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The first album released by Public Enemy, pub 1987. Copyright Def Jam Music Inc.

From their first album, Public Enemy displayed their anger at the system as they perceived it, covering such topics as racism, police harassment, drug abuse, and "Sophisticated Bitch"es (judge this track for yourself). The whole disc sounds incredibly pared-down compared to the hip-hop of today it is incredibly effective, totally unlike the poncey crypto-jazz beats you get today. The sounds are characterised by synth sounds, a few drum machine beats, and a lot of scratching. Interestingly, the sleeve notes credit no samples; this is the only album not to feature copious samples from their previous albums (For obvious reasons).

The cover shows a bunch of dudes standing around two dudes: one reaching from the shadows on the far left of the picture to touch a record on a turntable, the other only visible in his arm in the lower left foreground, clutching a mic, the business end pointing downwards. Taken from below, level with the hands (which are at the bottom of the picture), through a fisheye lens. In the bottom left is the album title in bold, orange sans-serif letters. Just below, in small white typewrite text is, repeated across the whole width of the cover, "The Government's Responsible". Tracks:

  1. You're Going to Get Yours
  2. Sophisticated Bitch
  3. Miuzi Weighs a Ton
  4. Time Bomb
  5. Too Much Posse
  6. Rightstarter (Message to a black man)
  7. Public Enemy No. 1
  8. M.P.E
  9. Yo! Bum Rush the Show
  10. Raise the Roof
  11. Megablast
  12. Terminator X speaks with his Hands
Credits, reproduced verbatim:

Executive Producer: Rick Rubin
Producer: Bill Stephney
Co-Producers: Hank Shocklee and Carl Ryder
Arrangements: Hank Shocklee and Carl Ryder

Public Enemy is: Chuck D, Flavor-Flav, Terminator X, and The Security of the First World
Voice: Chuck D
Next Voice: Flavor-Flav
Drum Programming: Hank Shocklee and Eric Sadler
Lead Scratch: Norman "Terminator X" Rogers
Minimal Synth Programming: Hank Shocklee and Eric Sadler
Bass: Steve Linsley and Bill Stephney
Guitars: Vernon Reid and Bill Stephney (Solo on 'Sophisticated Bitch' by by Vernon Reid)
Rhythm Scratch: Johnny "Juice" Rosado

Recorded at: Spectrum Studios, Hempstead, NY

Engineered by Steven Linsley and Steve Ett
Mixed by Hank Shocklee, Bill stephney, and Steven Linsley
"Sophisticated Bitch" mixed by Rick Rubin
Created, guided and directed by Hank Shocklee and Carl Ryder


Dedicated to Lisa and Eric

Lyrical Inspiration: Prince Shaheed - Lord of Lyrics

Peace goes out to the extra strength posse: Run-DMC and Jam Master Jay, The Original Concept, The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, and last but not least, Rick Rubin

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