pulse, hard drums and a designed-to-irritate electronic whine, like a dentist’s drill or a persistent mosquito”. The album’s sound is accented by the scratching of DJ Terminator X. Chicago Tribune writer Daniel Brogan described Public Enemy’s style on the album as “raw and confrontational”, writing that the group “doesn’t aim to — or have a chance at — crossing over”.

For more back in the day Def Jam Recordings history like this, check out http://defjam30.com