Monday, December 8, 2008
Public Enemy was, without a doubt, the badass-est rap group ever. They were my absolute favorite in junior high and early high school, and Chuck D was my idol. Sure, NWA was scary and 2 Live Crew was naughty, but P.E. brought the NOIZE, and they were on a mission to destroy the U.S. Government (and the S1W's were at the ready if your white ass got in the way!). There was really nothing cooler or more threatening going on at the time. 1988's "It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back" is arguably their best work, and "Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos" is my personal favorite off of that album. Here's where it gets interesting:
In the opening lines of "Black Steel", Chuck D boasts "I got a letter from the government the other day / I opened and read it, it said they were suckas / They wanted me for the Army or whatever / Picture me givin' a damn, I said NEVER!".
Strong words from an influential figure indeed. These lines struck me profoundly, and just last night I decided to do some research. It took me hours and hours of hacking into high-security government databases, but my diligence bore fruit. Turns out Chuck wasn't just whistlin' Dixie when he wrote this song, I totally FOUND the ACTUAL LETTER that he was referring to! Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the now-infamous 'Letter From The Government' in its entirety:
Dear Chuck D-
We are suckers. We want you for the Army or whatever. Can you picture yourself giving a damn?
KEEP FIGHTIN' THE POWER, CHUCK. WORD.