Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age was released in 1994. This was a post "The Chronic" world and rap glorifying drug use and violence was already the status quo for a couple years. PE was considered "old" and "corny" by most fans of the genre and the bad reviews started flowing in before the album even came out. The decline of PE in the eyes of the record buying public happened so fast. The switch from party rap and political hip hop dominating the charts to the overwhelming rise and popularity of so called "gangsta rap" happened in the blink of an eye. It's almost as if the prison industrial complex and high level music executives had a secret meeting to calculate the gangsta rap trend, fill up prisons and make a quick buck! That's crazy though. That would never happen in our pure white America!
Here's the facts ("facts" being used loosely):
- People slept on this album when it came out which caused it to not have much of a legacy.
- People are fucking stupid and this album is THE BEST, ANGRIEST, most listenable Public Enemy album. (Challop)
- It's heavy as fuck.
- Chuck D's "message" is still as relevant today as it was in 1994 if not more so. His delivery is straight up fierce on this album.
- This is Flavor Flav's best work! (Challop)
- This is the most GROWN up PE record, as they grew out of their sexism and gay-baiting lyrics of the previous releases. They learned from their mistakes and made better music.
Seriously, and I know I will get shit for this, I enjoy later-period PE more than the early shit. The Bomb Squad's "throw everything at the wall" style of production just has not aged well. See also Ice Cube's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted.
Bottom line: don't be like the great unwashed masses and sleep on this album. The songs are awesome, the music is powerful, heavy, funky and FUNNY. It's their masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. PE still had it in '94 no matter what the music press wants you to believe. Also check out that beautiful cover!