Friday, May 17, 2019

Public Enemy Radio @ Accorhotels Arena, Paris - May 17th, 2019

This act is being billed as Public Enemy Radio, which is basically the version of PE that's been touring for the past few years minus Flava Flav. If his absence (and replacement by longtime collaborator MC Jahi) caused some disappointment, it was quickly dissipated by a typically ferocious set from one of the most legendary acts in Hip Hop and beyond.
Chuck D. is pushing sixty but you'd never know it from the anger he channels and the energy he displays on stage. This isn't feel-good, groovy hip-hop for night clubs and parties: this is incendiary, revolutionary punk rock. It's the soundtrack to an uprising meant to break walls and break heads. Political? Fucking right. Like Jimi Hendrix channeling the sounds of bombs and napalm in the Vietnam War during his Woodstock performance, the sounds and samples curated by Terminator X (now replaced by DJ Lord) are the sounds of urban youth in America for the past four decades: gunshots, police sirens... If you're not afraid then you're not paying attention. Music is a weapon and  for thirty years now Public Enemy has been telling us what to use it for: Fight The Power.

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