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Public Enemy’s Chuck D — still angry after 24 years

Photo: David S. Rubin, License: N/A

David S. Rubin

Chuck D and Public Enemy headline this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin.

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“I don’t know, man,” Chuck D says. “To me, it ain’t no baseball game. I don’t want no cowboy up in there like Governor Rick Perry.”

Public Enemy might not be as “hot” as in their late ’80s heyday, but I’ll take their worst albums from the 2000s over any of those by your average my-cock-is-bigger-than-yours up-and-coming rapper. I could live with shorter album titles, though. Their landmark 1988 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (arguably the greatest hip-hop record of all time) had its reflection in 2007’s underrated How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul? In 2012, Chuck D will do it again, naming the next album Most of Our Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp, a wink to the “Fight the Power” lyrics. But even though Public Enemy is still recording relevant music, it is something you have got to see live.

“If somebody see us for the first time in Austin, they’re going to say, ‘Oh my God.’ That’s our only goal. A song can be anything, but if you can’t perform the song, what good are you? We don’t need no explosions. We don’t need none of that pyrotechnic shit. What we gotta do is get down.” •


Public Enemy at Fun Fun Fun Fest (Blue Stage)

8:30pm Fri, Nov 4
Auditorium Shores
800 W Riverside Dr (Austin)


Fun Fun Fun Fest
Feat. Spoon, Slayer, The Damned, Danzig Legacy, Diplo, Henry Rollins, T-Bird & The Breaks, the one and only Sergio “Sexy Sax Man” Flores, and dozens of others.
Fri-Sun Nov 4-6
$66 (one-day ticket including fees) and $161 (three-day ticket including fees)

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