Public Enemy, Revolverlution

Christopher R. Weingarten

By Christopher R. Weingarten

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

In 2002, veteran noise-bringers Public Enemy &#8212 at one time the most scrutinized and radical group in hip-hop (and possibly in music) &#8212 released Revolverlution to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of their landmark debut Yo! Bum Rush the Show. A "trilogy within a trilogy," Revolverlution is an unorthodox record that mirrors the sporadic listening habits of the post-Napster generation &#8212 a jumble of new tracks, live classics (recorded from all stages of their career) and remixes of P.E. staples &#8212 ideal for both new and seasoned fans. The new tracks seethe with explicit political rhetoric: lead single "Gotta Give the Peeps What They Need" was successfully banned from MTV for its pro-Mumia message, while the metal-tinged siren blare "Son of a Bush" is, well, pretty self-explanatory. The remixes (chosen from an online contest) are mostly hit-or-miss, but the live tracks (like a Switzerland audience circa 1992 going nuts for "Fight the Power") can be absolutely apocalyptic.