Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality (Paperback)
Fight the Power Analysis, January 8, 2001
By Aaron Dolezal - See all my reviews
Fight The Power, by Chuck D examined everything in the current world today from the education system right down to where he thinks our culture is headed and why. Chuck D breaks everything down in the world and examines it to the fullest. At first glance it may seem like he is a grumpy, washed up rapper but look closer and you will find so much more meaning in the words than you can possibly imagine. Like in the following quote, "Whatever you do, don't go to war for your country." Chuck D is very opinonated and set in his ways. He goes into a full chapter about why you shouldn't be in the army because it changes you forever and how you will never be the same. Therefore, he also shows how the army tricks you by coming to your school and showing all this glitz and glamor to you. People shooting big guns, driving tanks, waving the american flag which essentially is not what the army is like at all. It's very gratifying that a successful rapper has finally released a book like this. It's a great break from the mundane evening news and daily paper. And in the following quote, "There's only a few serious black roles on TV. We have to put pressure on the networks and station groups where pressure hurts." Chuck D make his book universal by showing both sides of the issue and he shows the reader what can be done to help rectify the current problems he addresses in his book Fight The Power. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes any kind of hip-hop or anyone who wants a break from their day to day life and have a great read and whats wrong with our culture and what we can do to help it.
Jonathan Ashley (Chicago, IL)
Been a huge PE fan for years. Gotta agree with someone earlier that he focuses on black/white problems too much, when his arguments could be used for poor/rich as well. But the points he brings up about the black community and relationto white america are absolutely 100% correct, and I'm just wondering if that is a problem with the other reviewr. Also at points it seems like he is just bouncing ideas off of the wall that he isn't entirely sure if he agrees with the things he's saying. But overall it gets a rise out of you on topics like, atheletes, entertainment, and music, and what America does to represent these things (and vice versa). Good stuff!
Rap the truth about the game... ChuckD keeps it real, September 4, 2004
By Marie N. Pierre "book collector" (North Miami beach, FL USA)
This was an honest account about one of the Iconz of the rap game. He gave a background about his family life that took us back to the 1960s in New York City. He was a cool kid who got in heavy into the hip hop game from college. Perhaps that set the tone for the book in my view. For Chuck D. Rap and Hip Hop are educational vehicle more than just news reporters about urban life. He insisted that only through education and higher learning are black folks in oppressive conditions around the world and mostly in the inner cities ever going to free themselves. I especially enjoyed the international aspects of his experience with Public Enemy. He loved travelling and rapping around the world from the US to Asia and Europe and the Motherland-Africa. Chuck should have a permanent position in a Comparative Studies program at a university. He lectures regularly at colleges which he wrote about in the book. I wish that he had written about his encounters with the students and the fans at concerts. Some of the highlights were his comments about his days as a DJ, opening and travelling with BONO of U2, Travelling to Africa-Ghana, specifically and his encounters with the press especially the troubles with being accused of anti-semitism.
Public Enemy was an experiment about the truth. They were a group of brothers who loved the game of Hip Hop and wanted it to grow so they did something about it by making opportunity and taking the ones that were offered. It was enlightening to read about the record deal with Def Jam and their relationship with Russel Simmons (he could have elaborated more about that). In the end I learn that rap (the old 80's & 90s style)was primarily a strong means of communicating a message about the conditions of life for young urban black (males).
I wish that Chuck D. would have addressed the issue of black on black that was so prevalent in the 1980s New York. I was dissappointed that he shied away from African American negative reactions to Haitians in particular. I mention this because Chuck D. is an Afrocentric who sees himself as an internationalist. However, he is mute when this perspective is not well received by others in his group.
There were practically no mentions of Christopher Wallace or Biggy Smalls, Lil' Kim, or the ill nana and many others who were well known in New York and in Hip Hop at the time. Published in 1997 I expected more about the violence within Hip Hop and some thoughts on how to solve it.Also, there was no accompanying cd. This would have been great. A sample of selected cuts from Public Enemy.
Finally, the structure of the book was well thought out. It was very influenced by newspaper and magazine layouts. On various pages some of his words were highlighted in and he listed his all time favorite Hip Hop artists and their work throughout the book. In all, the layout was a winner. We need a sequel from a now elder spokesman of the hip hop game about what has happenned since 1997 and the new involvement of hip hop in politics.