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Public Enemy

Public Enemy’s Chuck D once famously opined that hip-hop is “black America’s CNN.” If you believe that—and arguing with Chuck D isn’t particularly wise—then you should consider the Public Enemy leader the most important correspondent in hip-hop history. But if you think Public Enemy’s significance somehow ended with the group’s late-’80s/early-’90s commercial heyday courtesy of albums like It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet, you need to tune in for an update. Hip-hop is now a CNN international edition. The group—Chuck D, hype-man Flava Flav, Professor Griff and DJ Lord—has never broken up. And while their profile in the States might have diminished, they continue to be an international force. At the end of 2010, they completed the seventh leg of a Fear of a Black Planet 20th anniversary tour that took the band to 26 countries on four continents. Most notably, as Chuck D told City Weekly, Public Enemy “made it our mission to go to countries we’ve never been before,” including Bulgaria, Poland and South Africa—a country that clearly wouldn’t have welcomed the revolutionary hip-hoppers two decades ago. “There was such enthusiasm—they’d been waiting for so long,” Chuck says. “It was very much appreciated that we finally got there. “It was almost like sipping the wine of life to go to South Africa. It was very inspiring to go in, meeting the people and seeing the places, playing a little place in Soweto.”

Date: Feb 18, 2011
Time: 8 p.m.
Phone: 801-355-5522
Address: 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: The Depot