Aural Pleasure Review
Public Enemy: 'Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear On No Stamp'
Published: July 25, 2012
Despite their storied place in the hip-hop pantheon, it’s been a long time since Public Enemy has been relevant. While it’s true that Chuck D has been on the grind since 2004 helping to unite the hip-hop nation that effectively elected this country’s first black president, the music has been somewhat lacking. It doesn’t help that in recent years PE’s resident hype-man Flavor Flav has been detrimentally clowning on reality television via VH1, lowering the bar for folk of color on all levels. On their latest effort, Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear On No Stamp, Public Enemy reaches back to 1989 for refrains that still fight the power, but when Flav name-checks Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, H. Rap Brown, and Marcus Garvey on the album’s title cut, it somehow seems empty. Backed by gritty Bomb-Squad-evoking production, Chuck D once again rises above the fray, thus saving the day. On scorching tracks including “Get Up Stand Up” featuring Brother Ali, “Catch the Thrown” with Large Professor, and “Get It In” featuring Bumpy Knuckles, Chuck D sharply reminds us of the relevance of conscious rap.
★★★ (out of 5 stars)