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Public Enemy - Rebirth of a Nation Review
By Morley Seaver

OK, I'm biased here as I happen to think Chuck D is God so keep that in mind when reading this. Having said that, Rebirth of a Nation finds PE in prime form. Hearing the booming baritone of Chuck blast a verse is like pulling into your driveway after a long trip on the road --- you're home! Some people are criticizing the project because it's not a regular PE project.

Chuck had invited MC and producer Paris (owner of Guerilla Funk Recordings) to contribute a song to the Revolverlution record. Chuck was impressed enough with his work to allow him to write and produce an entire PE record, as in all of Chucks verses as well. The result is an excellent batch of songs that retains all the great PE elements but also has some funky tinges that recall Chuck's fantastic solo record. Paris has done an awesome job of creating lyrical matter that sounds just like it was done by Chuck. Flavor is here and there throughout but overall a bit less than the usual PE record.

Overall there are no bad songs on this set. Most of the songs are real good with a couple of them in the area of excellent. The first cut "Raw S***" is one of those from the latter category. Paris powers this cut with a snarly keyboard riff around Mistachuck's muscle-toned voice. Flavor weighs in with a declaration that makes his presence known. Paris guests on this cut, as he does in most of the cuts, along with MC Ren from NWA.

"Hard Rhymin" sounds like it could be off Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age and Flavor gets a spin on "Rise". Probably the best cut here is "Can't Hold Us Back" featuring verses by Paris, Dead Prez and Kam with some excellent beats and melody line. Equally great is "Hard Truth Soldiers" with more guest vocals, this time with Conscious Daughters along with MC Ren, Dead Prez and Paris. Professor Griff is back for the title track which also has some great production and Flavor is in full form on "They Call Me Flavor". "Plastic Nation" is an amusing/shameful take on the country's pre-occupation with surgical overhauls. "Coinsequences" featuring Paris is a solid cut that stands out, simple yet effective.

The rest of the songs are all up to the task as well. Paris drops references to other Chuck/PE lyrics from the past throughout the project with nods to "the Bum Rush" and "Hannibal Lecture".

Chuck has called this a side project and doesn't count it as part of the regular PE work. I would say, however, that it is one of the best PE records of recent memory. Paris has done a great job shaping the project and he has set God, I mean Chuck up for some great verses.

CD Info and Links

Public Enemy - Rebirth of a Nation

Label:Guerrilla Funk

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