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PUBLIC ENEMY, New Whirl Odor, Slam Jamz
Hip-hop hasn't passed Public Enemy by, even if the mainstream fans and networks have. What Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and DJ Lord are doing now is as relevant as ever. Flav has heightened P.E. awareness with his back-to-back-to-back reality shows on VH1 -- "Surreal Life," "Strange Love," and "Flavor of Love." While Flav has shown he's closer to insane than we ever presumed, perhaps the success of this album will prove the theory that no publicity is bad publicity. Although Flav has his typical moments, the album is pure Public Enemy, with Chuck D in the driver's seat, hardcore and political as ever from Al Sharpton's opening statements on how P.E. transcends typical hip-hop to the nearly 12-minute epic finale, "Superman's Black in the Building." The beats are classic P.E., with plenty of noise, samples of old school hip-hop and scratches by Lord that continue to do Terminator X proud. The best of all comes on "Check What You're Listening To," which features EPMD, L.L. Cool J, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One and Run DMC snippets, followed by a vintage Flav freestyle with L.L. on the beatbox. Public Enemy is nowhere near done, with a schedule of 10 albums through 2007 listed alongside the liner notes. Good. Hip-hop needs them.
Click here to listen to samples or buy this album.

-- Mason Storm

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