The first word you hear on There's a Poison Goin' On is "kill." It's a word delivered without much conviction and without any context; it's a word that makes you question whether the once-vaunted PE will ever be relevant again. Fear not. The rest of the first track, "Dark Side of the Wall: 2000," is a dense, trippy soundscape that shows Terminator X's production has moved with the times. There's plenty here to like: "Do You Wanna Go Our Way???" is PE's strongest single in almost a decade, owing both to Chuck D's passion and to X's backing track; "Crash" owes its piano-loop melodicism to the Wu Tang Clan's RZA and finds good use for Flavor Flav's incessant energy, as does "Kevorkian," which features a great stutter-step beat. But the barren "Last Mass of the Caballeros" quickly wears out its welcome, as does the too-busy-to-get-down-to-business "World Tour Sessions." But the highest praise that can be given here is that, though PE has moved with the times, they really haven't changed that much from the days of Fear of a Black Planet: when Chuck spits, "Shit! I'm the reverse of jiggy," you know he's speaking for the whole group. --Randy Silver
CHUCK D TAKING HIP-HOP CULTURE BACK WITH AUTHORITY !!!!!, July 28, 2005 By trawic11 (Tuskegee, AL) - See all my reviews Just when I was about to give up on Hip-Hop, Public Enemy came and saved the day. Listening to this CD was a much needed sonic blast of fresh air for me. Words cannot describe how refreshed I felt to hear real hip-hop again as oppose to being force fed into listening to the cookie-cutter garbage from todays lamest hip-hip acts such as G-Unit along with Dr.Dre (that's right, I said it!!!). He's THE main contributor that co-signed to the n***ativity he brought to Hip-Hop culture, not to mention the mainstream culture, which explains why white teens are using the 'N' word more freely than ever before. Even more embarrassing, Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz/the Ying Yang Twins are destroying the respectability of Hip-Hop culture with there coonish 'booty-shakin-for-that-money-makin' lyrics (I'll make a special exception for Outkast and, to a certain extent, Ludacris since they have the lyrical skills, sharp delivery, vocal clarity, and wit to pull it off brilliantly). Their country-fried antics/dialect and platnium teeth grins are bufoonish enough to even make Sambo blush. With being observant of the state that hip-hop is currently in right now, Chuck D said it best on wondering whether whites are laughing with us or at us.
From all the Public Enemy CDs I have, this is the angriest Chuck D has ever been. Even though he uses the 'N' word and curses quite frequently, I absolutely don't blame him since, in my opinion, it's the only way he can get through to 'Generation Wrecked' the best way he knows how but with much needed social and political substance. Somebody has to give Hip-Hop a brutal wake up call and expose the cookie-cutter industry for what it's worth. Chuck D also settles the score with Def Jam by making quotes such as 'Def Jam negroes turning up their noses' since Def Jam has now adopted the same fickle principles and politics of the mainstream that Def Jam boldly rebelled against in the 1980s. Chuck D finally brings up the much needed issue of Payola in which the bling-bling/thug-like rappers with the weakest skills are getting an unproportionate share of radio airplay far beyond the limit that artist are allowed, while independent artists that have unquestionable talent with a massively strong and deeply loyal fanbase as a backup are getting jerked and finding it damn near impossible in getting their foot into radio airplay. The real cause of this is primarily the record label exec's abruptly cutting in the middle between radio and the public listeners; along with the radio program directors (RPD's) that are playing these unworthy god-like gatekeepers and endorsing this bulls**t just to cash in for themselves. You see, it's no secret that record exec's are kissing the RPD's a** as well as exchanging favors with RPD's into getting the single releases from their roster of up and coming artist on heavy radio rotation for the sole purpose of making $$$$$ which is not hard to figure out that 'Crayola' is in full swing. On the same token, RPD's are not representing the people (the listeners) like they use to and have sold them down the river. The RPD's continue to make 'hit-and-miss' assumptions on what listeners might like to hear and have a nonchalant attitude about it which is unjust to the listeners that support radio and, in my opinion, make the careers of DJ's, radio personalities, and not to mention RPD's. The RPD's have built an opaque wall between the public listeners while record exec's are getting an unlimited free pass into the RPD's backdoor to reep the financial benefits on dominating as well as polluting the radio airwaves with the wackest rappers that have a vocabulary that's equivalent of a 5th grader, while true hip-hop is fastly becoming extinct. The key ingredient in keeping Hip-Hop alive and growing is BALANCE. With the cookie cutter rappers we have in the rap game right now, we need more Public Enemy's, KRS 1's, Gang Starr's, the Roots's, Common's, Mos Def's, Nas's, Wu-Tang's, Outkast's, and even Beastie Boys's. We need to rally behind highly talented up and coming artist and demand change in the music industry to, at least, balance Hip-Hop or do what Chuck D boldly did against Def Jam and simply rebelled against the industry by starting an Internet Revolution with Hip-Hop that I hope brings the music industry down to its knees.
I would rather much listen to this CD that has powerful substance that raps about the mood and the struggle of the times that I can deeply relate to on all levels than listen to some ignorant bling-blingster spitting trash about materialistic assets that, in reality, the majority of the people in the hood can't afford. Those blingsters do nothing but put our dignity and intergrity on trial with their braggadocio songs that simply s**ts on the average working class people that have to bust their a**es everyday to put food on the table for their family.
The beats and production are always tight. The remixes might have the same lyrics but the thing I love about Public Enemy that people need to understand is that with their production, you never get the same song twice. The more you listen to the remixes, the more the song will grow on you eventually.
To Chuck D, I want to truly thank you for bringing justice to Hip-Hop at a time when it's in a plantation state of mind. The industry is trying to milk Hip-Hop dry like they did with the Hair Metal bands of the 1980s because that's exactly were Hip-Hop is headed. We need strong people like you that are going to challenge the industry and not go for the okey dokey bulls**t of today.
Keep doing what your doing, as well as fighting the fight for the underdogs.
April 6, 2004 By Weezy "jeelix" (Tucson, AZ USA) - See all my reviews This album is great!Every song on this cd is fantastic. The production on this album is just amazing! Terminator X drops some of the tightest beats ever this time.Flava Flav and Chuck D just keep getting better and better!
Crayola is just such a great song with a message the chuck gets across so eloquently. I LOVE PUBLIC ENEMY