CULTURE CLASSICS – Fight The Power by Public Enemy


public enemy fight the power song

The Culture has been and will always be about resistance and “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy is one of hip-hop’s greatest examples and is a bonafide #CultureClassic.

“Fight The Power” has been a hip-hop anthem for over 30 years. Famously released in the summer of 1989, the song was the theme for Spike Lee‘s film Do The Right Thing, a Culture Classic in it’s own right. The song was an unflinching critique of America then (and now) and a not-so subtle call for a revolution. Speaking directly to and for frustrated African-Americans, PE frontman Chuck D put it down. Capturing both the psychological and social conflicts of the time over three verses, many call it his finest work.

Cause I’m black and I’m proud / I’m ready and hyped, plus I’m amped / Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps / 

Chuck D, “Fight The Power

So much is incorporated into the song a college thesis could be written about it. Various samples and DJ cuts alongside allusions to African-American culture, including civil rights exhortations, black church services, and the music of James Brown. The song was produced by PE’s in-house production team The Bomb Squad.

And the music video has to get a mention. Directed by Spike Lee himself, the video depicts a large march that is part civil rights march and part black pride parade. A sea of black people peaceful yet emphatically congregating is and will forever be a powerful visual.

A cultural critique you can jam to. “Fight The Power” serves as the perfect summation of both Public Enemy’s musical sound and lyrical ideology. Militant. pro-black, and anti-establishment, “Fight The Power” is a particular powerful and important #CultureClassic.

If you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy then check out more of our hip-hop #CultureClassics:

Written by @TalentedMrFord

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