Reflecting on the Impact of Public Enemy's "It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back"
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Last week on Queue Points, we discussed the impactful legacy of Public Enemy. PE had a tremendous impact on the rise of hip hop as a cultural and musical force at a critical moment during the Golden Era.
They were the epitome of hip-hop's version of what Punk would be. Because you have these idiosyncratic productions that are multi-layered. James Brown is the foundation of almost every production on PE for like the first three albums. Public Enemy was very appealing to white listeners.
The impact of PE as a musical force can’t be understated, and the juxtaposed images that were embodied in the group - the commanding Chuck D., the jokester-savant Flavor Flav, the powerful S1Ws - gave Black men and boys of the era men that they could look up to.
I'm hearing this voice, and I'm listening to the story he's telling, but I'm also looking at the story that each frame of the video is telling because the shot in a prison, it's reflecting what prison life is like. I'm not gonna lie, it was jarring to me. I was scared point blank, period. It wasn't fun, it wasn't warm. This was more stark and it was like, no, you need to pay attention to this. I'm teaching you something.
DJ Sir Daniel
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Thanks to Carnegie Hall for sponsoring this episode. Carnegie Hall presents Samora Pinderhughes and Friends: The Healing Project on February 10, 2023 at 9PM. To purchase tickets visit: https://qpnt.net/healingproject.
Samora Pinderhughes is using his music to talk to us about our current moment, and calling back to a long, and important history of social justice in music. On this special episode of Queue Points, Pinderhughes sits down with Jay Ray to discuss his inspirations, his process and his hopes for how his music will impact the world.
The Healing Project is Pinderhughes’ multidisciplinary art project - “a digital archive, music album, and physical exhibition created and brought to life by hundreds of people across the U.S. through word, sound, song, and visuals.”
Samora Pinderhughes Biography:
Samora Pinderhughes is a composer, pianist/vocalist, interdisciplinary artist, and sur-realist whose work delves into all the things our society tries to hide - about its history, about its structures, and about the individual and daily things we all experience but don’t know how to talk about. His art is an invitation to feel things deeply, and to think deeply about how we all live. He is known for his honest lyrics, his harmonic language, his vulnerable visuals, his sociopolitical commentary, and his commitment to making art that is of use to everyday life.